When your business is seeing higher bounce rates than you’d like, have you considered that your page load speed may be at fault? Though it’s often been more of a side note to conversion rates in the past, the push for 5G and the increase in high-bandwidth video and similar aspects may be limiting your website’s ability to deliver content quickly and effectively. Limited internet speeds, such as those in rural parts of the country, when using data that has been throttled down due to overuse or on busy networks, are one of the factors that can impact your load time, it’s out of your hands to control. Fortunately, there are many other aspects that can impact your website’s load time that you can control.
MSP Marketing professional Stuart Crawford offers seven amazing tips to help you bring your page load time up to current standards.
Improving Page-Load to 2020 Standards
- Do you have a sufficient hosting package?
Many hosting packages come with a lot of extras, but if the service is slow, it’s just not worth it. When you’re looking at a hosting service, the two primary metrics you should consider are speed and uptime. If your service comes up lacking, it’s time to change it out. Slow service leads to slow load times, which causes visitors to your website to go back to their search results rather than wait, referred to as bounce rate. Increasing your service speed reduces your bounce rate, making it easier to connect with those potential clients.
- Ditch old plugins.
If you’re still using old plugins or have one hanging out that wasn’t deleted, they can cause serious compatibility issues, primarily because of the active references left behind. These compatibility issues slow down your load times as your system and the visitor’s system tries to figure out what to do with these plugins or references. Do an audit of your system to remove any old plugins, remove newly-obsolete ones during updates and keep your existing ones up-to-date to prevent slowdowns.
- Use your user’s cache
Most web browsers include cache settings that allow webpages to load faster, so take advantage of those settings to decrease download time. Instead of having to constantly download the same image on every page of your website, cache storage allows them to download it once, then reinsert that download into all the pages they view. When you’re designing content, set up high-resolution images to load in a separate instance to prevent constant reloading.
- Consider using CSS sprites
Rather than loading several images at the same time, why not make it easier on your hosting server and user’s browser by incorporating CSS sprites into your design? It provides a smoother experience by simply combining those disparate images into one, increasing your page load times dramatically. Combined with a good cache management system as mentioned in the last tip, you’ll quickly see significant improvements in your load time, reducing your bounce rate and improving conversion.
- When you can, compress
It’s tempting to simply pop pictures, video, graphics and even whole webpages up as they are, but that can take up a lot of time when a user is trying to access your webpage. Instead of using fresh-from-the-card data, take the time to compress all the files that you can into smaller sizes, which makes your website much faster in terms of loading times. If it’s part of your hosting package, you may be able to do this on your hosting server as part of the services provided, otherwise use a plugin. The exception to this rule is if your business specifically deals with high-resolution graphics, but you still improve load times by providing links to high-res images.
- Don’t abuse CSS
Your website is your business’ face to the digital world and represents everything you’re trying to achieve in the market. By following these simple tips, you can quickly improve your load time. Though some are a bit more difficult, they’re well worth the time invested in terms of improved conversion. Need help getting started? Contact us today and our experienced professionals will help you develop a winning strategy.