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Lawyer SEO – The Need For Site Speed And How To Improve Yours
Did you know that for every second it takes for your site page to load you receive a 7% loss in conversions, according to an Aberdeen Group Report? If your law firms site speed is extremely slow, you could be looking at a significant loss of revenue. What is the ideal load time that will keep visitors on your page? Believe it or not – two seconds or less!! Yes, people online are that impatient. They have gotten used to immediate access, and if you can’t give them the instant satisfaction, they will click away. But despite this known fact, company website load speeds have increased this year by as much as 22% bringing the wait time to 7.72 seconds. That’s an eternity online. Ensuring fast page load speed is an essential part of your Law Firms SEO efforts.
The Need for Speed
Before we look at the ways to increase your site speed, you need first to analyze your current load time. There are a variety of sites that can test each page for you so you can see what is causing the blockages. They include Google Page Speed Insights, Yahoo!, Yslow, Pingdom, and WebPageTest to name a few. Hopefully, your site will be well below 7 seconds. Anything higher and you are hemorrhaging potential profits.
You also want to investigate a little further than the results page on Google analytics and head to the Distribution’s tab that gives you ‘DOM Timings.’ These report on the length of time it takes before visitors can use your site. It offers a more accurate picture because it is based on data from the user’s browsers, not your own.
9 Ways to Reduce Slow Speeds
If your site loads too slowly you can implement the following actions to speed it up:
- Simplify your design. You don’t need that many elements on your site page. For every piece-part, an HTTP request has to be made which means a longer wait while the page renders. Less is more. Lose the extraneous additions and focus on your core offering.
- Reduce the bandwidth on your page with compression. You can just “zip” your bulky pages which significantly reduces the HTTP response. This can be achieved using a tool like Gzip that compresses files before they are sent for download. This can reduce your download page speed by 70%.
- Enable Browser Caching for repeat visitors to your site. When users first arrive at your site, they have to download everything on your page to use it. But if you enable browser caching, all of your page’s various components get stored in the user cache on their hard drives so when they next visit your site they don’t have to download all of those elements again. This vastly reduces the load speed on subsequent visits to your site. Note: Always try to set your cache lifetime for a minimum of a week, but maximum 12 months.
- Minify Your Code & Resources. Eliminate all unnecessary pieces of messy code like line breaks, indentations, extra spaces, etc. WYSIWYG resources may help you to build a website quickly, but what they offer in quick set up they take away in load speed. Optimizing your HTML code can be achieved by using PageSpeed Insights Chrome Extension.
- Optimize your images for size, format and src attribute. Images are vital to a website’s success, but if they are too large, they are going to slow down your load speed dramatically and cost you revenue. Your images must be cropped correctly and resized to fit your page width. You can also speed things up if you reduce the image color depth to the lowest level (without compromising the visual). Also, remove image comments. Wherever possible use a JPEG format and never use BMPs or TIFFs. If you decide to use GIFs, they should be less than 10X10 pixels. Last but not least always avoid empty image src codes by including an src attribute with a valid URL. There are plugins like EWWW Image Optimizer that automatically optimizes your images on WordPress in the process of uploading them.
- Use an External Style Sheet. You can optimize your CSS delivery (style requirements for your page) by using an external style sheet as it decreases the number of HTTP requests.
- Top of Page Faster Load Time. You want to grab visitor’s attention quickly with a fast loading above the fold offering. Focus on having all of the above the fold info load first, and the rest of the page can take a little longer to download.
- Don’t go crazy with loads of Plugins. You don’t want your site crashing because you have loaded too many plugins. They can cause technical problems and security challenges. Less is more.
- Make sure your web host is nimble. If you are using a low budget web host, you must be prepared to experience extremely slow load speeds. Don’t cut corners on cost in this area as you will pay the price when it comes to your revenue growth.
Faster Load Speed = Higher SEO For Lawyers
Cut away the fat and get yourself a lean, fast loading site. It will give visitors higher satisfaction from experience with your site, and you will benefit from higher conversions. Don’t forget that when it comes to mobile users –they expect the load speed to be even faster than on their desktops. Don’t forget that your Lawyer SEO initiatives need to factor in the websites load speed because if it’s too slow, the Google algorithm’s crawlers can’t get through many of your pages and you’ll find yourself relegated to the bottom of the page –or worst still –page 2 or 3! Search engines love a fast site speed and will reward you with a higher ranking on SERP’s.
If site speed optimization seems to be too complicated a journey for your law firm – we can help you. We can assist you with avoiding high bounce rates due to slow page load speeds and keep your visitor on your page for longer. Request more information to learn more about our SEO Services For Lawyers.