How to speed up your website to improve search ranking

laptopWhen it comes to running a website there seem to be a million and one things to think about; content, layout and page design (to name but a few). However, there is one thing on the top of that list that so often gets missed, and it is one of the most important. The speed of your site can impact your search engine rankings and even put potential customers off from purchasing. So, how do you speed up your site, to ensure you’re providing visitors with the best experience?

The importance of site speed

The truth is, when somebody visits your site they don’t want to wait around to see what you have to offer. If you’re selling products then a slow loading page time will put potential customers off in a big way. If your homepage takes more than 5 seconds to load then visitors may think there’s a problem and will end up looking elsewhere. It’s not just your potential customers that will take note of your loading speed times, however, Google will too. Sites that take too long to load will be ranked lower than those who are fast and efficient. Effectively, a slow website can slow down your sales.

How to speed your site up?

One of the biggest factors of page loading times are the images you have on your site. Uncompressed images can add seconds onto your loading times, which is a real no-no. There are several ways of speeding things along when it comes to images, such as:

  • Compress your images so that they are web-based quality. You can use several free tools to help you do this quickly and easily.
  • Scale larger images so that they fit onto your page nicely. This prevents the server spending precious time rescaling them for you.
  • Make sure you have browser caching utilized in order to speed up loading images that have been accessed by visitors before.

It’s not just images that can slow a page down, although these can play a large part. You may wish to look at the coding of your site, too. You may want to consider minifying your HTML, CSS and Javascript using a number of free, online resources. Combining Javascript and CSS files (or asking your web designer to do so) is another excellent way of reducing those loading times, also.

Overall, there are many helpful ways of speeding up your site and keeping loading times down to a minimal. Start off by running a speed test on your site and then trying each of the above until you reach a number you can be proud of!

If you would like to find out more about the maintenance of your website design or web development techniques contact our specialist team today!

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