#7 Optimise page-load speed
The time it takes your website page to load is a huge bounce rate influencer.
Or more accurately, the user’s perception of how quickly your page loads is a huge influencer.
Or even more accurately, the user’s perception of how slowly your page loads.
Because people won’t necessarily notice if it loads fast, right?
But it will make them lose their ship if something hangs for a second or two,
If the content visually loads in installments. Or worse, not at all.
And given that search engines also have one eye on these metrics, loading speed is a factor in SEO.
So it’s well worth optimising.
But the most important thing is how fast your site feels.
A word on speed tools
There are hundreds of online speed tests out there which use various calculations to make assumptions about your site speed.
Sometimes this is helpful, but often it’s not the full story.
Work can be done in a myriad of ways to improve how efficiently content can be delivered.
And it’s not alway picked up by the speed tests.
They’ll mark you down for not having one thing in place, not knowing that you’ve addressed the issue in a different way.
Be wary of tools than can trick the reporting software into giving you healthy looking numbers.
When behind the scenes, they’ve actually slowed things down.
In one example we saw, a piece of software that changed the method in which your website fonts are delivered improved your test results.
However it also delivers a more clunky on site experience for the user.
Something Google are very hot on at the moment.
Take for instance metrics such as CLS (Cumilative layout shift), part of their Core Web Vitals programme.
They measure how much stuff kind of jumps about the page as it loads.
It’s damaging. Like a sunbed.
You may look tanned for a bit, but ultimately you’re damaging what’s important.
So what can I do to help my page load faster?
Don’t chase green lights on reports. Instead, play with a straight bat.
Analyse your page for opportunities to optimise content delivery in a balanced way.
Why not try tinypng. It’s free and helps you compress your image sizes. But also bear in mind your iPhone takes humongous pictures. Making the dimensions the correct size in advance will help big time.
Employ a caching strategy
Using WordPress? Take a look at these recommendations.
Use a decent hosting provider
Cheap hosts are cheap for a reason. If you’re serious about your web presence, then it might be worth an upgrade. Nettl sites are hosted on AWS EC2. That’s the same infrastructure running famous names like Netflix, Pinterest, Expedia and Amazon.
Remove unused plugins and scripts
Run a report of what is being used in the background to load your page. Decide if there are any that you could update, improve or do without.