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How to Speed Up Your Website and Get More Traffic

Get More TrafficWhen building a website for your business, slow load times can be a killer. Research shows that when a page takes too long to load customers are more likely to bounce. This can lead to lower traffic, lower conversions, and, ultimately, lower revenue. Luckily, small businesses don't need to settle for slow-loading web pages. If you want to learn how to speed up your business's website and get more traffic, then keep reading. These tips will help you get your site running smoothly.

Why Website Speed is Important

Most businesses would agree that a good page load time is essential to creating a great user experience. But what they may not know is that a slow-loading homepage can also affect their website's search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is essential to any strategy to get more traffic.

SEO and Website Speed

Part of what drives your page's ranking on search engines is your page's authority. For instance, Google's algorithm prefers pages that have a lot of sites linking back to them, as these pages are seen as more trustworthy. But if your page has a slow load time, it will be harder to earn high-quality links from other sites. Additionally, algorithms also tend to prefer websites where users spend more time. Users are less likely to spend more time on a page that takes too long to load.

Don't Drive Traffic to Competitors

When it comes to the internet, there are hundreds of options available to users, no matter what they're interested in. So if your website takes too long to load, the user will have plenty of alternatives they can turn to instead of waiting for your page. Don't lose traffic to your competitors because your site is slow.

Determining Your Load Time

To fix your site's load speed, you first need to find out what your baseline is. How quickly is your site loading now, and how does that relate to the industry standard?

What's a Good Load Time?

The ideal load time for your website will vary depending on what kind of content you have on your page. For instance, if your page has a lot of images, video, or interactive content, it will take longer to load than a page with just text. But as a general rule, businesses should aim for their webpage to have a load time of 6 seconds or less. 3 seconds would be considered an excellent load time, while 5-6 seconds would be a good load time.

What's Your Current Load Time?

Many businesses assume they can tell what their website's load time is simply by loading the webpage on their personal computer. The problem with this strategy is that it will deliver subjective results. Depending on the particular specifications of your computer, the website might load differently. Luckily, there are free tools available to help you evaluate your website. Tools like GTmetrix will not only report your loading time but will also give you specific information about what features could be causing slow load times.

Ways to Speed Up Your Site

Once you've figured out what your website speed is, you can start taking steps to improve the load time. There are a few key strategies that can boost your speed quickly so you can get more traffic.

Choose a New Host

The host you use for your website is typically one of the biggest factors in determining your page's load time. Not to mention, a good host is also important for ensuring your website's security and uptime. When you choose a host, you can also choose between dedicated and shared hosting. Many websites have shared hosting, which means that you will share your bandwidth with other websites. While this can be a good option if you have a relatively low traffic site, high traffic sites will need a dedicated server.

Optimize Images

Media content like large images can have a huge impact on your website's load time. Bigger images will slow down your site, so it is best to optimize image size if you want to speed up load times. To find out what size an image should be, open up your website, right click on the image, and choose "inspect." This will open a window displaying what size the image is displaying at on the site. To optimize, make sure the image you upload is the same time.

Minimize HTTP Requests

Much of the time your page spends loading is used to make HTTP requests for items on your page. These items include stylesheets, scripts, and flash. The more requests your page needs to make, the longer it will take to load. The more simplified your web design, the more quickly your page will be able to load. By removing additional components from your page, you will be able to speed up your page. You can speed up your pages even more by compressing them. Compressing large web pages into a zip file will reduce the HTTP response time, leading to faster loading.

Enable Browser Caching

When you visit a website, your browser "caches" or saves certain elements on the page. This will make it easier for the browser to open the page the next time, leading to faster load times for repeat users.

Prioritize Above the Fold Content

While certain elements can make your page load more slowly, there are times where you will still need to include these elements on the page. In these cases, it's best to keep this content "below the fold." What this means is putting slow-loading content further down on the page. This way, when the fast-loading content at the top of the page loads, visitors will be able to engage with that right away.

Get More Traffic Today

With these tips in hand, you will soon be able to speed up your website and get more traffic. With the right targeting strategy, this increased traffic will help your website achieve higher conversion rates and become more profitable. If you would like more help designing and optimizing your business's website, contact us. Our expert designers will work with your team to build the unique solutions your company needs.

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