It is widely accepted that fast-loading pages improve the user experience. Very soon Google will start to consider the page load time metric as an important factor that will influence your search engine rankings. A page load time and the ease with which the Googlebot can crawl a page may affect how many pages are indexed. The logic is that the faster the Googlebot can crawl, the greater number of pages that can be indexed.
Benefits of having a fast loading site:
• the overall visitor experience is improved
• Google looks at load time as part of its calculation of the page quality score
• mobile users on limited bandwidth connections can get to your site faster
• extra time to load pages will result in dropped traffic
Factors that cause a page to load slowly are:
• using graphics
• slow client / server hardware
• heavy network traffic
• lots of animations
• complicated preloading scripts
• textual content that is more than one screen large
• poorly designed banner ads
• content that is directly linked to other slow loading sites
• server processing overhead
• HTML errors and broken links
Here are some ways to improve load time that could involve simplifying the structures and/or navigation of the site:
• Reduce the number of images on your page(s). Cutting expendable graphics can greatly speed page load time.
• After you’ve pared down your images to the essentials, it’s time to reduce the size of the remaining images. Adding width and height tags to images can make a huge difference when the web browser loads the page. If the browser knows the width and height, it can go right on past the image and let it load in the background while it renders the rest of the page.
• Let the content load first by placing your CSS links in your header. So, you allow the browser to get to work styling the content as it parses the page. This means that your users see properly-formatted content as they load the page.
• Host files locally. Local files almost always load faster than external files.
• Use a content delivery network (CDN). CDNs allow you to use servers from around the world, depending on where the user is from. Content delivery networks would recognize where the user comes from and would serve the page from a server within that country, or close nearby. This results in much faster page load times.
Having fewer images, external scripts and widgets to load mean that your pages will load faster. A few small changes can make a major difference to page load times for the user.