How Fast is Your Website?
Many of the business owners we meet with have no idea how to answer that question. In truth, many of them haven’t even thought of website speed and performance in the past. That’s quickly changing, though, because Google has identified page loading times as a major search signal. In other words, the faster your content displays, the easier your website will be to find in the search listings.
Website speed might seem like an arbitrary consideration when thinking about the things that make a website a good search result or not. After all, shouldn’t content quality be more important than a second or two of loading time? You would think so, but the data supports a different conclusion.
On average, a first-time visitor to your website will leave if it takes more than three seconds for your content to come online. And, that number is shrinking all the time. So, it doesn’t necessarily matter whether the ideas on your pages are good or not. If they take too long to display, most buyers will never see them.
None of this is a secret from the engineers at Google, of course, and their whole business is built upon delivering good search results and a solid user experience. So, they heavily penalized websites with slow loading times. If you want to keep your top search position—not to mention your customers—here are a few steps to take right away…
Audit Your Business Website
A business website audit can serve as a speed check for your pages. It can also give you valuable insights into the performance of your webpages and the underlying HTML that makes them run.
For instance, not only will it test server speeds and response times, but an audit will also uncover hidden issues. These might include broken links, duplicated content, and programming errors that either slow you down or stop Google from indexing your content.
Deal with Any Technical Errors
It isn’t just enough to be aware of technical issues on your website. To speed things up and keep search traffic coming in, you’ll need to resolve them.
This is why regular audits are so important to website maintenance. Anytime you make changes to your layout or content there are dozens of links, plug-ins, and pieces of programming that can be affected. If your web design team isn’t looking for add-on effects you might miss little problems that turn into big issues.
Upgrade Your Web Hosting
If you bought the cheapest web hosting package you could find (as many business owners do) you might be sabotaging your own online marketing success. That’s because shared hosting plans store your website on servers that can be overcrowded with adult sites, online casinos, and other undesirable “neighbors.”
By spending a few extra dollars per week you can upgrade your web hosting to faster, newer servers. That makes your website safer and gives you dedicated space on newer machines, speeding up your pages in the process.
Remove Unnecessary Plug-ins and Code
There are lots of reasons your website might be weighed down by unnecessary code. Perhaps you have installed apps and programs that are no longer needed, or built your website from a template that had dozens of features you never activated.
Whatever the cause, you should do anything you can to get rid of that unnecessary coding. Not only does it slow your website down in a big way, it can cause errors with certain browsers and even leave you open to cybersecurity threats.
Optimize Your Images and Content Blocks
Image sizes and embedded fonts aren’t all that important when customers are coming to your website through desktop computers and broadband connections. However, once they switch to smaller screens or lighter coverage areas, improper formatting can slow your content down in a big way.
Make sure your web design team is optimizing everything on your site for fast delivery. Google will reward you and so will live customers.
Is Your Web Design Team Giving You an Edge?
Business owners and executives turn to us when they are tired of hearing about gimmicks, quick fixes, and workarounds. They stay with us because we deliver solid, measurable, long-term business results.
If you expect the best from your web design team and want to see the difference reflected in your bottom line, contact us today so we can set up a free consultation and get the ball rolling!