One of the best ways to help your website climb the rankings ladder is to have your web design team design and build a website that loads images and text with speed. Slow download times are a thing of the past and if your site does not appear on screen almost instantly, the effect on rankings as well as customer retention will be detrimental to the success of your online marketing. Internet users want to be able to arrive at a site and interact with it immediately. If this does not happen, they will simple exit your site and look elsewhere.
The use of images through out your Website
A visual website is just not complete without the use of images. If the site is commercially based the effect of images are to grab users attention, make a point or statement or highlight a product or service. Most well designed websites will have a number of images on the site, especially the home page. In fact, most web designers will have images rotating on the home page to really make a statement and to create a dynamic environment for the user. What is important is that these images must load quickly and efficiently, if they are going to succeed at doing their job. It is all well and good to have four or five images rotating, but if they are unable to be viewed within a couple of seconds ( and I would say two to three at the most), then they are actually having a negative effect on your site. People are jus not going to hang around and wait for them to download. Everyone has high speed internet connections and they expect lightning fast downloads to accompany this. People pay a premium price for this service and if your website does not deliver, then users will exit the site in less than five seconds.
A good point to note as well is that images only need to be 72dpi when used online. If they are provided to you as 300dpi, make sure that your web design company reduces the resolution before uploading them to the website.
Website hosting can have an effect on site speed
If you have your site hosted in another country, this may have an effect on website speed. For optimal web site speed it is best to have your site hosted in Australia on local servers. If your site is hosted for example in The United States where hosting is somewhat cheaper than in Australia, you may be saving a few dollars each month, but you need to take into account about the number of potential customers you may be loosing by them exiting your site. All you need is one major client to bounce off your home page and you could loose a huge contract. Your web designer should be able to organise suitable domestic hosting for you and should be able to provide this information to you upfront prior to commencing the design project. A website that is aimed at Australian clients should have all hosting and servers located in Australia. This is a mandatory rule and should never be compromised due to cost.
Animated gifs throughout your website
If you have a website that has been designed with many animated windows throughout the site, especially on the home page, this will have an effect of the speed of the site. A good idea is to try to limit the number of these animated gifs in order to speed up your websites download times. Aesthetically, this may also have the effect of reducing the user’s online experience which would also result in them exiting your site. A good rule of thumb when it comes to site speed is to keep moving images and text to a minimum and if you really need to have animated gifs dotted throughout your site, then spread them out evenly so that they are all not on the home page.
Google looks at site speed as a factor in determining rankings
If you want your site to rank organically in the searched then site speed is a critical factor. Google want to throw up websites that not only offer the most relevant information but also sites that offer the customer a great user experience. If your site is rich in great content and is totally relevant in terms of information relating to the topic, it might not rank as well as it should be if it doesn’t load quickly. You might have spent a fortune on developing the best website copy that the search engines will love, but if your website speed is not performing as well as it could be, then you are not going to get to the very top. Its as simple as that. The combination of great well worded copy with fast, slick graphics will give your website the best opportunity of search engine ranking success. Try timing your website and if it opens within two seconds thats great but if it doesn’t, you really need to speak with your design team.
Full Colour Backgrounds Will Slow Your Site Down
Some websites will have complete coloured backgrounds throughout their sites. Whilst this may be visually strong, it is terrible for site speed. Its great to use some splashes of your corporate colours throughout your website to enforce brand recognition, but having full coloured back drops on your home page will slow your site down and repel clients in their droves. If you really want a full background colour ( and I have seen this in the case of some design/architectural sites), then try this on an internal page, and never the home page.
Hopping Mad Designs has been at the forefront of website design and web development for over sixteen years in our Sydney studio. If you are thinking about having a new web site for your business of company, why not pop in for a chat or simply call us on 02 9360 8514.