Speed & Performance

In 2010, Google announced that page speed would have an impact on your website rankings, and a more recent algorithm update released in July 2018 was similarly applied to mobile search results.

The reason for this is because studies have shown that if a webpage takes 3 seconds to fully load, the average bounce rate will be 38%. A bounce rate is measured as a user who lands on a webpage and then leaves without browsing to another page. This metric tells Google that the user didn’t have a great experience, as if they had, they would have browsed around the website rather than instantly backtracking and looking for an alternative.

So, what does this mean for business owners? Simply put, if your competitor has a slightly faster load time than you, you’re unlikely to see a difference. If you’re already ranking higher, that’s not going to change because of a few 100ths of a second. If however, you have a nice looking website – you’re doing everything correctly but it’s slow to load, you’re going to suffer when it comes to your rankings and organic growth is going to be difficult.

It’s critical on the path to organic growth that you start with the foundations, and that’s your website speed and performance. You can test your website performance for free by going to GTmetrix and typing in your URL. You’re aiming for an A grade website and a load time of under 3 seconds. Ideally, sub 2 seconds is ideal. Anything over 3 seconds needs optimising.

There are several optimisation techniques to speed websites up and improve their overall performance. From reducing requests to improving server response time. Doing so can bring drastic performance increases which will set the foundations for you to build on.

We can help with performance optimisations, reducing load times and increasing conversions, be it a sale on an e-commerce site or a lead generation form. Get in touch with us to explore how we can help your business.

Below are some examples of the areas we can help in with your speed and performance optimisations. However, we always start with a website audit to gain a better picture of the individual website so no two scenarios are the same.

Choose the Right Hosting Provider

It sounds simple doesn’t it, but before carrying out all other optimisation techniques, if you don’t have a decent hosting plan – you’re not going to have decent loading speeds. The saying you get what you pay for is true, though that doesn’t mean an excellent hosting plan has to cost a fortune.

Server hardware, quality, traffic quantity and the amounts of sites hosted on one shared plan contribute to website loading speeds. Cheap hosting providers normally oversell their space per server. This means another site could get a lot of traffic per month, which takes away from the resources your plan has available.

There are some decent plans out there if you know what you’re looking for. We have partnered with SiteGround to offer all our clients 60% off their RRP. They’re the host we use for our own website as well as all our clients. A faster website means better conversions.

You can find out more about what they offer, here.

Utilise Browser Caching

Browsers cache a lot of information like images, JS files, CSS (stylesheets) so that when a visitor returns to your website, the browser doesn’t need to reload the entire page. That’s why when you’ve visited webpages for the second time, you often find they are quicker to load.

Cached files are normally generated the first time a user visits a webpage, but there are ways to improve on this even further by utilising preload cache.

Utilising browser caching can make a big difference to a page’s load time.

Enable GZIP Compression

Gzip, a software programme for file compression can be used to compress webpages which reduces the size of the page. A smaller webpage means a faster loading one as there’s less data for the browser to render.

Different web servers have different methods for implementation so speak to your hosts, but generally, this can be done either through some code modification to your .htaccess file. Always be sure to take a backup before making code modifications though.

Optimise Images

It’s surprising how many websites we see that don’t optimise their images before uploading. When you take an image on your smartphone, it can easily be 10MB these days. The last thing you want to do is upload that 10MB image to your webpage, except for rare instances when you’re a photographer for example and you’re linking to the original image.

Images should be resized, compressed and uploaded in an optimised format. You don’t want the size of your webpage to be 10MB let alone one image. Always resize so you’re serving scaled images and compress your images as well. Compression on images can see huge reductions in file size without loss of quality. Inefficient use of images on your webpage can make the difference between a blazing fast webpage and a very slow one.

Utilise Minifcation

If you’ve ever seen HTML / PHP code, you’ll probably have noticed the white space between lines of code. This is normal practise when writing the code. You may have also noticed comments, used by developers to reference sections of code.

Removing these spaces, commas and other unnecessary characters from your stylesheets, JavaScript and HTML can have a dramatic effect on your load speed.

Use a Content Delivery Network

As mentioned above, if you’re targeting international traffic, this one is ideal for you. If you’re only targeting national traffic, it’s worth testing this as you can actually increase load time locally by using a CDN as it depends if the CDN server is slower or faster than your own hosting provider.

So, what is a CDN? CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. It works by placing copies of your website on multiple servers worldwide. Users who visit your website then load from the nearest server to them. This can help with your international rankings, assuming all other SEO metrics are on point.

Some of the many areas we cover

Local SEO

Increase your search presence whilst targeting a local audience in a specific area that your business operates in.

International SEO

For businesses looking to increase brand awareness and search visibility on an international level.


For businesses that generate revenue directly through their website, improve product visibility, conversions and sales

On-Page SEO

The practice of optimising individual web pages to improving ranking positions. Covering several areas of SEO.

Technical SEO

Improving user experience, metrics and your conversion rate through structure, design and (A/B) split testing.

Website Audit

Website analysis of all factors affecting search engine visibility. Identifying errors and areas of improvement.

Speed & Performance

Speed has been a ranking signal since 2010. Improving loading speed helps to reduce bounce rate and increase conversions.

Research & Analysis

Gain insights into how your competitors perform organically. Discover untapped phrases by volume search and difficulty.

Penalty Recovery

Algorithm and manual penalty identification, recovery and avoidance strategies to get your rankings back.

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