Page speed refers to how quickly the content on a specific page loads. It may be defined as either:
- Page load time: How long it takes to fully display a page’s content. The average page load time is 10.3 seconds.
- Time to first byte: How long it takes a browser to receive the first byte of information from your server
Website speed is a more general term used to describe how quickly your site loads and may also be used as a synonym for site speed.
Page speed, site speed, and website speed are closely related terms, and they all impact your site’s user experience and rankings.
Google’s main job is to provide users with search results that best fit their queries. Not only do search engines serve pages with content that best fits the user’s query, they also want to display websites that provide a great user experience. And you guessed it — page speed is part of a great user experience.
Other user experience factors include things like readability and ease of navigation.
Pages that load quickly appeal to site visitors decrease bounce rate — another indicator to Google whether or not your site is a good one.
When your site loads slowly, (takes longer than 3 seconds to fully load), users will become frustrated and bounce from your website to find one that provides the information they need more quickly.
If users consistently bounce from your site, Google will start to notice, and you will see a drop in search engine rankings. That’s because Google sees a correlation between high bounce rate and a bad user experience, so they subsequently drop you in the rankings.
If users don’t stay on your website long enough to read your content, Google concludes that it must not be a very good website. Little do they (or your site visitors) know that you could have one of the best websites with the best content out there, but your slow load time kept them from experiencing your website.
This makes page speed even more crucial. Website speed can keep users from entering your site in the first place, which means they won’t learn about your business, see your products and services, or read your informative, beneficial information. Most of all, they won’t convert.
Is mobile involved?
In January 2018, Google announced its Speed Update, which says that mobile speed is now a ranking factors. Because of this, both your desktop and mobile rankings can change due to site speed.
This means that when dealing with website speed optimization, it’s crucial to keep mobile in mind as well.
Optimizing page speed for mobile devices works the same way as it does on a desktop. And of course, you want to ensure that your site is mobile responsive in the first place! This means that your website is effective and easy to use on smaller screens, too!
Why consider ongoing site speed optimization?
Adlevel offers two main packages – initial and ongoing – but there are a few important reasons you should consider ongoing page speed efforts:
- As Google and other search engines continue to evolve, it’s crucial to your website’s success that site speed optimization is prioritized on an ongoing basis. In addition, site evolution — including plugin and CMS updates, require you to keep up with page speed audits.
- Site speed optimization is a technical service that requires dedicated time from expert developers to uncover hidden issues in code that may be slowing down your site.
- You’ll likely see larger gains upfront and incremental gains over time, but small, incremental gains will keep your site’s page speed in check.
Improved Google rankings
Google considers page speed as a ranking factor, so it’s important that you keep your site optimized. When your site loads quickly for users, you’ll have a better chance at ranking higher in search since you provide users with a great experience.
Users will spend more time on your site
Since fast-loading pages provide users with the instant gratification that they desire, they’ll stay on your site longer if your pages load quickly. This also goes hand-in-hand with the next benefit.
Users won’t bounce to competitor sites
One of the top reasons uers bounce to a competitor’s site is because the site wouldn’t load. If your site loads quickly and users can find the info they’re looking for, there’s no reason for them to bounce to a competitor’s website.
Increased leads, conversions, and revenue over time
With higher rankings due to a fast load time, more site visitors staying on your site, and more – you’ll see an increase in leads, conversions, and revenue over time when you keep up with yoru website speed optimization.
1. Sloppy HTML coding
One surefire way to ensure that your pages will load slowly is by having a sloppy HTML code on the backend of your site.
HTML code is what tells your page how to look when users view it on your website. The code is made up of all sorts of tags that tell the page how to work and what to do.
Every page on your website will have a page of code, and the larger and more complex your website is, the more complex your code will be. This is where it becomes easy for your code to become jumbled and sloppy.
In order to keep your pages loading quickly, it’s essential to ensure that there are no extra tags and that everything is referenced properly. Otherwise, it will take the server longer to read the code — causing a slow-loading site.
2. Huge, unoptimized graphics
Including graphics on your site is crucial to providing a great user experience. When you offer a whole page of information, for example, it’s important to break up all that information with some images, graphics, or video to ensure that the reader doesn’t get bored.
However, all the bells and whistles that you can add to your site pages in terms of graphics and videos can weigh your site down and cause it to load slowly.
Huge, high-resolution photos are one of the biggest causes of slow-loading pages.
So how do you ensure that your site provides a great user experience with graphics while keeping page load time fast? Optimize your graphics!
Consider using a tool like Kraken.io to condense your image files so that they’re not so bulky. It won’t change the visual size of the image but condense the file size so that it doesn’t take as long to load on your website.
