There are many things that people will tell you are the most important things to do for your Website and SEO campaign. Ranging from an onsite blog and Social Media pages, to better content and meta data. No doubt these are very important things for any SEO campaign to have, but I feel like there is one thing that is being overlooked. The amount of time is takes your website to fully load.
Page loading speed can have a drastic impact on not only the amount of visitors that actually stay on your site, but even more so the number of visitors that are converted in to sales. Submitinme.com conducted a study to see the page load speed vs. the conversion rate and here are the results:
This chart clearly illustrates the importance of having your website load in 2 seconds or less. It can be hard enough to drive sales in a tough economy, don’t lose out on potential sales because you website loads too slowly. Improving your websites speed will help improve your conversion rate as well as your search ranking. Google has openly mentioned that site speed is an important factor into determining search results. Matthew Cutts said “I would love if SEOs dive into improving website speed, because (unlike a few facets of SEO) decreasing the latency of a website is something that is easily measurable and controllable. A #1 ranking might not always be achievable, but most websites can be made noticeably faster, which can improve ROI and conversion rates. In that sense, this change represents an opportunity for SEOs and developers who can help other websites improve their speediness.”
You notice that your site is loading slowly; your next question is obviously “how can I fix this?” There are many things that factor into the time it takes you website to load. Some of the major problems that we see people running into are 301 redirects, large photos, your server, plugins or the user’s network connection. 301 Redirects can slow down your site because if you have too many redirects, it will take a while for all of the redirects to take place. Photos are obviously a good thing, but you want to make sure that your photos are not too large. Keep your photos at a reasonable size and save the in a JPG format. If you have your site in WordPress, try to keep your plugins to a minimum. Obviously some plug in are necessary, just try not to overdo it. Also in WordPress, try to delete spam comments or just turning off comments in general.
If you are still running into problems, it could be an issue with your websites hosting or server. If you are on shared hosting, the server could be getting pinged with an exurbanite amount of traffic, slowing down your site. In this case, you will want to contact the hosting company and express your issue with your websites load time. Consider upgrading your hosting account as soon as you can afford it.
By Mike Fedotowsky