How To Optimize Page Speed For More Traffic

How To Optimize Page Speed For More Traffic

Currently, page speed is a critical factor in digital marketing. It has a significant impact on:

  • How long visitors stay on your site.
  • How many of them become paying customers?
  • How much you pay according to the CPC in the paid search.
  • Where you rank in the organic search.

Unfortunately, most sites work badly when it comes to page speed and this has a direct negative impact on your income.

There is an almost infinite number of things we can spend our days doing digital marketing with, and there is never enough time to do them all. As a result, some things go to the background.

One of the things that seem most bleeding is to optimize the speed of the page. This is easy to understand because most people do not really understand the importance of these details, often overlooked, and do not see the value of investing time and money to improve them in a few seconds or less.

What may seem like an irrelevant amount of time for some marketers, including those that focus only on search engine optimization, has been proven to be monumental because of the data of the industry giants to our own analytical data.

I guess you’re like me and you want to maximize your results and, of course, your income, right? So, let’s start making your site faster than greased boogers!

#1. Lower The Budget For Web Hosting

Today, we all try to save money, after all, these subscriptions for Raven, SEMrush, Moz and all the other tools we use everyday increase rapidly. It’s almost like having an extra child.

One of the ways that many people try to save is to choose the type of cheap shared hosting that compiles as many sites as they fit on a server, such as a group of clowns curled up in a single car. Performance is doomed!

Certainly, your website will be available most of the time as it would be with most web servers, but it will load so slowly that your visitors will be frustrated without becoming buyers.

“But it’s almost imperceptible!”, These bargain shoppers insist.

Here’s the thing: it may be barely noticeable to you because it’s your baby and you love it.

But everyone wants to get in and out of your website as quickly as possible.

People want to be on their site long enough to do what they came to do, whether to get an answer, buy a product or other specific purpose. If you slow them down a bit, they are likely to hate your experience and leave without conversion.

Think like this:

Most people love their own children unconditionally. But someone else’s son screaming, throwing things, disturbing the night in a restaurant? They hate that boy. It is the same with your website.

How much difference does it really make?

According to an Amazon study, a difference of only 100 ms, a unit of time that a human being doesn’t even notice, was enough to reduce their sales by 1%. Walmart found similar results.

If that small unit of time has such a direct impact on sales, what kind of impact do you think will have a second or more?

But it doesn’t stop there, because the speed (or slowness) in loading your site also affects your organic search ranking and pay per click costs.

In other words, if the site loads slowly, you should expect your competitors who have invested in this critical area to eat your lunch.

Conclusion: ignore the budget for web hosting. If they sell it as a commodity (based primarily on price), they will also treat their customers as a commodity.

There are many web servers optimized for speed, mainly for WordPress sites, and some of them are priced similar to budget options.

Then, ask, do some tests and invest in a web hosting provider that provides the performance to satisfy your visitors and Google.

#2. Reduce HTTP Calls

Each file necessary for a web page to be processed and functioning, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, images, and sources, requires a separate HTTP request. The more requests made, the slower the page will load.

Here begins the problem:

Most themes load one or more CSS files and several JavaScript files. Some, such as Jquery or FontAwesome, are usually loaded remotely from another server, which dramatically increases the time it takes for a page to load.

This becomes even more problematic when you consider the additional CSS and JavaScript files added by the plugin It is easy to end with half a dozen or more HTTP requests only from CSS and JavaScript files.

When you consider all the images on a page, each of which requires a separate HTTP request, it gets out of control quickly.

  • Merge JavaScript files into a single file.
  • Merge CSS files into a single file.
  • Reduce or eliminate plugins that load your own JavaScript and/or CSS files. In some cases, such as Gravity Forms, you have the option of deactivating the load.
  • Use sprites for frequently used images.
  • Use a font such as FontAwesome or Ionic Icons instead of image files whenever possible, since only one file will need to be loaded.

#3. Include the Trailing Slash

The omission of the final bar in the links that point to your website, either from external sources (link efforts) or from your own website, has an adverse impact on speed.

That’s how:

When you visit a URL without the trailing slash, the webserver searches for a file with that name. If you cannot find a file with that name, it will be treated as a directory and will search for the default file in that directory.

