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The growing importance of website load speed

Have you ever looked at the load speed of your website? It's pretty unlikely that you have! But we bet you've noticed other websites that are painful to use because each page takes too long to appear.

In fact, according to research, almost half of us expect a page to load in two seconds or less and 40 per cent of people will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. If it's your site that they're abandoning, that's bad news for your business.

It's also bad for your SEO performance – that is, how easy it is to find your site on a search engine. As of July 2018, Google now considers your page speed as a factor for how it ranks you against search criteria. In other words, if your site's slow, you'll be lower down the list of suggested sites.

Here are four ways to get your site up to speed…

1. Check your speed

Google lets you test the speed of your site with this tool – just type your web address in the box. You'll find out whether your site's speed is green (fast), amber (average), or red (slow). Then further down the page, you'll get more detail about what might be slowing your site down – but be warned, it's all rather technical.

2. DIY improvements

Some simple steps to improve your web speed include making images the right size before you upload them. Some web systems let you resize images once they're uploaded, but this needs to be done each time the page is displayed, and that slows things down a lot.

You should also check your site for broken links and 'redirects.' There are lots of online tools that will help you do this,  such as Website Grader – which also examines SEO performance and security too.

3. Ask an expert

Most website agencies will be able to help you with the more technical things that will help improve your site speed – but approach with caution. Be clear about how much you're willing to spend – or get them to give you prices for both basic improvements and a more thorough upgrade. You should also ask them how much you should benefit from each approach. There's no point investing thousands for a tiny improvement.

4. Time for a change?

If your site is really not hitting the mark speed-wise, and you've had it for three years or more, it might be time for a change.  There are online tools you can use to create a site, some of which are free – but you need to be very clear about your new site's structure, content and how it will all fit together. You'll also need someone with the time to build it!

For that reason, more than 1,000 accountancy firms trust us to build and maintain their websites. We give each client a wide range of design options to choose from, to build an attractive and easy to use site that matches your branding. We supply and upload useful new content each month to keep the site fresh and updated. From just £99 a month it's the stress-free way to keep up with the blistering pace of change in the online world.