Site speed is one of the most important metrics to track that has a direct impact on online results, but one that few marketers pay attention to.
According to research by Portent , each extra second in website load time reduces conversion rate by an average of 4.42%.
In addition to increasing the conversion rate, there are several other good reasons to improve this aspect.
This post will cover all of them, presenting tips and tools that can be used to test and optimize the speed of a website.
Read on for all the tips!
How to test site speed?
For starters, the first step to any improvement is analysis .
So, before optimizing your site for more speed, you need to find out how the scenario is.
There are two very simple ways to do this:
Google PageSpeed Insights
One of the most popular and free website speed testing tools is Google PageSpeed Insights .
And it's very simple to use: just access the site, include the link you would like to check and click on “analyze”.
The diagnosis will appear, both for the mobile version of the site, as for the desktop version.
The complete diagnosis shows the positive points, the points that can be corrected without seriousness and those that need to be improved urgently.
The tool also brings several suggestions for actions that can be taken for each of the points.
Even so, it is worth complementing the diagnosis with one more tool.
GT Metrix works with the same simplicity.
We recommend that you create a free account on the platform as this will provide you with options such as changing your location, network type, browser and other details.
Leave the options close to how your audience accesses to have an even more accurate report.
Then, just paste the link of the website that will be analyzed and click on the button.
It quickly identifies the two aforementioned points, in addition to several other improvement factors.
The platform even allows you to compare your website with the competition's websites.
What is the ideal speed of a website?
With the data in hand, you may need a benchmark to understand whether your site's overall performance is satisfactory.
There is no right answer, because the ideal speed also depends on the profile of your audience and how they interact with the pages.
Think, for example, that an elderly person will have a different load time limit than a young programmer.
In general, Google recommends that this time be less than 5
seconds on 3G networks and that the ideal is 2 seconds on better performing networks.
And you might be surprised to learn that many landing pages don't have this recommended loading speed .
5 Reasons to Improve Website Speed
All sites have improvement points!
Right here at Leadster we are constantly evolving to deliver the best at this point.
So, with the results of your site in hand, you'll want to take action.
Understand why optimizing your website speed is so important:
1. Optimize your content for SEO
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a strategy aimed at optimizing the content of websites, blogs and pages, with factors relevant to search engines such as Google.
It is this type of strategy that seeks to provide a good positioning in the searches carried out on this type of platform, bringing what is called organic traffic to the site.
And, in addition to content designed with this focus, a website also needs to have fast loading to gain positioning.
Page speed has been an analytics factor on desktop since 2010, on mobile since 2018, and since one of the latest updates to Google's algorithm ( Core Web Vitals ), this point has gained even more relevance.
2. Improve the performance of your ads
It's no use having ads with good performance and results if the destination link takes a long time to load.
Therefore, investing in this improvement will bring greater returns on media investments, as no one likes to access a page with errors or that takes a long time to load.
3. Improve visitor experience on mobile and desktop
A page with errors or that takes time to load discourages the reader and makes that visitor quickly look for other content or page that does not have this type of problem.
Therefore, the user experience needs to be positive for them to stay on the website and, more than that, it needs to be guaranteed regardless of the device they use to access the website.
Optimize your pages for mobile, because, according to a study we carried out here at Leadster (Lead Generation Overview 2021 ), 56.48% of accesses today happen through smartphones.
In addition, Google estimates that more than half of visitors abandon a page that does not load within 3 seconds on mobile.
4. Decrease site bounce rate
The time spent on the page is one of the measures used by search platforms to understand the relevance of their content, based on the experience of visitors who have already accessed it.
Loading time, which we mentioned earlier, is one of the factors that can contribute to a low dwell time or a high bounce rate, which negatively impacts website results.
5. Increase conversion rate and lead generation
In fact, the first five seconds of page load are the ones that have the most impact on conversion rates .
We commented at the beginning of the content that the first five seconds of page load are the ones that have the most impact on this metric.
After that time, for every second that passes, your conversion drops by an average of 4.42% ( Portent, 2019 ).
Loading speed is also one of the main factors for a website to appear well positioned on Google, thus driving more traffic to your website, increasing the number of people impacted by the solution your brand offers.
