In February, some of you may have noticed a “slow to load” warning below some of the results you were delivered within mobile search result pages. Though the test was short-lived, there has been some web chatter that the warning has made a few appearances in June.
While it's already a known fact that page load speed is a ranking factor, Google's recent experimental actions tell us that it may be weighted more heavily in the near future. If the slow to load warning does become a permanent feature of search results, this could deter visitors from clicking on a result which is flagged with the warning.
With this in mind, we wanted to bring to your attention some ways you may unintentionally be slowing down your website. Consider the following in order to better your website’s page load time:
- Oversized Images: The larger an image, the more data that has to load.Yes, the image should be clear and large enough for users to easily view it, however, many times, people upload an image and do not do any kind of compressing or resizing, which slows things down unnecessarily. Make sure your images are not overly large to help optimize your webpages for speed.
- Flash: Nothing slows down a website like Flash. Flash software is bulky in size and requires many resources to run. On top of that, it doesn’t work on most mobile devices. With the recent shift to mobile, the benefits of utilizing flash will soon be outweighed by the troubles it will cause. Use it at your own risk.
- Messy Code: If you use a content management system with a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, you know how easy it is to create and add pages on a regular basis. But did you know that, depending on how you enter your content, you could be creating problems with page load time? Every dot, dash, space, and enter adds more code to your page. Lots of code makes for big pages that take more time to load. Make sure that when you enter content, you do not include extra spaces, line breaks, or indentations, as all of this will clutter up your code and contribute to slow load times.
- Too Many Website Files: When your phone accumulates too many photos, downloads, or data files, it slows down substantially. A website is no different. Stay on top of your file library and make sure that if a file exists on your website, you are using it for something. If not, remove it and store it somewhere else.