SEO and Website Speed - Epic Arrow

SEO and Website Speed

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Website Speed Effects on Conversion

We now live in an age of instant gratification where you can have any information you want in a matter of seconds.  And, if we don’t get it literally in seconds we are going to go to the next source for it.  That is why it is becoming more and more important to have a fast website.  

To illustrate, lets look at a simple graph of

walmart-2Image Source

On top of this data, another study found the following:

  • 47% of users expect a website to load in 2 seconds
  • 40% will hit the back button if a site does not load in 3 seconds
  • 52% of people will not visit a website again if it takes more than 3 seconds to load

I want you to think about all of those websites that you see in your Facebook newsfeed.  You know, the ones that you click on and get hit with 100 ads and it takes forever to load.  Are you ever going to visit that site again?  Probably not.  I think I’ve made my point….

How to Speed Up Your Website

1. Pick a Reliable Hosting Company

This is one thing that I see a ton of people not doing.  You think that you are saving a little bit of money but in the end you tank your conversion rates.  Spend the extra money and get a host that is not complete garbage. did a great writeup on the best hosting companies for WordPress sites.  You can find the article here.  I’ve tried a few on this list and honestly I love and only use SiteGround.

2. Use Tools to Diagnose Bottlenecks

There are couple tools that I use on a consistent basis to diagnose speed issues on my websites. The first is Google Page Speed Insights. Google has openly stated that website speeds affect rankings. Their rationale is that websites that load faster give a better user experience. They believe in this so much, that they released their own tool to help you diagnose speed issues on your website.  It’s extremely easy to use and anything that Google tells you to do, you should definitely do.

The second tool that I use is Pingdom Tools.  This is another very easy tool to use that gives you a waterfall approach to finding out what elements of your webpage are slowing down your speeds. All you have to do is enter your URL, pick a server, and hit go.

3. Optimize Your Images

Another huge problem that I see on a lot of websites is un-optimized images.  Images account for most of the total file size of a webpage. I see people uploading very high quality photos with huge file sizes that really slowdown the page load times. Fortunately there are a few ways that you can reduce your pages file size by optimizing your images.

First and foremost, you need to upload the correct size images to your website. If you’re maximum width of your website is 1000 pixels, then you should not have any images that are more than 1000 pixels wide.  The same goes for featured images on a WordPress blog roll.

Secondly you should be compressing (reducing file size) your images either before uploading them to your site or using a WordPress plug-in to do this for you. There are two tools that I use to do this.  If I am compressing them before I’m uploading them, I use  If I am using Word press I use the WP Smush It plugin.

4. Use a Cache Plugin

Another major thing that you can do to improve the speed of your website is using a cache plugin.  I almost always use the W3 Total Cache Plugin.  Not only does this cache my website for faster load times, but it also minifies the javascript and css on the site.  It also helps when using a content delivery network such as Cloud Flare, which transitions us to our next tip. 

5. Use a Content Delivery Network

What a content delivery network does, is it caches (or saves) your website on a bunch of different servers and then delivers your website from the closest server to the end-user.  So let’s say your content delivery network has a server in California, Then if anyone from the state of California log onto your website in that server will deliver the content.  By having the server closer to the end user, it helps in speeding up your site.

So, I hope that you can see the importance of speeding up your website. And, with all of our tips this is not a difficult thing to implement. Just pick a good hosting company right off the bat and you are do you want half the battle. Then, just implement if you have the tips that we’ve talked about and you should be golden.  If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, leave them in the comments section below

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