3. Too many redirects
Redirects occur when you want to replace all links to an old webpage with references to a new one. The redirects are bits of code placed within your .htaccess file in the server, and you can create as many as you need when you replace old pages on your site.
However, when you have tons of redirects on the same page, your site takes the time to reference the .htaccess file to find out the new location of where the link is pointing. This is essentially like loading links twice on your page, which ramps up page load time.
4. Server location and performance
One of the easier factors to understand — the farther away your server, the longer it will take your website to load. That said, it’s important to be mindful of where your server is located. For example, if your business is based in the United States, don’t select a server in China.
In relation to server performance, you want to ensure that you have a high-quality website hosting service. Here’s how it works:
- A user types your URL into their search bar, or visits your website from a search engine like Google
- Their browser notifies your server that they’re trying to visit your site, and asks for all the information necessary to visit your page
- If your server is high-quality, the information will arrive quickly
- Are you on a shared server? If so, you are sharing server space with another website and their traffic.
- Are you on a dedicated server? If so, you can ensure that you’re not sharing website traffic with another website. When you’re on a dedicated server, you’ll have a much faster loading time.
1. Google Search Console
When it comes to free tools to help you in your website speed optimization efforts, Google Search Console is probably the best of the best. It gives you all the valuable information you need to measure your website traffic in-depth, understand your site’s performance, and advise you on how to fix the most prominent issues on your website.
Google recently added the Core Web Vitals report to Google Search Console. The Core Web Vitals (CWV) are a set of metrics that Google recently introduced to measure user experience. The three web vitals are:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures the time it takes the page’s main content to become visible relative to when the page began loading.
- First Input Delay (FID) measures load responsiveness by calculating the time from when a user first interacts with a page to the time the browser can respond to that interaction.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures visual stability, or how much the layout of a page unexpectedly moves around.
Pingdom provides a wealth of information when it comes to page optimization. First, it provides reports that are divided into four sections. It gives you information like a performance grade, the history of the page, an analysis, and so much more. They also provide suggestions for where you can make improvements to your website.
If you’re interested in gaining insight into the speed of your websites from different places in the world, Pingdom allows you to gauge your page speed from Dallas, Melbourne, San Jose, and Stockholm, Sweden. This is extremely helpful if you have clients around the world.
3. Adlevel SEO Checker
At Adlevel, we have created our own proprietary SEO checker tool that can help make recommendations as far as page optimizations.
With our tool, you’ll be able to input the URL of your website, along with the keyword you want to check for, and your email. When you input your email, you’ll get a full PDF copy of the results.
One of the best things about the tool? You can add a competitor’s URL to compare how it’s performing in contrast to yours!
When you receive your custom PDF document, you’ll not only gain insight into your page speed, but a collection of other metrics, including image analysis, title and description tag audit, copy and code analysis, and so much more.
Here are some of the services included in one of our page speed optimization plans:
At Adlevel, we believe that you should have a point of contact that sticks with you throughout the length of your campaign. Why? That way, you always know who you’ll be talking to. Your point of contact will know and understand your campaign, and you won’t have to be transferred to three different people to get answered.
We want to be sure that you get the very best service, and to do so, we ensure that you’ll have a point of contact that can answer any questions you may have, update you on your campaign, and so much more.
Project web developers
Website speed optimization is a process – it doesn’t happen overnight. There are a lot of behind-the-scenes projects that go on in order to ensure that your page speed is at its best. To handle the job, we employ web developers to make sure the job is done right.
Audit of current server configuration
In order to understand what your site needs to be speedy, we’ll take an audit of your current server configuration. From there, we’ll determine what needs to be improved in order to make your site run faster.
“If needed” basis
On an “if needed” basis, we can do the following:
- Website/CSS optimization
- Gzip compression
- Caching setup and/or configuration
- Optimize/reduce number of redirects
Why should you work with Adlevel for your page speed optimization needs? Check out the results we’re typically able to drive for our page speed customers.
Different companies offer different levels of site speed optimization — varying the cost. Not only that, site speed optmization cost could vary based on agency experience, tools used, and so much more.
So why just optimize your site for site speed? To get the best results from your campaign, consider bundling your site speed optimization services with any number of other services we offer!
Where does Adlevel get its credentials? With over 500+ digital marketing specialists in-house, we strive to create the best, most successful campaigns for our clients. We’re reaching our goal every day by driving revenue and leads for clients — in fact, so far, we’ve driven over $3 billion in revenue for our clients, and over 7.8 million qualified leads.
If you’re interested in hearing what those clients have to say about us, check out our over 1000+ client testimonials!