Website speeds are highly important to a business, impacting its ability to achieve its goals quickly and efficiently. By increasing your website speed, you can increase your outreach and customer base, thus increasing your revenue. Customers are more likely to visit a website with a high page speed and to spend more time on it, too. In this article, we’ll discuss how increasing speed is highly impactful, how to run a highly accurate speed test, what some of the top speed test tools of 2022 are, and some top tips for increasing speeds.
What Is Page Speed?
Page speed is a form of measurement of how fast a given webpage loads. People often confuse page speed with site speed. Page speed can refer to either time to the first byte or page load time. Time to the first byte refers to the amount of time it takes for a browser to receive the first information byte from the webserver. Page load time refers to the amount of time it takes to load all of the content of a given webpage completely. Every page element affects page speed but some of the top affecting elements are user behavior, page type, the website server/host, file sizes, and excessive plugins and widgets.
What Is Site Speed?
Both page speed and site speed affect conversions, UX (user experience), and page views. There is a difference between the two, however, especially regarding SEO. Page speed has become a ranking signal while website speed remains a good practice. Site speed is the speed at which a website loads as users navigate through it, from the time a page loads to the click-through and users converting in your lead or shopping cart form. Site speed includes the pre-rendering, rendering, and guidance of users through the big funnels and paths.
Why Does Speed Matter?
A speed increase of as little as 0.1 seconds can yield a conversion increase of up to 8%. Speed greatly affects user experiences and SEO. A website that takes a long time to load, especially in comparison to other similar businesses’ websites will yield negative user experiences, decreasing conversion and sales as a result. These negative results will increase if a user tells others of their poor experience and even more still if they post or comment about it online. Negative online reviews and testimonies greatly contribute to a business’s success.
You need a quick website speed for customers to have initial exposure to your brand, products, and other services. If your website doesn’t load quickly, viewers will look elsewhere before ever experiencing what your business has to offer and becoming customers. First impressions matter. Up to 79% of people who have a negative experience with a website are less likely to be repeat buyers. Users will wait an average of 6-10 seconds before abandoning a webpage.
Beyond sales, page speed also affects SEO and is a confirmed ranking factor, informing how high a website places on search engine results. Google rewards a faster website with a higher position on search engine results pages (SERPs). Site speed informs user satisfaction and sends poor user experience signals to Google.
Core Web Vitals, another ranking factor, also serve to contribute to page speed becoming a ranking factor. Google bases its user experience evaluation methodology largely on Core Web Vitals. Core Web Vitals evaluate and report page loading, interactivity, and content visual stability based upon real-world or field data. The resultant score affects a website’s ranking.
How Fast Should a Website Be?
The ideal website speed is around 1-3 seconds or around 2 seconds if it’s an e-commerce site. After 3 seconds, a user is likely to leave the website and never return. Companies of all sizes experience the effects of website speed on their revenue. But, website speed can be especially critical to start-ups, small businesses, and new businesses due to the effects of first impressions. 40% of consumers will not wait longer than 3 seconds before abandoning a site. Some case studies report that a single second delay can lead to an 11% loss in page views.
2022 Top Speed Test Tools
Using one of the top speed test tools to help you perform an initial evaluation of your specific page speed and site speed can be very beneficial across many different departments. This includes marketing, web development, and make determining speeds a lot easier and faster. They can better tell whether or not there is room for a speed increase. They can also determine the top aspects affecting your speeds through detailed reporting and analytics. Some of the current top websites and/or tools for testing speed in 2022 include Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom, GTmetrix, Dareboost, Uptrends, Dotcom, and WebPage Test.
Google PageSpeed Insights
Google PageSpeed Insights is free, easy to use, and provides diagnostics reports on slowing aspects as well as suggestions for improvement. It is ideal for website performance testing.
Pingdom gives a quick general overview, a choice of geolocations, and is good for novices. It is ideal for site speed testing.
GTmetrix has a user-friendly interface, a comprehensive free version as well as paid plans with expanded options, and comprehensive suggestions. It is ideal for site speed testing.
Dareboost provides a clear presentation of charts and visual overviews, global geolocation options, and a detailed report of quality and performance. It is ideal for page speed testing.
Uptrends helps increase control by monitoring the performance, uptime, and functionality of websites, servers, and APIs. The analysis report of groups of domains and a breakdown of the cascade provides a wide, diverse perspective.
Dotcom checks load speed in various worldwide browsers, allows functionality and performance analysis of multiple internet services, and helps identify the root cause of performance issues and slowness.
WebPage Test enables web performance tests from various worldwide browsers and performs advanced testing including video capture, content blocking, and multi-step transactions.
How to Properly Run a Speed Test
Knowing how to properly run a speed test is critical to receiving the most accurate data about the current state of your page and site speeds. Check with your web developer or hosting provider whether or not your caching and content delivery network (CDN) is running and configured. Make sure to set these up with any new site before running a speed test. Test location also matters so test from a location close to your data center and one far away. You can do a test without the CDN for more clarity. Be sure to also test multiple times for increased results accuracy, at least two or three times.
Increase Site and Page Load Speed
The three main factors that affect page load speed are inadequate servers, oversized media files, and unoptimized website design. Ways to improve these and increase your site and page load speeds include optimizing your images, improving your web hosting, using Gzip for file compression, optimizing your site design, reducing the number of HTTP requests, streamlining your HTML, minifying CSS, and cleaning up your media library and database.
- Optimize Your Images: High-resolution images can slow your site down. Resize and compress these to reduce file size.
- Improve Your Web Hosting: Change your web host to one with faster, optimized servers. If you have international traffic, consider using a CDN to put your information closer to users.
- Use Gzip for File Compression: Gzip, a form of server-side data compression, will make your data smaller for more efficient delivery to users.
- Reduce the Number of HTTP Requests: Reduce the number of HTTP requests by reducing the number of page files the browser has to make individual HTTP requests for.
- Minify CSS: Minification involves removing all unnecessary spaces, characters, and comments in code, using shorter names for variables and functions, and streamlining the code.
- Clean Up Your Media Library and Database: Delete old, unused images, files, and other info from your media library and database that can clog up your website. Database optimization involves identifying and eliminating these kinds of data.
Fast Website Speeds Make a Difference
Websites with fast site and page speeds perform better and experience more success across various marketing and SEO measurements. To increase your page and site speeds, consider these top suggestions from SEO Design Chicago and experience the difference.
- What are the main factors that affect page speed?
- What are the best speed test tools?
- Does page speed affect SEO?
- What is site speed in SEO?
- What is a good page speed?