Kissmetrics conducted a study that suggested that 47% of visitors expect a website to load in under 2 seconds, and 40% of visitors will leave the website if it’s still loading after 3 seconds. Walmart found that by reducing their website load time by one second, they had a 2% increase in traffic.
Below is a graph of the results a study by Tagman, a tracking system provider. They collaborated with a company and tracked the conversion rates of the company’s website.
This shows just how important it is from a web development point of view, to make those loading times as short as possible. There are several techniques that can be used to reduce those loading times;
- Use website performance testing sites such as GTMETRIX or LOAD IMPACT
- Optimize your image and video file sizes. Images and videos use a lot of bandwidth and therefore increase loading times of web pages. You can reduce the file sizes of images without losing any quality by using sites such as https://tinypng.com
- Don’t use too many plugins. Choose plugins carefully and try not to use them at all.
- Minimize HTTP requests. Yahoo claim that 80% of a web page’s load time is spent downloading different elements of the page, like stylesheets, images and scripts.
- Minifying Code. Removing unnecessary formatting or code, this reduces the size of your files as well as reduce the number of requests your site makes every time you use it. Particularly if one uses a template website builder, they often come with way too much code which can slow down your website.
- Reduce server response time. If your Domain Name System (DNS) lookup takes a substantial amount of time, it can have a massive effect on loading times of your site. A DNS lookup is like your computer is looking up a number in a phone book, except it’s looking for an IP address when the user types in a URL. DNS’ can range in speed, if you’re using one that’s slow you can switch to one that locates your site quicker.
- Choose the right hosting. There are three different hosting options, Shared hosting, VPS hosting and dedicated server. They range in speeds but it all depends on how big your site is and how much traffic its getting. Shared hosting is the cheaper option but as the name suggests you would be sharing resources such as CPU, disk space and ram with other sites. VPS hosting give you’re an individual dedicated space but you still share certain things. And finally dedicated hosting gives you full freedom as you don’t share any resources, however this option is expensive.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation is another key subject within the website development field. You can have a quick loading, attractive thought through website but If no one finds it then it won’t reach its potential in terms of traffic. Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO is the process of getting traffic from search results on search engines. Search engines use complex algorithms that are designed to provide the user with websites with content in that would appeal to the user based on what they’ve searched for.
There is huge potential in this area, for instance, in 2017, google accounted for over 79% of all global desktop search traffic (NetMarketShare). And 61% of marketers say improving SEO is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot). This shows just how important SEO is.
There are lots of things that one can do to increase traffic using SEO, these options are called “Ranking Factors”:
- Complete and SEO audit on your site – This is a health check for a website. It observes the technical aspects of your site, both the on page elements and the back end elements to optimise search engine visibility. It helps to determine how websites are performing in terms of traffic. You can also gain insight into your competition.
- SEO Optimised landing pages – SEO landing pages are the web pages that users are landing on through search engine. Most times they are the home pages but its whatever page contains the most features that make it appealing to search engine algorithms. A good landing page contains all the keywords connected to the topic of your website.
- Mobile Friendly – Algorithms will be less inclined to find your website if it’s not mobile responsive. “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries”.
- Write at least 1890 words - Backlinko analysed 1 million searches and found the average first-page search result was 1890 words.
- Use competitors SEO Keywords – Find keywords that your competitors are using and use those for your website, that way users will see your company next to theirs and you are therefore increasing your chances of traffic.
- Update old content – You can bump your old content up the search engine rankings by updating old content.
The algorithms used by Google are constantly subject to tweaks and improvements, so keeping up to date with the various techniques is a good idea, to keep your site as far up the ranking order as possible.