Impact of Page Loading Speed on Website Visibility & Tips to Increase it

Impact of Page Loading Speed on Website Visibility & Tips to Increase it

How Does Page Loading Speed Affect Visibility?

The number of websites has been increasing steadily over the last few years. This makes it more difficult for businesses to get noticed, among others. In other words, a website’s visibility needs to be high to get more business. Let’s look at how the loading speed of a website can affect its visibility. 

  1. Decreased Google Rankings

Earlier, webpage speed was not as critical when it comes to getting more visitors. You only had to satisfy minimum criteria for it to be included. 

Since then, Google has been strict when it comes to page speed these days. If your page does not load fast enough, it might incur a heavy ranking penalty from its searches. 

Lower rankings mean lower visibility, and hence your website will not be able to work to its full potential. Google rankings are what can make or break a website, so it is important to get this part right. 

This makes loading speed a prime candidate for improvement on all websites. This is what most SEO agencies work on first for their clients. 

  1. Increased Bounce Rate

Another possible side effect of page loading speed is bounce rates. People today are much less forgiving when it comes to websites that load slowly. 

One reason is that they have a lot of choices in any niche. They will lose patience and click on another website offering the same services as yours. 

Bounce is probably the one SEO metric that contributes greatly to your website’s SEO profile. 

High bounce rates have direct and indirect effects on your website metrics. It can hurt your business and revenue. Also, it hurts your website rankings on searches as well. 

As a business owner, you need to reduce the possibility of bounce as soon as possible. It might not be viable to eliminate it. Still, it should be comparatively lower than other websites in the same niche. 

  1. Lower Time On Website

Slower websites have one major disadvantage – users tend to spend less time on them. The more time a user spends on a website, the more chances are they will buy into your services. 

If the website is slow loading and difficult to navigate, they might click away. This causes liabilities for you regarding business and SEO metrics. 

The more time a business spends on a website, the more credibility your website gains. So your website might be an authoritative source for a particular search string they typed to get there. 

This can build up visibility consistently over the years for a particular niche. But when your website is slow, they will spend considerably less time on your website. 

This leads to a drop in visibility. Time spent on a website is important to a website’s SEO profile as well. 

  1. Lower Number Of Pages Viewed

As a website owner, your objective is to ensure that most of your website pages should be visited by users. But when your load speed is low, there is very little incentive for people to explore your website. 

This again leads to lower page traffic and dwell times. It can lower your SEO metrics and rankings on search. 

Even people who are interested in your services tend to click away because it takes time to load. It can prevent people from reaching your value pages. 

Slow website speed can interrupt your sales funnel, keeping them away from your conversion pages. All this points to a website that operates below potential. 

And when this happens, there are a lot of factors that go negative. The prime reason is that people are not visiting the right pages. This means they never interact with your marketing funnel. 

  1. Drop-In Revenue

One of the most significant effects of page loading speed is the drop in your website revenue. As a business, you need to make sure that your revenue inflow exceeds your expenses. 

But this is often problematic when your loading speed is low. People will not interact with your website as expected. They will drop out of your marketing funnel, which disrupts the flow. 

Slow speed discourages users from navigating to your money pages. This causes a significant loss of revenue and increases bounce, further impacting your website. 

The need of the hour is to keep every page on your website quick loading and seamless. It ensures that people do not drop out of the marketing pipeline. Your revenue stream will remain consistent and even improve over time. 

  1. Reduced Conversion Ratios

When talking about dropping SEO metrics due to slow loading websites, conversion rates is one of them. Conversion occurs when a visitor buys into any of the services offered by your website. 

This is affected when your website load times are high. People tend to click on other alternative websites when your website is slow. Slow-loading websites disrupt the conversion funnel and reduce the effectiveness of the SEO process.

If a website loads slowly, people tend to click away, hampering your process framework from performing optimally. 

And it is important to get this right because conversion ratios are low numbers in the first place. Ideally, conversion ratios are between 2 and 5 percent for most niches. The loading speed can further reduce this number and render your website useless. 

  1. Non-optimal User Experience

Compared to earlier, website user experience is a huge part of the ranking process. The more usable a website is for your users, the better visibility it will have on searches. 

Slow-loading websites can result in a lot of negative sentiments for your user base. This includes clicking away from your websites, bad reviews, and social media complaints. 

Keeping a website quick and effective can help you get more people interested. They will even recommend you to people they know. It results in a positive marketing cycle which promotes your brand. 

Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful marketing mediums. With an excellent user experience score, you can get people vouching for your brand and website. 

  1. Bad First Impressions

With the market being hyper-competitive today, any advantage a brand has offers it significant value. A major influencing factor is how impressive your website is to first-time users. 

It is important to make a good first impression with your visitors. But when the website is slow to load, it immediately sets a negative tone for your website. 

People visiting the website won’t even bother to check further. They will simply click away from it without checking the content. 

When this happens, it will either result in a bounce or even negative reviews. But one thing that is sure is that they will not visit your website another time. 

What Is The Ideal Page Loading Speed?

In broad terms, websites need to load as quickly as possible for the best user experience. Because of a highly competitive market, this has become a highly desirable trait for websites. But contrary to popular opinion, it isn’t as simple as a website loading in X seconds. 

