Website Optimization

How To Increase Page Speed and Drive Conversions for Your Diesel Business

“The faster your site goes the more money you make,” SEMA 2019 [please link this and all other articles about SEMA 2019 eduction to our SEMA 2019 education roundup article] instructor Ray “Catfish” Comstock told a digital marketing class earlier this month.

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When it comes to SEO, “page speed is the tide that raises all boats,” Comstock added. Lightening-quick page speed not only spurs Google to favor your site over slower ones in searches, but also reduces bounce rate, increases length of stay on your site, and drives conversions.

So how’s page speed working for your diesel business. Can your prospect amble over to the coffeemaker to pour another cup while they wait for it to load? Will they wait? If you understand how to assess and improve this essential part of your digital presence, you will be able to generate more leads, make more sales, and boost your diesel business’s profitability.

 

How To Assess Page Speed

Just because your diesel business’s web site loads quickly for you doesn’t mean it loads quickly for prospects. Because of cookies and similar technologies, your site may load more quickly for you because you likely visit it often. There are some tools that help you become a “secret shopper” who can see your site’s page speed objectively, Comstock said.

Google’s PageSpeed Insights helps you see how your site’s page speed compares to others that people search for via the Chrome browser. Simply plug your diesel business’s url into the tool to get a reading. WebPageTest also assesses page speed, but from multiple browsers that you can pre-select.

 

How To Increase Page Speed

Another great tool for quickly assessing page speed and performance is a free tool from HubSpot called Website Grader. Simply paste in your diesel business’s URL to assess your web site’s performance, optimization for mobile, SEO, and security. The tool gives you an easy-to-read “grade” and you can click thru easily for tips on improving any areas that are yellow or red. If you’re Website Grader finds a problem with page speed, for example, you can click through to get some tips on remedying the problem.

You want to start with problem areas that, once you fix them, will get you the biggest results for your trouble. Some simple ways to increase page speed include:

 

Optimize Images: You may have images around that you’ve used for print advertising or other print formats. The digital files for images that go into print are very big because they must have lots of detail to look good in print formats. Images that go into digital formats, such as your web site, can be much smaller. The images can have much less granularity than image files destined for print and still look good in digital formats.

Sometimes, web teams load images intended for print directly onto web sites, and that can slow down page speed to a crawl. To optimize images for digital formats, make sure that you’ve compressed files previously used for print using tools like tinyPNG, compressor.io, Optimizilla, and GiftOfSpeed. Many content management systems have image compression built right into them, but folks loading content into the CMS don’t always know to use them.

 

Minify Code: Sometimes there are unnecessary commas, spaces, or characters in the site’s code that are gunking it up and slowing it down. Google recommends several “minifying” tools.

Reduce redirects. You can learn more about that here.

For more page speed ideas, go here, here, and here.

Tip: If you’re a business owner who doesn’t have time to become an expert on this stuff, don’t worry. You just need to know enough to ask the right questions to keep your digital marketing agency or staff on their toes. Once they know you’re paying attention, are savvy enough to ask the right questions, and that you demand accountability, you will begin to see improvement.

 

How To Boost Your Chances That Users Will Wait for Pages To Load

If your site includes pages or tools that take awhile to load, or if your site must take some time to process transaction, think about the user experience (UX). An icon that ensures users that the site is working decreases chances they will abandon your site in the middle of an interaction, Comstock observes. “What Google [search ranking] is primarily interested in is ‘what is the user experience throughout that entire journey,” he explained. “That users can wait with confidence that what they are waiting for is on the way.” Google doesn’t want to see blank silence for awhile and then and suddenly everything loads. Google wants your site to show users it’s working to load.