How to Speed Up Your Website and Reduce the Bounce Rate

Carl Taylor | January 30, 2023

A high bounce rate on your website can make you miss out on many opportunities. Find out how you can reduce it and maximise the visibility of your website.

If your website has a high bounce rate, that’s a problem that you have to address.

See, the bounce rate refers to the number of users visiting just one page of your site before leaving immediately. Sometimes, they only stay for a couple of seconds before pressing the “back button” or closing the tab.

Every time a visitor leaves your website without exploring it and reading your content, it affects your website’s ability to generate leads and ultimately convert them into paying customers.

But that’s not all. A high bounce rate can also affect your SEO results.

Google takes note of how long visitors stay on pages. And if they see that your website visitors leave your site immediately, it’s enough to convince them that your website has problems.

As such, Google won’t make you rank higher on the search engine results page (SERP). It’ll then affect your website’s visibility and make you lose more lead-generation opportunities.

Unfortunately, these are only some of the problems caused by a high bounce rate. And there are many reasons why this happens.

But one of the most common reasons is the slow loading time.

Online users are impatient. A slow-loading website will make users leave and go on to the next site on their search results page.

You need to fix that.

Keep reading to learn more about bounce rates and how slow-loading pages influence them. You’ll also get tips on how to speed up your website’s loading time so you can improve your lead generation and conversion abilities.

Why Does Slow Loading Lead to a Higher Bounce Rate?

The reality is that there are many reasons for a high bounce rate on a website. For starters, it could be an issue with the content. Or the layout of the website is just not visually appealing to visitors.

But one of the most ignored reasons is a slow-loading page. And when you have a website that takes a long time to load, there are two things that can happen:

First, it makes visitors lose interest.

Studies reveal that users demand a faster loading page. If your website can’t meet that, you stand to lose around 1% of revenue potential for every 100 milliseconds of delay in your site’s loading time.

In fact, conducted a study that revealed faster-loading pages are 16.5% better at converting visitors.

They also found out that the longer it takes for a web page to load, the higher the bounce rate. In fact, a page that takes two seconds to completely load loses as much as 9.6% of visitors. And if the loading time reaches seven seconds, that site loses 32.3% of its visitors.

Second, it discourages visitors from exploring other pages on the site.

Research shows that users visit an average of five more pages if the site loads within seconds compared to when it takes eight seconds.

What does this all mean?

It proves that you lose plenty of opportunities to earn by simply having a slow-loading page. And this isn’t just for desktop sites. It’s also true for mobile sites.

Deloitte published a study that proves how mobile site speed can affect the bottom line of a brand. They reported that with just a 0.1-second improvement in the site speed, retail sites experienced an increase of 8.4% in conversions and 9.4% in order value.

These are only a few of the improvements that happened because of an improved page loading speed.

The Google Core Web Vitals

Apart from making you lose potential customers, a slow-loading page compromises the visibility of your website in SERPs.

This has something to do with the Google Core Web Vitals. It’s an initiative by the search engine giant to ensure users are directed to high-quality sites when they do searches online.

Google’s Core Web Vitals monitors three important metrics that define the quality of a user’s experience:

  • The LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) measures the loading performance of websites, which should happen within 2.5 seconds since the page started loading.
  • The FIC (First Input Delay), measures the time it takes for visitors to first interact with a page. The ideal time for this is 100 milliseconds or less.
  • The CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift) measures the stability of the website’s layout. The site’s layout should stop moving and stabilise in 0.1 seconds or less since loading.

If your website fails at all three of these, that’s an indication of a slow-loading time. Google then gets alerted that users don’t get a high-quality experience from your site. This will make them rank your site lower in SERPs.

What does this all mean?

It means if you don’t do something about your slow-loading pages, your bounce rate will increase. It can compromise your ability to compete in your market.

In effect, your business will suffer.

So, you need to find a way to speed up your website to improve your bounce rate.

10 Ways to Fix a Slow-Loading Website

Improving the loading time of your website is a must. This will encourage them to stay longer and check things out.

When visitors stay on your site, you get the opportunity to have them engage with it. And the more they do that, the higher the chances that they’ll do business with you.

With that in mind, here are 10 different ways you can do to fix your slow-loading web pages:

Way #1. Check the website infrastructure

When you’re fixing the loading time of your website, it’s best to start with the infrastructure. And sometimes, the issue is the web host itself.