Websites do not load all at once; they load their content piece by piece. This is called First Contentful Paint (FCP), which is the time it takes the user to see the content after loading. That said, the average loading speed of a website in the top three ranks is 3 seconds. But it also varies from industry to industry. 

But as a yardstick, the closer you are to the three-second mark, the better it is for your website rankings. Speeding up load times can have a tangible effect on your SEO metrics. 

An example of how much of an impact load times have on your website is using a load test tool. On average, decreasing a website’s load time from five to two seconds will have almost $50k value. This is a significant increase in revenue and is not to be considered lightly. 

Tips To Increase Page Loading Speed

We’ve established page loading speed is critical for the functioning of a website. But now, it’s time to find out how you can make your website quicker. We have come up with the most popular and proven methods to make your website faster. 

1 Reduce Number Of HTTP Requests

One of the biggest factors in slow loading time is HTTP requests from websites. An HTTP request is made when a page has many different elements that need to be downloaded. 

Each time a component needs to be downloaded, it initiates an HTTP request. Ideally, for a website to become quicker, it has to minimize this as much as possible. 

To reduce the loading time, you need to ensure that you have only the requisite number of elements on your page. This means fewer calls to HTTP services and considerable speed up on your website. 

Get rid of all the unnecessary elements that need an HTTP call. Another solution would be to combine these several elements. The calls to HTTP are then made together, and time isn’t wasted. 

2 Using A Content Delivery Network (CDN)

There is a considerable amount of content that is transferred to and from a computer. The only way you can avoid this overhead is through a content delivery network. Another proven way to reduce your website bandwidth and increase speed is to work with CDNs. 

A CDN is basically a large network of computers that contains the data you need on them. It downloads these files from computers closest to your location. This can increase the speed of your website by a significant factor. 

A content delivery network helps you offload content to another website. When done right, this can result in halving your data bandwidth requirements. This translates into increased speed and lesser chances of dropped data packets due to bad internet. 

3 Enabling Browser Caching

Caching is a process by which the most used data is stored locally. It ensures quicker transmission of data and much more responsive websites. It is like using random access memory for computers. 

There are several plugins available that help you cache your pages on users’ computers. If you’re using WordPress, WP Total Cache can help you organize your cache files better. 

These are simple to install and are free to use as well. Their functionality is not just limited to caching, and they can help you with other areas of the website. It can definitely increase the speed of your website. 

You can also opt for WP Engine for WordPress, which comes with the feature built-in. It is entirely up to you what you want to do.  

4 Deleting Unused Plugins

When you’re building your own website, using a lot of plugins is unavoidable. But the problem is that a lot of websites slow down the website causing delays. 

Plugins can accumulate when you’re building your website from scratch. There are some plugins that you might not have removed even when you use alternative options. 

One solution would be to audit your plugin profile and ensure that you only have the ones that you need. This ensures smoother and quicker page loading without taking a lot of time. 

Another option would be to test your plugins for their speed. If there are better options in the market, then upgrade to them. It will further help your website’s loading speed. 

5 AMP Integration For Pages

With mobile traffic increasing by leaps and bounds, websites need to load up quickly on smartphones. Mobile traffic has overtaken general web traffic a few years ago and is on the upward trend. 

As a website owner, you need to ensure that your website has the latest technology to connect with your users. Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP optimizes webpages for mobile, giving them a much quicker experience. 

It does this through optimization of various elements like images and other files on the page. It loads websites without unnecessary graphics, files, or plugins. This makes it really quick and is the preferred method to increase load speeds for mobile devices. 

Integrating AMP is easy on your CMS, especially if you’re running WordPress. This mobile-centric approach can significantly improve your website and improve user experience. 

6 Minifying Files And Combining

An aspect that a lot of companies overlook is minifying specific website components like CSS, scripts, and HTML code. These can offer significant performance benefits for a website and improve the loading speed.

It might be painstaking to do this on your own. But there are tools in the market that can do this for you. These are also free tools, and they can get the job done. Some of them only do basic minification like whitespace deletion. Others can consolidate several files into one file. 

It will streamline your website code and reduce execution overheads when loading. Before minifying the website code, make sure that you take a backup of it first. In case something goes wrong, you can restore your website code. There are very few chances of that happening, but it’s good to be careful. 

7 Remove Unused CSS

To build a website, you need to use CSS as part of the process. But the problem occurs when there are too many CSS files on your webpage. It can slow down your loading times and make it unfriendly to users logging in. 

Check and audit your CSS and remove the ones that you do not use. This can be many pages using different parts of the same CSS files but with the same reference. Make sure that on a webpage, you only use the style that it needs. 

Loading it with unused styles means unnecessary overheads for your webpage, which you can avoid. It increases memory usage and hogs internet bandwidth as well. It can have a negative effect on your user base. 

8 Image Optimization & Compression

All websites these days have images, and it’s something that has become mandatory. The problem is that a lot of brands do not make an effort to optimize these images. This becomes a problem because high-resolution images can be large in size. 

This means that these images can take time to upload and download as well. Ensure that you put images through adequate compression algorithms to reduce image size. 

Advanced algorithms also make sure that quality is affected much. This is something that needs to be followed throughout the website. It increases overall speed and improves load times. 

Author Bio: 

Joseph Schneider is the Director of Marketing at Haitna, a Dallas-based SEO Agency. He is an expert in researching complex topics related to Search engine optimization, digital marketing, social media marketing and writes it in an easily understandable way.