Website Website Speed – The Australian SEO killer
Website Speed affects more than SEO
A recent study completed by Pro Digital Marketing has shown that 80% of small and medium business websites in Australia have website download speed issues. Sometimes the website speed is consistently slow and sometimes the speed is only slow at different times throughout the day. If your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load then you need it fixed right away.
We have unique challenges in Australia since we are quite distanced from most of the world, especially the big technology giants. This distance often causes the slow websites we see in Australia. Our customers have to connect to computers halfway around the world just to reach a website.
The fact is, customers will only wait for a website to load for a maximum of 5 seconds, with most of them gone in only 3 seconds. When customers are searching for your business on Google there are lists of people who offer services similar to you. It’s now simple for a customer to click on your business or another. Therefore you need to keep the customer when they have clicked on your website. This is why speed is so critical. If the website load takes to long, your customers just go back and click the next time.
NOTE: Think of the advantages here as well. If your competitors are ranking higher than you, but they have slow websites, there is a high chance you will be getting the customer traffic with a fast website.
As the business owner, you spend so much time making your business operate well, keeping customers happy and improving your product each day. The worst thing that can happen after you have gone to this extraordinary effort is losing your customers to a slow loading website.
It is worth investing the right money in your website to ensure customers have a great experience and are not moving on to your competitors. Digital Marketing Agencies will give you the right advice to help ensure your website operates at optimal speed and you retain customers.
CONCLUSION – Website speed is vitally important
5 Slow website factors causing SEO issues
1. Shared Website Hosting
Website hosting services will often offer web hosting services that are on shared computers. As you can imagine its much cheaper to run lots of websites on one computer for these hosting services.
As an example, this would be like installing only one application on your phone. Your phone will run extremely fast because it has very little on it. If you added a few more applications you still shouldn’t see much drop in speed. But as you add more and more applications on your phone it gets slower and slower. Load times take longer and the phone is busy opening apps, shutting them down or running them in the background. This is what happens when using shared web hosting.
Most of the shared hosting services run thousands of websites alongside your website. This creates complexities for the computer server when someone requests your website as it needs to figure out which one, out of the thousands of websites, and then download the website to the user. we have witnessed situations where this takes up to 30 seconds. This is purely the time the web host is taking to determine which website was requested.
After the web host has found the website, your customers still need to download your website. If the website is not optimised this can slow the process down even further. At this point, you have lost your customers. We discuss the impacts of slow website loading on our performance page.
2. Poor Web Hosting
Website hosting is available from different providers all around the world. Some are extremely cheap, some very expensive, some are close to Australia and some are not. Do not use cost as your guide for quality. Matthew Woodward has a good video on the evaluation of many website hosting services to determine the best hosting service. In his video, you can see that some of the most expensive website hosting services are nowhere near the fastest. Matthew is from the UK so not everything in this video relates to Australia. The point is, you need to be careful when deciding on a web hosting service. It is important to have low website costs, but you need to pay for a fast user experience to ensure you don’t lose customers in the website loading stage.
Google is the major search engine used in Australia. To have a good Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) ranking, you need Google to view your website as a fast website. Google doesn’t give many of its ranking factor secrets away, but it has been explicit about website speed.
Consider the fact that you need to have a fast website speed when evaluated by Google, which is located in America. You also need to have a fast website in Australia so your customers have a great user experience and stay engaged. It sounds like a catch 22, hosting in Australia will help your customer and hosting in America can help your Google Ranking (NOTE: There are still a lot of other factors than the distance between a customer and the website host that speed up your website).
At Pro Digital Marketing we have solved this problem. We offer a premium hosting service where your server runs in Australia to ensure you are looking after your customers first. We then use our technology to pre-load the website all around the world, so when google finds your website it also sees a very fast website. This makes Google happy and ranks you better.
3. Non-optimised Images
Images are extremely necessary for your business website. It allows people to understand what your business does quickly and scan faster through your website. People associate your website quality with the quality of your business. It instils customer trust that you care about every aspect of your business. Good crisp, vibrant images are often a very strong factor in keeping your customers attention and describing your services.
The issue with nice clear images on a website is they can be too large and slow down the website. Some images are so large that after 30 seconds the images still haven’t loaded. Previously we referred to customers only, waiting a maximum of 5 seconds for a website to load. This could mean a slow website with large unoptimised images still loses potential customers. on the other hand, Smaller images can be pixelated and look very cheap, and that not good for your brand either.
A good web developer will know how to optimise images for a website and ensure the website pages load as efficiently as possible. They utilise many different styles of images and different file types to ensure beautiful clear images appear on your website will retaining good website speed. (This concept also applies to fonts on your website).
4. Missing a CDN
A CDN or content delivery network helps distribute your website on computers all around the world. This essentially pre-loads a website for anyone in the world to get to your website quickly as if it was hosted in that country. This is even more necessary for customers who have worldwide audiences and need to have a similar website speed experience for all users in any country.
Just like the web hosting services we talked about earlier, there are also many different types of CDN’s. Choosing the right one can be rather tricky. Understanding the complexities of a push or pull-type CDN model and how to set it up for your website gets complicated.
If your digital marketing agency doesn’t use a CDN, it might be time to find a better agency.
5. Unused Code
The latest platforms used to build websites are fantastic. They allow a website to be created very quickly and look very beautiful. However, they are often full of lots of code that is very useful for other people but not for your website. Eliminating the unused code is a fantastic way to ensure a customer downloads your website much faster and has no impact on the website service you offer.
For many of our customers, we have obtained a reduction of more than 50% of the original website size. There are only positives to removing unused code.
If you need help with ensuring your website speed or any other SEO related service. Call Pro Digital Marketing today at 1300 997 887.