Optimising Your Website Speed To Boost Conversions & SEO
Having a website that converts visitors into prospects should be both a priority and an essential component of any inbound marketing strategy.
However, a common obstacle is website speed. Website speed impacts user experience, site traffic, search rankings, and ultimately conversions, so it is critical.
Faster sites are a lot more appealing to both users and search engines. This is simply because users want speed. If it doesn’t load within at least 3 seconds, many will abandon the site and return to the search results page.
Once a prospective client bounces off a slow loading site, there is little opportunity for your care business to then engage them with high-quality content or even drive valuable conversions. This is why speed is paramount.
Search engines share this preference for speed. Google has stated that site speed impacts search rankings, simply because search engines prioritise a good user experience, so they prefer to rank fast-loading websites higher to keep their users satisfied.
Per Google’s recommendation, you should aim for a page load speed of under 3 seconds. However, it’s also a good idea to compare your site speed against that of your competitors to understand what you are up against. It’s always good to keep in mind which sites potential clients may land on when looking for care in your area and how fast those are compared to yours.
Now, you may be thinking this all sounds great, but improving the speed of your website can seem like a tall order if you aren’t a web developer or at least super tech-savvy. Well, as always, we’ve got you covered!
Here are 3 simple top tips to optimise your website speed and gain more conversions:
1. Reduce the number of redirects – Redirects are useful tools for guiding users to live pages when you remove or move content from your site. However, too many redirects can become problematic. Redirects require extra HTTP requests, which can slow loading speeds. For website speed optimisation best practices, limit the number of redirect links on your site.
2. Enable website caching – Website caching temporarily stores data for a web page when a user visits a site for the first time. Saving the data, rather than reloading it each time the user visits, allows the site to load at a faster speed. Depending on your website platform, you can enable website caching through manual code, general settings, or a WordPress plugin.
3. Avoid using large files like graphics and videos – Large graphics can load very slowly, which increases overall page load time. To avoid this, you can choose the right image file type (JPEG, PNG, GIF, SVG) and use tools to compress large images and graphics. With regards to video, do not upload and host video files on your site directly. Instead, try to use a third-party platform like YouTube or Vimeo to host your video and then embed it. (If you want to use a specific video but don’t wish to upload it straight to your YouTube channel you can upload it as ‘Unlisted’, that way you will be able to embed it on your site and anyone with the link will be able to view it but it will not appear amongst your other videos on YouTube).
These tips are a great (and relatively easy) way to start! Of course there are other (slightly more techy) things that you can ask your web developers to look into such as:
- Minimising your HTTP requests
- Reducing the number of plugins you are using on your site
We know that getting your page load times to where you want them can be a big undertaking, but it will definitely have a significant positive impact on your overall site performance.
It’s also important to remember that while all of these tips can help, you don’t need to rush to implement all of them today; it is a journey and it will certainly help to have a web developer or whoever manages the backend of your site to take a look and chat about some of the above.