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Boost your rankings and conversions by increasing your page speed.

Learn how to increase your page speed to improve user experience, boost conversion rates and get better organic search rankings.

Increase your page speed to improve user experience, boost conversion rates and get better organic search rankings.

Why is Page Speed Important?

As technology evolves and it becomes easier to enhance your website with frameworks, plugins, scripts, media content and more, it's critical not to overlook this fundamental user experience metric that can have visitors leaving your website before it has even rendered in the browser.

Today, with mobile internet usage exceeding desktop, page speed is an increasingly important factor that affects user experience, conversion rates and search engine rankings across the spectrum of your visitor's devices.

Research from Google shows that 53% of visits are likely to be abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load and the average load time for mobile sites is 19 seconds over a 3G connection.

It stands to reason that Google has considered page speed to be an important ranking factor for desktop searches since 2010 and more recently, has rolled out another speed update that makes page speed a top ranking factor for mobile searches.

Note: PageSpeed Insights is a useful tool from Google that analyzes your web pages on both mobile and desktop devices, and offers suggestions on how to improve performance.

Here, we'll talk about some of the key factors that contribute to the loading speed of your web pages and the steps you can take to speed things up.

Optimize Images

The file size of the assets requested by a webpage (including the file size of the web page itself) all contribute to page speed. High resolution images are one of the largest contributors to slow loading web pages. There are a number of ways to reduce the friction of an image heavy page.

Use the optimal image format for each image type.

For raster based images such as photographs, use the JPG format. Be sure to remove unnecessary image EXIF metadata such as camera and geo information. A small amount of JPG compression can go a long way. Start at 80% and move downwards until you start to see a slight reduction in quality.

For vector based images such as illustrations, icons and logos, use SVG or PNG formats. Remove unnecessary XML markup from SVG images.

Use the optimal image size for each responsive breakpoint.

Implement responsive images and deliver images that are the appropriate size for your visitor's device. This will prevent visitors with small screens having to download needlessly large images.

Minify HTML, CSS and JavaScript

Text files such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript can be ‘minified' to remove unnecessary characters and spaces, resulting in a reduced file size. The following tools are available for free.

Remove Render-Blocking JavaScript

JavaScript is a key component of the modern web and enables us to create dynamic, interactive experiences. However, due to the fact that browsers are designed to download and execute scripts before they can continue parsing the HTML and images on a page, your scripts need some special attention to ensure they don't slow down your website.

Inline JavaScript

If you have some small scripts that are relevant to a particular page, instead of referencing an external JavaScript file, it's better practice to place them inline in your HTML document using the

Asynchronous JavaScript

The async attribute can be added to any script tag that points to an external script file. This tells the browser to continue parsing the HTML document while the script is being downloaded. As soon as the script is downloaded, it will be executed.

About the Author

Jonathan Morton
Jonathan works with Statcounter as a product designer and strategist. An advocate for the user, he is passionate about solving problems for Statcounter members through research, observation and testing.

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