Stores with physical locations are now able to optimise in-store visits as part of their smart bidding campaigns. Previously, only online conversions could be optimised in smart bidding campaigns, so this development should drive some major improvements for businesses that want to optimise foot traffic and not just their online business. The types of companies that will typically find great use from this addition from Google are restaurants, retail stores, auto dealerships and hotels.

Research shared by Google shows that a massive 53% of mobile users will leave a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. The problem is that people do not want to wait for pages to load, when they can find an alternative, much faster website that will fulfil their needs instead. Three seconds might not sound like a lot of time, but you can see by the bounce rates that three seconds makes a huge different, as website users get frustrated with slowness.

Further research indicated that website conversion rates drop on average 4.42% with every extra second of load time, so if your website is not loading in those first crucial seconds then it will be killing your conversion rates. You should be aiming to make sure that your page loading speed is between 0 – 2 seconds maximum.

How to check the page speed

Put your stopwatch away, measuring your page loading speed is simple with free online tools that you can use to accurately measure your page speed. Tools like Pingdom and GTmetrix are both free page speed measuring services that will provide you with the page speed simply by inserting the page URL into their tool. You can also use PageSpeed Insights from Google.

Fixing your slow loading pages

Once you have checked how fast your pages are loading, the next step is to identify any issues that are slowing them down. Some of this information may be provided in the page speed analysis you collate but the main issues to look for are:

1. Images with large sizes

When you upload images onto your site, you need to pay attention to the file size, as a large file size can be slowing your page down. There are a few different ways to reduce file size, such as using software like Photoshop or tools like ResizeImage.net. Alternatively, choosing to save files as a .jpg file rather than .png will produce a smaller file size. You can also get plugins for WordPress that will automatically compress your images for you.

2. Server speed/hosting provider

The company that you host your website with can also impact how fast your pages load, so choosing a hosting company that is able to provide fast server response times is key to a fast website. Opting for free hosting options and some of the cheaper sites will usually leave you with slower loading pages than if you were with a host that provided better performance. If you are on a shared server, you will generally get slower speeds than if you have a dedicated server for your website.

3. Host videos on external platforms

Video marketing is a very effective way to get more traffic onto your site but if you are uploading videos directly onto your website then this takes up a lot of space. This is why it is recommended that you upload your videos onto sites like YouTube and Vimeo then you just embed the video onto your website.

These are just three of the simpler ways to get your website to load pages faster and therefore improve your conversion rate. However, there are plenty more technical and complex solutions including enabling browser caching, performing a compression audit or deferring JavaScript loading. If you would like any help or advice with improving your website speed, just let us know.