The 8 Secret Page Speed hacks Every SEO should know

Emma doing research

Emma’s been doing a lot of research into bounce rate.  She has figured out that people are leaving her website is because the pages are taking way too long to load.

Why is website speed such a big deal?

Well, consider the following stats for a moment:

  • 73% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that was too slow to load.
  • 51% of mobile internet users have encountered a website that crashed, froze, or received an error.
  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
  • 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
  • A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.

This means that for an ecommerce site that averages around $100,000 per day.  When this site experiences a page delay of 1 second, this will result in $2.5 million in lost sales each and every year.

Those were odds Emma didn’t want to think about. But what could she do? Well, she got right to work determining what was causing her pages to load slow.  She discovered optimizations to correct the problem once and for all. Here’s what she discovered.

Her images weren’t properly optimized.

The first thing Emma noticed while she was conducting an audit of her web site was image size.  The site contained unoptimized images.  That is, full sized images that were consuming a ton of bandwidth. To address this, Emma got to work resizing all the images on her site and also changing the format on several of them. For instance, by converting PNGs of images to JPEGs, she was able to realize a file savings of up to 80%. Furthermore, Emma also reduced image quality.  Image quality is something that can be done without any significant visible changes.  The last item with images is compression we will cover later.

 

She had way too much Javascript.

Many web developers believe that more functionality on a site is better.  In the mobile era it turns out the opposite is actually true. That’s because many of those developers used a pile javascript libraries.  Javascript libraries add animation and functionality to a site. Unfortunately, javascript can cause bloat and seriously slow down an otherwise great website.

Even more concerning is the fact that not all javascript is not mobile-friendly.  60 percent of all web searches are now performed on mobile devices.  A huge portion of Emma’s audience wasn’t even able to access all of her site.  To correct this problem, Emma started to remove unnecessary animations and functionality.  She replaced the remaining content with more static and web-friendly optimized content.

There was a lot of inefficient CSS.

CSS Code that is bulky or inefficient can cause major hurdles to a site’s speed and usability. In performing her analysis, Emma discovered that the CSS coders had CSS from 10 years ago.  Since the site was created, 10’s of developers had added to the CSS. Her site included a lot of extra libraries.   Unfortunately, all the CSS and libraries were dragging down the site’s performance. Thankfully, Emma learned to audit unused CSS.  By cleaning up CSS she could still maintain the site’s style while also maximizing speed.

Emma discovered the main sources of her site’s issues she began correcting the issues.

With Google AMP

One of the ways that you can accomplish all of these tasks is Google AMP.  “AMPing” their site will effectively improve load time and enhanced mobile performance. Emma noticed an immediate improvement in user retention. User retention translated to an increase in conversions. Conversions equal a better bottom line for her company.

AMP your first page for Free:

Without Google AMP

Emma was able to Google AMP most of the pages on her site.  Sometimes Google AMP is not possible or has complications.  Here are a couple of other optimizations that are helpful for Desktop Performance.

Static Asset Compression

When a webpage is served, almost all time is spent serving what are called static assets.  Javascript, CSS, Image and the HMTL DOM are all static assets. Your technology stack , will determine a compression option for your static assets.  But it should be at least minified and gzipped.

Leveraging Browser Cache

Did you ever notice that the second time you come to a website it loads faster?  This is because All Modern Browsers Cache.  This is means that they store static assets into the local browser for speed.  One problem that can occur is that you don’t invalidate browser cache when an asset changes.  To determine Caching scheme can can use Cache-Control and ETag headers.  These tell the Modern browsers the caching scheme you want to use to reload assets.  The other way to invalidate assets is fingerprinting.  Assets Fingerprinting is a way of versioning your assets. This tells the browser a different version is available.

Server Speed and CDN’s

The last optimization is based solely on hardware optimizations.  While these are quite technical, they give you over 200% faster load times.  Faster servers respond well… Faster.  A CDN shortens the distance between the assets physical location and your browser.  There are packaged solutions for servers and CDN’s that can scale with your site.  This way they won’t be too pricey.

Is your website loading as fast as it should be? Are you losing valuable leads due to slow or difficult-to-navigate web pages? Experience for yourself the same amazing results that Emma and her team enjoyed. Click below:

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