Site speed (website speed) has become more and more important: in 2010 Google announced that website speed (site speed) has become part of the SEO algorithm (source: Official Google Webmaster Central). Website speed officially became a factor that effects SEO rankings. In addition, several studies have shown that website speed affects both conversion rate and turnover.
Site speed studies
There have been many studies conducted by major websites, in which they measured the effect of site speed. It turned out, that besides the fact that site speed has become a part of SEO rankings in Google, it also has a positive effect on customer experience when using a website as well as conversion rate.
Some studies about site speed:
- Amazon.com: reducing the website speed of Amazon.com with only 100 milliseconds caused a significant decline in revenue.
- Google: a 400 milliseconds decrease in the website speed of Google resulted in a 0.59% drop in search sessions.
- Yahoo: a 400 milliseconds slow down in the search engine Yahoo caused a 7 to 9% decrease in traffic.
- Bing: Bing search engine also saw a negative effect caused by delay: a 2 second slow down caused a 4.3% drop in revenue/user.
Many case studies and researches can be found online about the positive effects of optimizing the website speed. Optimizing the loading time is therefore of great importance. Not only because it has become an SEO factor, but also because it has become a Quality Score factor of Google AdWords. And furthermore, a quick website will increase customer satisfaction and will contribute to a better shopping experience. Users nowadays expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
Site speed optimizations
Website speed can be optimized in several ways. There is no standard solution: Magento needs a different approach to increase site speed compared to other platforms and customized webshops/websites. Several things can contribute to optimizing the website speed such as reducing the number of files loaded per page or reducing the overall size of a page. Some common optimization solutions:
- website compression (compression with Gzip)
- merging files (merge .js/.css files)
- using CSS sprites to reduce the number of images
- caching pages
- analyzing and solving bottlenecks (non existent paths (404) and any redirects (internal) within pages (301 or 302))
- reducing/removing unnecessary items from the site
- server modifications and for example deploying a CDN (content delivery network)
- switching from HTTP/1.1 to HTTP/2