SEO

A need for speed: The best tools for optimising your website’s load time

Jim Stewart /

This year should be the year you cast aside the obsession with rankings in pursuit of revenue.

There are several metrics you can use to improve revenue, but one of the most important is speed. It’s usually underestimated, but it affects almost every aspect of your site. It can impact your organic traffic, the conversion rate, your email responses, the amount of traffic you receive, and many other things.

There are several tools at your disposal when evaluating speed, such as Google Search Console crawl stats, webpagetest.org, GTMetrics.com, and others, but the one I’m using right now is web.dev from Google. It’s based on lighthouse technology, which is part of the Chrome browser, and it can locate specifics that many of the others can’t. 

I used this tool to have a look at a couple of sites, and when it checked out the first one it gave us 14 out of 100 for performance. Turns out that the site took 35 seconds for the page to become interactive. That’s 35 seconds before a customer could click a button, add to cart, do anything generally. That tells me the site has problems such as JavaScript evaluation time or troubles with different experiences in various devices. If the majority share of your sales are via desktop but most of your viewers are on mobile, you know you’ve got a problem with your mobile users’ experience.

The bottom line is, are you annoying your customers?

If your site’s too slow, they’re not going to stick around to spend their money. That’s why speed doesn’t just mean how fast a page will load, but how quickly your customers can actually use your site and hand over their hard-earned cash.

This article originally published on stewartmedia.com.au.

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Jim Stewart

Jim Stewart is a leading expert in search engine optimisation. His business StewArt Media has worked with clients including Mars, M2 and the City of Melbourne.

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