Learn

Page Speed Optimization: A Step-by-Step Guide to Website Performance

Insights / 03.21.2020

Ron Hadler / Sr. Director, Marketing Technology

In the brave new world of coronavirus, social distancing, and indefinitely working from home, our ability to quickly and easily access digital information is more important than ever. In turn, the speed at which your website loads is a crucial pillar of a performant site.  And while your branding, user experience, and personalized content all aid in keeping your conversations on target, your page speed load times may be limiting how far you can push those conversion rates.  Enter the Page Speed Optimization Program.

Facts First

It’s common knowledge that slow websites profoundly impact your website’s effectiveness.  Survey data provides metrics that illustrate just how negative the impact can be:

User Expectations

  • 79% of online shoppers won’t return if they’ve had trouble with site load speed.

  • 47% of people expect your site to load in less than 2 seconds.

  • 40% will abandon your site entirely if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load

Mobile

  • Mobile devices will comprise 63% of global internet use by the end of 2019

  • 85% of internet users expect a mobile site to load as fast or faster than on desktop.

  • Over 50% of eCommerce revenue originates on a mobile device

Page Speed Optimization Program

Optimizing for Page Speed is not a one-and-done activity. It should be part of a program.  If it’s been a while since you tested your website (maybe, right after that last website redesign project?), now is the time to get a Page Speed Optimization program in place.  Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the process:

Step One:  Build a list of the “top-ten” templates on your website based on your web analytics reports.

Step Two: Test those templates (multiple pages can use the same template) to get a benchmark speed. This testing will also provide areas for optimization for each page tested. Address the trouble areas with your digital agency or IT team.

Step Three: Set up automated testing and reporting for your top-ten templates. Align that testing with your website maintenance cadence. 

Step Four: Provide reporting on the results of the testing and set alerts based on a range of acceptable page speeds. These alerts will allow you to manage your program by exception.

You should have established Page Speed objectives for these data points: Time to First Byte, First Meaningful Paint, Time to Interactive, Fully-loaded, Page Weight.  All of these data points play a crucial part in how users experience the loading of your site.

Other considerations

Are you confident your analytics are implemented and tracking accurately? We can help here too. 99% of the brands we have encountered have an incorrect implementation.

Tools

Page Speed tools can provide some immediate results and long-term solutions for your Page Speed Optimization program.  Here are our top-five tools for testing Page Speed:

  1. Pingdom

  2. Google PageSpeed Insights

  3. Google Mobile Website Speed Testing Tool

  4. WebPageTest

  5. GTMetrix

Page Speed Optimization is something that needs to be measured, monitored, and maintained on the same cadence as your other website updates. This optimization is an essential part of your site’s maintenance program. Don’t wait for a traffic decline to start reporting and addressing site speed.

Not sure where to start? Our Marketing Technology team is here to help. Contact us today!

Insights,Website Maintenance

Subscribe to Our Blog

Be the first to get our expert tips, industry insights, Red Door happenings, and more.

Comments

Comments
Comments
Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.