Fast web site loading time and quick browsing speed is the best online experience you can give your visitors.

Consider a very common scenario. Imagine that you visit a top ranking website you found through the search engine results page (SERPs). The snippet of that website promises you the perfect solution to your search query or question. But when the site opens, it takes more than 10-15 seconds to load. Most likely, you will leave this site in frustration and go straight to a competitor site in the search results.

Sixteen percent of the visitors leave a webpage if it takes more than 10 seconds to load. A research shows that only every second visitor waits for more than 15 seconds for the website to load. You will lose half your visitors if your website has a long loading time.

Google’s decision to incorporate site loading time as a ranking factor has affected less than 1% of all the websites. Very few number of search results have been affected so far. But, the announcement has made an impact. Webmasters around the world are working on their website’s to decrease page load time.

4 Tips to Speed up Your Website Loading Time

1. Reduce the number of Images: The loading time of a webpage is directly proportional to the number of images in it. Instead of using full length images, crop them into thumbnails. Wherever possible, use background colors instead of plain images. You will notice a significant improvement in your page load time.

2. Avoid Heavy Flash Components: Flash can convert your website into a visual treat. It can also cause your page to load very slowly. Google has started crawling flash sites, but Flash is best avoided for sites looking to rank well in search engines. If use of flash is inevitable, ask your flash developer to reduce the size of the flash file.

3. Use External CSS and JavaScript Files: Inline coding causes the size of the file to increase by a large number. Create external style sheets and JavaScript files and attach it to the web page. If there are a lot of external style sheets, merge them all into one style sheet. This way the web page will call only one file instead of many, reducing page load time. Avoid creating external files more than 50kb as this too can affect the site loading time.

4. Utilize Web Page Load Tools: Google webmasters tool – Labs – Site performance gives you good insights on your web page performance. There are a lot of free tools available online to evaluate your website speed and load time e.g. Page Speed and YSlow – which are Firefox, add-ons. Use these tools to make the necessary changes to your web pages.

There has been a lot of debate among webmasters over the issue of website load time. You must remember that “website load time” is just one among many factors affecting the rankings. Other important factors include site relevancy, reputation, on page optimization etc.