In other words, by omitting the final slash, you are forcing the server to perform an unnecessary 301 redirect. Although it may seem instantaneous, it takes a little more time and, as we have already established, everything adds up.

https://example.com (this is bad)

vs

https://example.com/ (this is good)

#4. Enable Compression

Enabling GZIP compression can significantly reduce the time required to download HTML, CSS and JavaScript files, as they are downloaded as much smaller compressed files, which are decompressed when the browser is accessed.

Don’t worry, your visitors won’t have to do anything extra, because all modern browsers support GZIP and automatically process it for all HTTP requests.

#5. Enable Browser Cache

With browser caching enabled, the elements of a web page are stored in the visitor’s browser. Therefore, the next time they visit the site or when they visit another page, the browser can load the page without having to send another HTTP request to the server for any of the items cached.

After loading the first page and its items are stored in the user’s cache, only new items should be downloaded on the following pages. This can dramatically reduce the number of files that should be downloaded during a typical browsing session.

#6. Minimize Resources

Minimizing your CSS and JavaScript files eliminates unnecessary blanks and comments to reduce file size and, as a result, the time required to download them.

Fortunately, this does not have to be a manual process, since there are several tools available online to convert a file into a smaller and smaller version of itself.

There are also several plugins available for WordPress that will replace the links in the header of your website with regular CSS and JavaScript files with a reduced version, without modifying the original files, including popular cache plugins, such as:

It may take a little effort to make the correct configuration since minification can often break CSS and JavaScript; Then, after minimizing everything, test your site thoroughly.

#7. Prioritize the content

Your website may seem that the visitor loads faster if it is coded to prioritize the content of the top half of the page; In other words, the content that is visible before the visitor scrolls.

This means making sure that any element that appears above the fold is also close to the beginning of the HTML code so that the browser can download and represent it first.

It is also essential to include CSS and JavaScript necessary to represent this area online, not in an external CSS file.

#8. Optimize Multimedia Files

Since mobile devices with high-quality cameras are common and modern content management systems, such as WordPress, facilitate image loading, many people simply take a photo and upload it without realizing that the image is often at least four times bigger than the previous one.

This makes the site considerably slower, especially for mobile users.

The optimization of multimedia files on your website has the potential to dramatically improve the speed of the page, and this is relatively easy, making it a good investment of your time.

Optimizing Images

  • Opt for the ideal format. JPG is perfect for photographic images, while GIF or PNG is better for images with large areas of solid colors. The 8-bit PNG files are for images without an alpha channel (transparent background) and the 24-bit files are for images with an alpha channel.
  • Verify that the images are the correct size. If an image of 800 pixels wide is displayed on your site, there is no benefit when using an image of 1600 pixels wide.
  • Compress the image file. In addition to being the leading image editing program, Adobe Photoshop has impressive image compression capabilities and starts at $ 9.99 / month. You can also use free WordPress plugins, such as WWW Image Optimizer, Imsanity, and TinyJPG, which automatically compress uploaded images.

Optimizing video

  • Choose the ideal format. MP4 is better in most cases because it produces the smallest file size.
  • Serve the ideal size (dimensions) based on the size of the visitor’s screen.
  • Delete the audio track if the video is used in the background as a design element.
  • Compress the video file. I use Adobe Premiere most of the time, but Camtasia is also a solid option.
  • Shorten the duration of the video.
  • Consider uploading videos to YouTube or Vimeo instead of posting them locally and use the iframe embed code.

You shouldn’t stop there, because it only scratches the surface.

To really optimize the media on your site, you should display the images of appropriate size according to the screen size, instead of simply resizing.

There are two ways to deal with this, depending on the implementation of an image.

  • The images in the HTML of your website can be displayed using the src set, which allows the browser to select, download and display the appropriate image based on the screen size of the device used by a visitor.
  • Images placed through CSS, usually as background images, can be displayed using media queries to select the appropriate image based on the screen size of the device a visitor is using.

#9. Use cache and CDN

Caching allows the webserver to store a static copy of its web pages so that they can be delivered more quickly to a visitor’s browser, while a CDN allows these copies to be distributed to servers worldwide so that a visitor’s browser can download them from the server closest to their location. This dramatically improves the speed of the page.

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