10 Tricks To Reduce Your Landing Page Load Time (And Why It Matters)Ever feel like your website is being judged before it’s even finished loading? That’s probably because it is.
Everyday Google ranks billions of webpages on the internet and there’s one little known factor that could mean the difference between a good ranking in Google and a great ranking. That factor is Page Load Time.
What Is Page Load Time?
“Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests” – Google
According to Google’s webmaster guidelines, page load time is the time that it takes to load the HTML content of your webpage. That is, the way that the document is constructed so the browser knows how to layout your page.
How Is Page Load Time Judged Exactly
Google says that page load time is a factor in ranking a website in their search results. While it is not as influential in ranking your page as the relevance of your page compared to what was searched for, topicality, and reputation (generally thought of as how many relevant links you have pointing at the page), the speed with which your page loads can make the difference between a good ranking and a great ranking in Google and other search engines.
To rank your website’s speed Google compares your page’s load time with that of other websites on similarly located web servers.
This means that if your site is hosted on a web server physically located in Brisbane, Australia, Google will compare your website’s speed with other load times of websites in Brisbane.
Your web page could be determined as having slow performance if it’s load time exceeds the average load time for your web server’s area + 4 seconds.
Why Is Page Speed Being Used For Ranking?
Google said in their recent blog post that speeding up websites is important. In fact you’ll notice that even after all these years they are still obsessed with speed (seriously, check out the amount of time it takes to return a web search next time you search for something it’s phenomenal how quickly they can process that data).
To take this obsession with speed to a whole new level, Google conducted internal studies on page speed, realising in the end that “speed matters”.
Users will spend measurably less time on a website that is slow compared to one that responds quickly. Those 100 milliseconds really do make a difference.
What Happens If I Don’t Address A Slow Loading Page/Website?
What you can expect if you let page speed problems go unaddressed is increasingly poor rankings in the major search engines.
If you run Google AdWords campaigns to get visitors to your website you can also expect poor keyword scores in your campaigns meaning they could stop running altogether.
10 Things You Can Do To Lower Page Load Times
Here is our top 10 list of things you can do today to lower your website’s page load times:
- Be standards compliant
- Compress your images in appropriate formats and use CSS sprites for background images if you can
- Optimize the order things load on your website – here’s a cool tool
- Minify your CSS stylesheets
- Enable compression on your web server
- Avoid using CSS @import
- Minimize the amount of redirects
How Are You Optimizing Your Pages?
As page load times become more and more important in the ranking algorithms of the search engines it’s important to optimise your site properly. How are you getting on with optimising your website? Let us know in the comments.