The 6 Best Techniques for Website Speed Optimization

Updated: May 14

In life, making a first impression matters a lot in starting and building in person relationships. Nothing changes when those in person relationships start online. Making a first impression when someone visits your website is vital. This takes into account your design and content, but also your website speed.


A one second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.


40% of people will leave your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.


Think about your own experience.


If you go to a website and it is slow to load you are more likely to leave than wait around for the webpage to load. When you are buying an item online and the website page takes a while to load, you are more likely to exit and leave that item in the shopping cart rather than wait to buy.


Website speed matters, both from an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) perspective and an overall user experience (UX) standpoint.


What is website speed optimization?

When you click a link to a website, the website speed is the amount of time it takes the webpage to fully load. The webpage downloads, displays in the browser, and the content in the webpage becomes responsive to the user. You most likely want all of this to happen in three seconds or less.


Does website page speed affect SEO?

Does website page speed affect SEO? Yes, it does. When ranking websites (SEO), Google takes into account website speed. So if you want to rank higher, you'll want to have a better website page speed. Nowadays, we all have super short attention spans so we get bored waiting if website pages take too long (more than a couple seconds) to load!


Why is website speed optimization important?

Like I mentioned earlier, a one second delay in you website page speed can result in a 7% decrease in conversion rates. As a website owner, one of you biggest goals should be conversions. Anything that gets in the way of this needs to be fixed. Users are more likely to engage with your website if they can move around quickly. No one wants to wait around for slow loading website pages.


Tips to improve website speed optimization


  1. Do not use of animations on your website pages

  2. Keep your homepage simple

  3. Focus on mobile performance

  4. Text is king

  5. Optimize the images on your website

  6. Avoid having too much media and TPAs on your website


Do not use animations on your website pages

I remember the first website I ever built with Wix for one of my startups was a fun project. I was playing around with all sorts of plugins and the animations looked so cool swiping into action on the different pages. Shortly after publishing, I was sitting in front of my computer waiting nearly 10 seconds for my home page to load because of all the animations. If I couldn't even wait 10 seconds why would a potential customer wait 10 seconds? Animations are big and heavy, which are very slow to load. I don't recommend using animations unless you really need to.


Keep your homepage simple

This is something that will help with both website speed optimization, but also with your UX. If you have a super long and heavy homepage it will take a long time to load, but will also overwhelm your potential customers. They will probably try to browse through it quickly and miss a lot of your call to action buttons and key points. A simple and organized homepage will make it easier for the user to sort through all of the information, while making your website faster. You can always spread out your content across multiple pages. Guide them with buttons like 'Read More About Us' or 'Learn More In Our Blog'.


Focus on mobile performance

According to Google, 53% of mobile users leave a website that takes longer than three seconds to load. Think about how much time you are spending on your phone. Many of your website visitors will visit from their mobile devices, rather than their desktops. You are going to want to optimize your mobile website by deleting unneeded text and images. Also, make sure to hide anything that might affect website speed. Things like animations, images, and videos. But if your mobile website is taking a while to load, you are not alone. On average, mobile websites take 15 seconds to load. Optimizing your mobile website speed is an easy win to help increase your SEO ranking about the competition.


Text is king

Text will load a lot faster than your animations and images. For this reason, I tend to use more text than images on my site. Another main reason to use text is for SEO optimization. The more text you have on your website will help Google better understand what your website is about and rank you higher in those areas. Media doesn't have the same affect on SEO. You'll also want to try and stay consistent with one font style. Obviously having consistency with the text will result in a better UX, but it also reduces your websites loading time. Stay away from custom fonts too because they need to be downloaded before appearing on your web page, which affects your web speed.


Avoid having too much media and TPAs on your website

I set a quarterly reminder to scrub my website so it does not contain too much media. Having too much media can slow down your website speed. Things like lengthy embedded videos and photo galleries. Bold, underline, and Italics, will affect your speed as well. Also avoid adding too many Third party applications (TPAs). These are features you can add to your webpage that aren't created by your website host. Things like a Facebook or Instagram feed are examples of TPAs. You do not have to go through and delete all media, but think about if you really need it. You can go through and test your TPAs but disabling all of them and turning them back on one-by-one. If a TPA really slows down your webpage from loading you can consider removing it. TPAs do provide a lot of functionality - just be smart.


Optimize the images on your website

JPEG files are usually more web-friendly than PNG and other types of files. The only time I really use PNG files is if I need a transparent background. There are a bunch of free tools that will convert your files, like Compressor.io. One thing that is really nice about Wix (the website hosting tool I use), is that they automatically convert images to WebP. WebP is still a fairly new image format that was introduced by Google. It gives your images better compression, resulting in better performance. Wix will also automatically optimize the size of your images for your website pages when you use the image cropper, without degrading the quality of the image.



How to conduct a website speed test

There are many free website speed checkers you can utilize to monitor your website speed. If you website is hosted on Wix, you can check your website speed with the Wix website speed test. For all you other folks not on Wix, try out Google's PageSpeed Insights tool. I actually prefer Google's website checker over the Wix website speed test because it gives you more insights and step-by-step suggestions to optimize your website speed.


Nearly half of consumers expect a website page to load in less than two seconds.


Not only does website speed optimization affect you SEO, but it will also affect your conversion rates.


Now go run a speed checker and optimize your website speed!


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