First thing first… why is website speed so important?
Well… if your website doesn’t load in record time, most people will just X out and head to another site that gives them instant gratification - that’s the world we live in, my friends! We’re impatient. It’s part of being in social media and Internet land.
So every time your website takes a bit to load, you're losing business. It's brutal, but true.
That’s why we compiled a list of some general suggestions for you that will apply to pretty much all website platforms and are quick and easy things anyone can do while editing and optimizing your site. For more specific suggestions based on your particular platform, I highly recommend contacting your website provider or checking out their support articles on that topic!
Alright, let's check out the tips!
1. Fix broken links and regularly audit your website
Did you know broken links can actually drain your website’s bandwidth? (Not to mention broken links will cause potential clients to leave your site!) So for multiple reasons, it’s always a great idea to run through your website and make sure you don’t have any broken links, or links where the URL is no longer active.
2. Minimize your use of plug-ins, HTML, and other apps
This can also drain your website’s bandwidth, especially if you’re not even using the plugin anymore! Be sure that all of the added features on your website are ones that are useful for your business. Otherwise, it’s time to delete unused and unnecessary plugins, HTML, and platform apps.
3. Decrease use of animations, parallax, slideshows, videos, etc.
Along similar lines, the more you can minimize features of your website that can take extra bandwidth or energy to load, the better. This includes things like animations (things that move around as you scroll), parallax images (images that move down the length of the photo as you scroll), page transitions, slideshows, and so much more.
Note that this does not mean you shouldn’t have any animation, especially depending on your branding! Just be aware of all of the animations in use and see if it messes with your load time. This is something you can test after optimizing the rest of your site.
P.S. If you do have large or long videos on your site, it’s best to connect that to something like Youtube and Vimeo and integrate that into your website vs. uploading it directly to your website.
4. Make your photos’ file size smaller
This is honestly arguably one of the most important things on this list because large photos will most definitely slow down your website significantly. Note here that we’re not talking about the physical size of the photo (i.e. if you have a large banner image vs a small bio photo). In this instance, we’re talking about the actual file size of the image. This is especially the case if you worked with a professional photographer because they will generally send over large images.
So, before uploading photos to your site, be sure to compress them. If you’ve already loaded the photo, you can just replace it with a compressed version. And don’t worry, you can do this without sacrificing the quality of the image as well.
You can use any free compressor to do this - the one I use is compressor.io.
Bonus Points if you rename the file to something more SEO-friendly instead of random numbers or letters! For more tips on SEO for pet businesses, head on over here.
5. Optimize and make use of your mobile version
If your website does not have a mobile version, I highly recommend switching platforms to one that does have a mobile version like Wix, Showit, WordPress, etc. And not only that, but taking the time to go in and optimize the mobile version can help significantly with your site load speed time.
One way to easily do this is to comb through your mobile version and if certain features don’t fit or work on the mobile version, you can remove them. Your mobile version is supposed to be a simplified version of your website anyway to feel seamless on a smaller screen.
6. Clean up your header
Your site will load from the top to bottom of the page, which means the cleaner and simpler you have your header, the better! Not to mention, when considering user experience, we don’t want to create decision fatigue or confusion. So, stick to the most important menu items, your logo, your CTA button, and perhaps any social icons or contact icons to keep it simple and to the point!
7. Make sure your AMP is on
What the heck is AMP? It stands for accelerated mobile pages and essentially is a way for Google to help display the best search results on mobile phones.
The methods on how to do this will depend on your website platform, so a quick way to do this is just to Google your website platform and AMP and help articles will be there to save the day!
Since we love and use the Wix platform for most of our pet service businesses (like dog walkers, pet sitters, dog trainers, etc.), I wanted to share specifically how to add AMP to the Wix Blog.
Here’s the tutorial on how to do it (super easy peasy).
Well, there ya have it! These suggestions listed above are made to be doable for you to help increase your site load speed time as this is crucial for making sure people stay on your site and want to learn more about what you do. I highly recommend digging more into specific things you can do on your specific website platform as well because all of them vary slightly in that regard.
P.S. When it comes to optimizing your pet business website and making sure your dream clients are reaching out and booking with you… heck, even while you’re away from your desk, you’re going to want to get in on this FREE training we created for pet service businesses.
There can be SO much to do when it comes to creating a website that truly works FOR you in business, so click below to join the free training and learn more about how you can really optimize your website’s potential and save yourself MUCH needed time!