Why is site speed important? Your website's speed and performance may often be a factor overlooked when putting your website online or working on increasing website traffic. You may become focused on the look and content of your site and never even consider your site speed and its importance. This is understandable because while the look and content are a very important part of your website’s effectiveness in generating traffic and potential leads for your business, so is your site speed.
Your site speed, or sometimes called page speed, should matter to you because it makes a difference to the visitors and the potential customers visiting your website. If a page takes too long to load users will often click away and choose a different search result, causing your business to lose out on potential customers or sales. Page speed matters to your website visitors, and that's why it matters to Google and other popular search engines. Websites with faster page speeds are given a higher consideration when it comes to site rankings and SEO.
What is page speed and why does it matter?
Page speed or website speed refers to how quickly a user is able to load a fully functional webpage from the specified website, or in other words how long from when a user clicks on your link until the user can start seeing and using your website. This is one of the most important factors in a website’s performance.
If a website loads too slowly the user is likely to click away causing you to lose a potential customer to a competitor’s website. Another consideration is that an average of 60% of all web traffic will come from mobile users, which can have varying network speeds dependent on their location and signal. A slow site speed will be perpetuated by a bad mobile connection. A slow load time can make a bad first impression on visitors to your website, and a bad user experience when they try to click through your site pages looking for information on your business.
Google understands this and uses page speed as one of the ranking factors for their search index rankings. Google will also evaluate how long users tend to stay on your website which is why it is important to give your website visitors the best experience when on your website. Ranking higher in search engine’s will help to increase website traffic with more potential customers viewing your business’s info and messaging. While page speed is not the only factor in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) rankings, it is an important one that is easily obtainable with a well built quality website.
What affects a sites speed and performance?
One of the most important factors in your website's site speed and performance is how much content and files users have to load when visiting your site. Unoptimized images are a common suspect that can dramatically slow down your website. Another common factor is unnecessary code and bloated plugins that are common in a lot of content management systems and page builders used across the web.
At Digibot Web we take these factors into consideration in every website that we build. We hand code every site to ensure that there is not any code bloat, and then minify the files to further optimize their size. Every image we include on your website will always be optimized for web loading and along with our “blur-up” and lazy loading techniques we are able to give optimal page load speeds while still displaying beautiful imagery for your users.
Choosing quality hosting is another factor that can affect your page speed and performance. Even if you build a quality website choosing the wrong hosting can still present your users with slow loading times. At Digibot Web we use a quality hosting service and optimize our code specifically for our hosting provider to deliver at lightning fast speeds. We also take advantage of utilizing a CDN (Content Distribution Network) which essentially will deploy your website to different servers all around the world. This greatly reduces load latency that can be caused by your data having to travel thousands of miles from traditional server setups.
How do I test my site speed?
There are many tools online to test your website's page speed, however when trying to optimize your site for SEO and ranking higher on search engines like Google, we believe going straight to the source is the best option. We measure all of our websites using Google Lighthouse which is built right into the Google Chrome browser.
To test open the website you are wanting to test in your Chrome browser window. You then will want to right click anywhere on the web page and select the “Inspect” option. This should open the Chrome developer tools window on your browser. At the top of the developer tools you should see some tabs, which will usually default to the “Elements” or” Console” tab. You will want to select the “>>” button to show the additional tabs and select the Lighthouse option. You are now at the Lighthouse tool and are ready to test. You can leave most of the settings on the default except for the Device option, as you may want to run a separate report for mobile and for desktop to check your site speeds for both as they will usually vary.
Any score above 90 is considered good, however at Digibot Web we strive for 95 and above on all of the Lighthouse scoring categories, and 99-100 specifically on our performance scores. These scores are obtainable with a quality built website and are something that you should be aiming for when considering where to get your website built for your business.
Considering all of this, one thing is clear: optimizing your website’s page speed does matter and should be a necessary step when putting your business on the web to help increase website traffic. At Digibot Web, we always take the extra steps and time to ensure that all of our websites are optimized for performance to ensure the best user experience and SEO optimization. We know you work hard on your business and wouldn't cut any corners and neither would we when you trust us to create and take care of your website. If you are interested in having us build you a quality lightning fast website visit us today or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.