Make sure to find a fast web host that can provide you with a high-performance server.

Not only that but you also need a dedicated server. No matter how clean or optimised your site is, using shared servers can compromise the loading time.

Way #2. Take advantage of a CDN

Another way to speed up your site is by looking at the Content Delivery Network or CDN. This refers to a group of servers that are geographically distributed to help deliver content from your server.

With a CDN, you can shorten the distance by which your content has to travel to get to the user, effectively shortening the loading time.

Make sure to check if the CDN has GZip. You can use it to compress your files so the data can travel in a more streamlined and efficient manner.

Way #3. Lower HTTPS requests

When a user visits a web page, their browser will ping the server to request the files where the page’s content is stored. Once the server responds to this request, the browser is then able to load the content to the page that the user wants to see.

The thing is, the browser is only able to make separate HTTP requests for every file.

What’s more, each request takes time. This means the more files there are, the more requests will be made, and the longer the page loading time.

Decrease the requests by reducing the files on every page. That’ll help shorten the page loading time.

Way #4. Streamline the web code

This method is a bit technical, so you might need the help of a web developer to make it happen.

Web codes refer to HTML, Javascript, CSS, etc. And you want the codes you’re using for your website to be streamlined because it can help accelerate the speed of your website.

When your codes are bloated, that means there are more than 5,000 lines of code on the page – and this is before any content is even added. This can increase the volume of information transferred to your end users.

You want to minimise these codes. To do that, remove unnecessary characters, spaces, etc. Use shorter codes if possible.

Way #5. Compress large image files

Optimise the images and videos that you have on your site. Otherwise, they can really slow down your website.

It’s totally fine if you want a lot of images to make your site look visually appealing. But you have to compress the large image files to ensure they won’t interfere with the loading time of your website.

Don’t use images that are more than 1MB each. Decrease the file size but make sure they’re still high-quality images. Use plug-ins to help with this.

Way #6. Cache web pages

Consider caching your web pages to reduce the page loading time. This means a copy of your site’s files will be temporarily stored somewhere to minimise the resources needed by the server to load a page on the browser.

You can do this on a server level so the web host can handle it. Or, you can use a plug-in to cache web pages.

Way #7. Allow browser caching

Browser caching means you’re allowing the user’s browser to store images, content, and even JavaScript files. This means every time the user visits your website, they won’t have to reload everything from the server. This can effectively lower the loading time of your web pages.

You can use plugins to set this up.

Way #8. Clean up files

The older your website is, the more clutter it accumulates over time. That clutter can compromise the loading time of your web pages.

You need to clean your files through database optimisation. This involves cleaning up your database and media library so you can get rid of images and content that you no longer need.

Do this regularly so you don’t accumulate clutter. It can help your web host efficiently act on HTTPS requests, making load times faster.

Way #9. Remove unnecessary plugins

You can get a faster loading page if you remove plugins that you no longer need.

And if you’ve updated your site, make sure that all the plugins you use are still working well. But if not, you might want to remove them.

Besides, any outdated plugins might become a security threat.

Way #10. Regularly check your page’s loading time

Schedule a routine check-up to ensure that your website is always loading as fast as possible. There are online tools that can help you check the loading time. Some of them are even free to use, like Google PageSpeed Insights and WebPageTest.

Make sure you do this regularly. This way, if your page loads slower than the last time you checked, you can act on it immediately.

Optimise Web Pages to Improve the Bounce Rate

While there are things you can do by yourself to fix the loading time of your website, there are some optimisations that can be technical in nature.

It’s not an easy fix like changing or improving your content. But it’s worth it if you can improve the bounce rate of your site. After all, a lower bounce rate can help you maximise lead generation and conversions on your website, which will lead to a higher earning potential.

If you need help with the technical side of things, get in touch with our Concierge Service. Our Automation Agency Heroes can help you optimise your website to improve the page loading time and lower the bounce rate.

About the author 

Carl Taylor

Carl Taylor is the Founder & CEO of Automation Agency. For the past 10 years Carl has been building businesses and marketing them online through the use of Sales Funnels, Email Marketing Automation, Landing Pages, and Wordpress Websites. Carl is also a #1 author and highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted thousands of businesses across various industries worldwide.

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