877.799.9994   330.666.5164

The Need for Site Speed

Faster pages are known to have higher traffic and better search rankings.

Since Google is tightening its SEO standards on website download time and page speed (factoring your site’s download time into search rankings), it’s time to take action, if you haven’t already. There are countless operations that can be performed to improve page speed, but, knowing where to begin can be overwhelming.


My site seems to load fine, so why is this necessary?

  • To maintain visitors.
    Statistics show that, if your site does not load quickly, visitors will leave in just a matter of seconds. Fast page load times are a major factor when it comes to user experience, usability, and the overall functionality of your website.
  • To perpetuate sales.
    On e-commerce sites, visitors who become frustrated with slow page load times are not likely to return, which oftentimes leads them to competitor sites. Fast load times lead to more customer interaction and better sales.
  • To improve rankings.
    Faster pages are known to have higher traffic and better search rankings. Significant improvements in site speed will lead to better performance.  

What can I do to make my site faster?

Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do right away to measure your site’s performance, so you can begin working toward the optimal site speed requirements. And, although site speed maintenance is an ongoing process, you might be surprised how drastically your site can improve by taking just a few initial steps.


How do I measure my site speed?

To measure your site speed and to pinpoint the areas that need improvements, start by using testing tools which run an evaluation of your site. These tests will give you a good benchmark of where you are and where you need to be when it comes to page load times. Just plug the URL of the page that you would like to test into any of the following testing sites:


What will the site speed test results show me?

Once the test is complete, a detailed analysis of your site will be provided specifying the areas that need improvement.


What are some of the most common factors that can slow down my site? And, how can I fix these issues?

  1. Optimize Your Images
    Most often, images are one of the biggest culprits. Relevant, attractive visuals are recommended, but keep in mind that each image will increase load time.

    Suggestions:
    • Choose your images wisely. Don’t include unnecessary images, design elements or animations
    • Use image compression to optimize your images which will result in a much smaller file size.
    • Save JPGs as progressive. The image will appear to load faster for a better user experience and better rankings.
    • Use SVG (vector) format when applicable, such as logos or symbols. The image size will be optimal and will have a crisp appearance.
    • Use scaled images, or, properly sized images instead of uploading oversized images and resizing using HTML.
    • Save images with a resolution of 72 dpi. Saving images at a higher resolution will not make them appear any clearer on a monitor. It will only increase your file size with no additional benefit.
  2. Decrease the Time to First Byte (TTFB)
    The TTFB is an indication of the responsiveness of a web server, or, the measurement of how long the browser must “wait” before receiving the first byte of data from the server. The lower the TTFB, the better the performance.

    Suggestion:

    Enable browser caching, a temporary storing and reusing of resources so common elements do not have to reload each time a page is visited.
  3. Clean up your code.

    Suggestion:

    Remove unnecessary plugins, styles and scripts and clean up any redundancies so the fewest number of elements is used for the browser to render your page.
  4. Speed up your file transfers.  

    Suggestion:

    Enable Gzip compression, which delivers a compressed/smaller-sized version of files to the web browser, reducing transfer times and page load speed.

Moving forward, is there anything else I should know?

Yes. Keep in mind that site speed maintenance is an ongoing process. Updates to your website could cause a change in your page load time, and, search engine standards could, and most-likely will, change over time.

Suggestions:

  • Test your site often and compare those findings with the latest search engine requirements.
  • Always search for the latest data requirements because standards can change frequently.
  • Search for the most up-to-date articles written by trusted sources. Keep in mind that an article that is a year or two old is archaic when it comes to search engine guidelines.  

For assistance in achieving optimal page load speed, contact Pilot Fish or call 877-799-9994 ext. 2102.