Your page loading time can often be an overlooked aspect of your website, but its crucial for keeping a low bounce rate and not scaring off potential customers.
When you get a website designed or have a redesign, you should be asking about the page load speed. You want to make sure it is loading quickly on all major browser types (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari).
One of the best ways to check your page load time is to use Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Here, you can see how long it is taking your site to load on all types of devices, and it will give you suggestions for improvements. Some of these improvements can be done by novices, but others will require a website designer or developer.
What is impacting my page speed?
One of the biggest factors of a slow load speed is having large image files. These take the browser a while to render, and can lead to a site that loads extremely slowly. The best thing to do is to compress the images to save space.
A redirect refers to your pages redirecting to another page. If you search on your phone for website.com it may then redirect to www.website.com and then m.website.com. Each time it is redirecting, you are adding more time to your load speed.
Allowing the browser to cache your pages will help reduce load times. This means that the browser doesn’t have to generate this same page every time the visitor comes to the site, instead it will cache the latest version and display that. If you use WordPress, there are many plugins you can use to do this.
Why does page load time matter?
For one thing, it could be killing the amount of visitors that are going through and looking around at your site. If you have high bounce rates and a low amount of time spent on the site (you can find these pieces of information in Google Analytics) then those could be key indicators of a slow load time. If your pages are loading slow, people will just leave, period. They may not even bother coming back and will instead go to a competitor with a faster site.
By having a fast load speed, you are instilling trust and confidence in your customers about your site. A slow site may signal that you are not paying much attention to it or don’t care to fix it. Customers expect fast load times, and if your site isn’t hitting that mark then they will leave.
You need to pay attention to both desktop and mobile page speeds, as they can drastically differ.