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If you have chosen to put the loading time of your site aside, it is a serious mistake! Indeed, 40% of users leave a page that does not load after 3 seconds. Moreover, this loading time must be taken into account with the development of traffic on mobile. And search engines also take into account the loading time for organic rankings. This is a necessary aspect when setting up your site.

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How loading works

When you click on a link on a search engine or when you type a URL, the browser will send a request to the server and then the server will send an HTML response taking into account all the dependencies: javascript, css, image...

upload speed

Once the browser receives all the data, it builds the page as we are used to seeing it.

Why improve page loading speed?

The loading speed is an element taken into account by the Google's algorithm. It is therefore necessary to ensure a good loading time to not be penalized. Indeed, losing 500 milliseconds can make you lose 20% of your traffic.

Here are the consequences if you do not take it into account.

A disappointing user experience

The first impression is also important on the Internet. The loading speed is the first criterion that will determine if the user will stay on your page or leave straight away. A slow site does not look professional and it sends a negative signal about the seriousness of your activity and the reliability of your services.  

With the development of 5G and fiber, the level of requirement of Internet users is growing and the tolerance threshold is even lower on mobile. Moreover, Google takes mobile performance into account as a priority in its algorithms. Aren't you happy when you click on a website and it loads instantly. :)

Potential loss of conversions

A poor UX (user experience) leads to lower conversions, therefore a decrease in sales and profit. Indeed, no matter what the reason for this poor experience (here the loading speed), it always results in visitors bouncing (leaving your site) and inevitably fewer people getting to the final transaction page!

SEO impact

Having a slow site discredits your website. Your natural growth will be impacted. Indeed, visitors and other websites will end up not recommending you anymore because of the disastrous experience that your website offers. You will gradually lose traffic and miss out on backlinks that other websites could have naturally given you.  

Moreover, the loading speed is a criterion taken into account by search engines in their ranking.  

In the long term, these elements will weigh heavily in the balance of your SEO.

What tool to test a website’s speed?

To test the speed of your site, Google provides a tool, the Page Speed Insight which can calculate the performance of your pages on mobile as well as on desktop. The tool allows you to run a full page diagnosis and detect opportunities to improve.

Our SEO SmartKeyword app also allows you to detect the necessary improvements to increase page loading speed. Indeed, for an SEO audit we analyse page loading speed. In 80% of cases, we find improvements to be made on this point.

speed-smartkeyword

How to speed up page loading?

Here are some points to optimize your page loading speed:

  • Have Quality hosting that promotes performance: It is important to adapt the hosting to the site traffic.
  • Minimize image weight: do not use images that are too heavy to prevent slowing down your page loading time. In principle, an image should not exceed 200 Kb. You can easily compress your images with plugins like wp smush for wordpress, or Optimzilla.
  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): it is the fastest way to distribute media content, especially images. Thus a site that has users visiting from all over the world can not do without it and this system allows the distribution of the users on different servers during peak periods.
  • Reduce the number of dependencies : each element (images, css, javascript...) is sent independently to the browser. Therefore, limit the number of dependencies in order to simplify the browser's job.
  • Limit the use of javascript : be careful, although the use of javascript has its advantages, it can make your pages heavier.
  • Compress your CSS code : : you can free up many bytes of data and reduce download and analysis times by compressing as many elements as possible, including CSS code.
  • Reduce the number of redirects: 301 redirects add a step which can considerably slow down page loading speed because they redirect to another page which must itself load etc. Be careful with chains of 301 redirects, which should be avoided!

Conclusion

Page loading speed is not an element to neglect in the implementation of your SEO strategy. Whether it is for the user experience or for search engines, loading speed is essential. So by using the tools available, you can identify opportunities to increase your loading speed and therefore improve your SEO.

   Article written by Louis Chevant

Further reading

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