How to improve site speed?
There are many ways to improve your site speed results — and priority actions are determined by those analyzes we've discussed that need to be done early on.
Start outlining a plan of action for optimizing your website with those improvements that can be easily and quickly made, in addition to paying special attention to those that have the greatest impact.
Decrease server response time
Server response time happens between a user clicking a link on your website or entering it directly into the navigation bar for direct access, and the server responding to that action.
This is not the only page load factor, but it is one of the most important.
To improve this aspect, you can enable the “ Keep Alive ” function on your hosting service, improve the site's application, improve the site's database or even change the site's hosting service to one with a shorter response time. .
Compress image size
A simple but unfortunately quite common mistake that slows down the loading speed of a website's pages is inserting images that are too heavy.
When choosing, editing and uploading images, be careful to make them as light as possible for loading, without losing quality.
Many tools already have the “Export to Web” function, which helps at this point.
If your site is WordPress, you can also install the Smush Image Compression and Optimization plugin, which will automatically work with the images you upload.
Cache the data
Every time a website is accessed again, information and data are temporarily downloaded by browsers — this is called a “cache”.
If your site has the option to store this data, pages will load faster when the same device accesses them again.
To enable this function, look for specific plugins or change, with the help of a professional, the .htaccess file on your domain.
Using a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
Content Delivery Network is a way to store and distribute data quickly and efficiently, regardless of where in the world the website is accessed.
Some free options that are easy to integrate with websites are MaxCDN, Amazon CloudFront, Azion Technologies, Microsoft Azure CDN and Akamai/Exceda.
Install Google PageSpeed on the server
To improve site speed you can also install Install Google PageSpeed on the server you use.
Uninstall unused themes or plugins
If your site is built on WordPress, there may be some plugins or themes installed that you don't use.
If they don't have functionality on your site, they're just taking up space and making your pages heavier.
Get rid of them!
7 Tools and Plugins to Optimize Website Speed
In addition to the Google PageSpeed tool, which we have already mentioned, we have brought seven more options to optimize the speed of your website:
WP Rocket is one of the most used plugins for WordPress.
Created to improve the performance and performance of websites, this plugin works for the cache storage, which we have already mentioned in this material.
WP Super Cache / W3 Total Cache
Another well-known option used for the same purpose is WP Super Cache / W3 Total Cache, also developed for WordPress sites.
Free, the Autoptimize plugin for WordPress works by minimizing the code of site elements in JS, CSS and HTML, thus increasing the page loading speed.
It also improves aspects like optimizing CDN resources, images, Google fonts and removing emoji strings from Query Strings.
Smush Image Optimization
Another plugin developed for the compression and optimization of images on websites is Smush Image Optimization.
One of the most popular on the market for this function, the WordPress plugin offers the possibility to compress both new images and those that are already applied to the site.
TinyPNG is a basic and efficient tool if you need to manually compress and optimize images, guaranteeing an increase in website loading speed .
Its use is easy and its interface is quite simple.
Lazy Load Images
Lazy Loading is a programming strategy that allows images to be loaded on the page only when needed.
For example, imagine a website home that is quite extensive, but has some images that only appear when scrolling through the pages.
With this type of application, images are only loaded when the user arrives at the part of the site where they are, and it is not necessary to load them as soon as the site is opened, which also improves loading time.
Remember how we talked about using a CDN as a way to make the site faster?
One option for this type of solution is the CloudFlare CDN, which intelligently routes content requests to the fastest paths and load balances across multiple origins.
The tool also has other features that improve page load time such as caching and support for video files.
Use Leadster to further increase conversions
After optimizing for site speed, all your brand wants is for the user to have a good experience and that this can improve the conversion rate of your pages.
Count on Leadster to optimize this part of your strategy and digital presence!
With our tool, you can use conversational marketing and chatbots to provide your qualified traffic visitors with personalized service and, in addition, to gain relevant information from the first contact between brand and user.
What is Leadster's impact on site speed?
Our tool does not make your site any heavier, as our script is very light and has virtually no impact on the site's loading speed.
We know how important site speed is and this has always been a concern in the development of our solution.
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