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Often overlooked, page speed is an important element of website performance optimisation and something that all website owners and developers should be prioritising in the upcoming year. If you’ve ever spent time waiting for a webpage to load, you know that a slow website can be annoying for your audience, but it can also have a negative impact on your search engine rankings.
If you’re running a commercial website then optimising your page speed should be one of your biggest priorities, here’s everything you need to know about optimising your page speed and how you can improve your performance.
Page Speed refers to the length of time it takes for the browser to receive the first byte of information from the server or as the time it takes to fully display the content of a certain page. The better optimised your website is and the higher quality it’s hosting is, the faster your website will load.
Your page speed matters for both your audience and for Google, the most obvious is that your audience is much likely to engage with your website if it loads fast, which could lead to a much higher conversion rate. It’s also worth noting that Google can rank your website higher in search results if your page speed is fast, which is also more likely to result in a higher conversion rate.
Since 2010 Google has been incorporating page speed into it’s ranking algorithm, meaning that many SEO experts and website owners alike have been focusing on optimising their websites in order to perform the best and deliver the fastest content possible.
Google decided to prioritise page speed as a ranking factor as in their eyes it means that audiences are enjoying a much better, more positive experience on your website. These days having a faster page speed is rewarded with higher rankings, helping sites appear closer to the top of the page.
While page speed is important for Google it’s not the only factor you should be considering when it comes to your page speed, you should also be taking into account your audience and the impact page speed has on them and their experience of your website.
If your website is selling products or services, then having a quick page spend means that it becomes easier for users to read about what you have to offer, as well as fill in lead forms and make purchases. If your website is too slow this becomes frustrating for visitors who will likely leave without carrying out any action.
Gives that not every website is the same, there are usually a number of factors that can affect page speed, making determining the problem difficult. Here are just a few examples of what could be causing poor page speed;
Large Images - High-resolution images can look good but they are often quite large and require more data, which can be a big reason why your pages are loading slowly.
Slow Hosting Services - It’s very possible that your hosting services are slowing down your page speed if this is the case it’s a good idea to speak to your provider to see if there’s anything to change.
Unnecessary Plugins - If you have any plugins or widgets included in your website, the scripts they run can be a potential concern when it comes down to your site speed.
Unoptimised Code - Your code is what makes up your website, if it’s new, clean and organised it’s likely to perform quicker than older, more outdated code, which can cause slow websites.
It’s a good idea to test your website in order to determine your page speed. By consulting your data, you can figure out what is working well and what is causing you problems. Alternatively, if you’re looking for advice on how to optimise your website and increase page speed, why not speak to an expert, who can offer you the insights needed to optimise your website successfully.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can optimise your page speed and optimise your website, contact us today.