Optimizing a website’s page speed, also known as load time, is essential for improving the user experience and helping content perform in search engine results. Visitors tend to get frustrated waiting for pages to load, so a smoother experience leads to a happier audience. The rate at which visitors abandon a page load plays a role in SEO. Users tend to abandon pages that take longer than three seconds to load, so faster load times mean people are more likely to stay.
The following five ways can help improve a site’s page speed:
- Format Images for Web: Improperly formatted images can quickly triple a page’s load time1. It’s ideal to use web-compressed JPGs formatted for the site’s largest possible image display says whenever possible.
- Better Manage Your Scripts: Don’t load every possible script the site uses on each page; only call scripts as needed. Utilize external script hosting from Google to take some of the workload off the site’s infrastructure.2
- Remove Troublesome Elements: Sometimes added page content contributes a massive amount of data to the page load to perform a simple task. Using tools like the Pingdom Website Speed Test or in-browser developer tools can help identify problematic files for removal or replacement.3
- Use a Content Delivery Network: A CDN is a distributed server network that mirrors content from a site on servers closer to visitors. This cuts down on the latency between initiating file transfers and improves page speed.
Monitoring page load times is an ongoing process; when site content changes so do load times. It’s important for website developers and content creators to keep performance in mind at all times.