What happens when you land on a slow loading website? Most people click away faster than you can blink!
Who likes a slow loading website? No one that I know!
Yet, many blogs continue to do nothing about it their slow website speed but are fast to complain about low traffic.
The bad news is you’ll experience low traffic on a slow website.
The good news is that you can fix it.
Website speed matters in today’s fast-moving world. In 2018 and beyond, if you want a chance to succeed with your blog, pay attention to your site speed and fix those slow pages.
How Website Speed Affects Traffic and SEO
If you have a blog that is too slow to load, people won’t stick around.
According to Google, if your blog page load time goes to about 7 seconds, the probability of a visitor abandoning the page increases 113%.
What does that mean for you?
High bounce rate, meaning people abandon your blog before they even have a chance to read it. This results in lower traffic to your blog.
That’s not all!
Site speed is a Google ranking factor. If you ever want to rank in Google, a slow website speed won’t help you get there.
According to John Mueller of Google,
“We’re seeing an extremely high response-time for requests made to your site (at times, over 2 seconds to fetch a single URL). This has resulted in us severely limiting the number of URLs we’ll crawl from your site.”
If Google limits the number of URLs crawled from your site, you won’t get much organic traffic at all. Google may not even index some of your pages.
Here’s a fact about website speed that you should pay attention to:
That percent is way too high to ignore. The ideal page load time is 3 seconds. If yours is anything above that, time to fix it!
Test your Mobile Site with ThinkwithGoogle
As Google moves to a mobile-first index, website speed is becoming an even more important factor.
Gary Illyes from Google explained that Google will be including mobile page speed into the mobile first indexing.
This means that if your mobile website is too slow, it will be down-ranked in Google’s search index.
You can check your mobile website speed on the ThinkWithGoogle site.
You’ll get some great information about your site, including the speed and the percentage of visitors you can expect to lose due to loading time.
Here’s my mobile speed test which came out good:
Here’s another random site that I selected. Not good!
Fortunately, you’ll get a report on the site that outlines what you need to do to make your website speed faster.
What Affects Website Speed?
There are several factors that determine your blog’s speed. This is the time it takes for a page to load in a browser.
I have to admit, when I happen upon a site that lacks speed, I am out of there pretty fast. Who has time for that?
Here are some reasons why your website speed is slow.
1. Your Web Hosting Provider for your Blog has Slow Servers
Sometime you can have a webhost that sucks! No matter what you do, your website will continue to be slower than a snail.
I went through it with a few of my websites that were so slow I couldn’t deal with it anymore. Nothing I tried worked and the slow speed originated with hosting provider. That’s why I switched to SiteGround. My site speed increased immediately! Plus they transferred my blog for me at no charge!
What to do to speed up your site: Always choose a webhost that uses the best innovative technology and has lots of web server resources. If the webhost servers are slow, then your website will be slow too!
2. Images you Upload to your Blog can Increase Load Time
Before you upload an image, be sure to compress it. If you upload a huge image and then make it smaller in WordPress, it’s still taking up space!
What to do to optimize images: Modify the size of the image before you upload it and optimize it so the actual file size is as small as possible. Use the WPSmush.it plugin to optimize images.
3. Plugins Can Cause Your WordPress Blog to Slow Down
If you have a ton of plugins activated on your site, they can really bog down your site speed. Only use trusted plugins and never install too many.
What to do if plugins are slowing down your site: Be sure to deactivate and delete WordPress plugins that you are not using. Check to see that you have just plugin for a specific purpose and not two.
4. You Don’t have a Cache Plugin
Cache plugins have a one job: to help decrease the time it takes to load a website.
Here are some options for cache plugins that work well:
- WP Fastest Cache
- Cache Enabler
- WP Super Cache
- WP Smush.it
Another big plus with moving my sites to SiteGround is their SuperCacher website optimization tool.
What to do to speed up your site: Install at least one cache plugin.
Google always has one goal for their users: a great user experience. A fast site is a good user experience but a slow site is a bad user experience.
Not only does a slow website perform poorly in Google search, you’ll lose traffic because people don’t want to wait for your site to load.
Many people ignore site speed but it’s clear that speed cannot be ignored anymore. It’s become a major factor for blogging success.