Nothing ruins a great website more than a poor loading experience. In fact, Google has said that visitors who experience a load time of seven seconds are 113% more likely to bounce off a page.
Page speed is so important to the user experience that Google began including it as one of its ranking factors in 2018. Now, even if you’re working hard on SEO strategies, a low page speed could allow another site — maybe even one of your competitors — to get ahead of you on a crucial search engine results page.
For those who want to gain insight on their loading times, Google offers a free PageSpeeds Insights tool which can score your page on a scale of zero to 100. Here’s a quick example of a report that PageSpeed Insights presents after you search “google.com”:
The report looks clean and simple. But if you aren’t the most tech-savvy person, it can be a little hard to comprehend what some of the report’s suggestions actually mean.
Here’s an example of a report that has a long list of jargony comments:
While the jargon above might look intimidating, many of the PageSpeed Insights suggestions could actually be pretty simple to take on — even if you aren’t an web developer.
To help you boost your user experience and address slow loading times, here’s an eight-step guide to achieving a 100% speed score. For each step, we’ll explain why it’s important, give you insight on how to do it, and let you know if a tech expert might need to get involved.
1. Determine if and where you’re lagging.
Many CMSs have built-in tools or plugin options that can help you figure out why your entire website or a particular page has a slow load time. Before you take any action on fixing your website’s load time, you should use one of these tools to gain a baseline understanding of where you currently stand. This will help you narrow down the actual steps you need to take to improve your website’s load time.
Here are five free tools you can try:
Google’s PageSpeed Insights, which we highlighted above, might be one of your best guides — especially if your goal is achieving a high Google page speed score specifically.
Some of the other tools listed are also helpful because they can give you a quick rundown of other details related to your site speed.
For example, KeyCDN will allow you to see how quickly your page loads in different countries. To get a solid understanding of where you currently stand, try using a few different tools and comparing the results.
2. Compress your images.
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