Keeping websites lean to increase page load speed, reduce bounce rates

What does it mean to keep a website “lean”?  Where Search Optimization is concerned, load speed is a factor that can critically impact a website’s ranking in Google.  So how do you increase a website’s loading speed and keep users from bouncing (leaving immediately) your website?


For load speed:

  • Use a minimum amount of external files. The more files your website has to connect to externally, the more time it takes to load you site.
  • Keep javascript under control. Don’t use that much javascript.  If you do, keep it minimal and position the javascript below the top half of the page.  Most people recommend putting the javascript into the footer of the page and the actual code somewhere near the middle of the site.
  • Use a CDN or Content Delivery Network that specializes in fast delivery of data across the internet.
  • Make sure your images are not big or bulky in size.
  • Make sure there are no broken links on your site. Even if your files are not external…make sure they work so your website does not take a long time connecting to them and loading them up.

These are some of the big ways to increase your site speed but of course, there are other factors too and more ways to speed up your site.  Small things that are easily overlooked can impact your site speed by just a millisecond.  There are lots of sites that will give you tips on how to speed up your website.  It can be so mind-boggling because it will become so technical.  In simple terms: build your website in the simplest way.  Keep it simple.  Don’t use too much.  You can check out HubSpot’s guide to faster loading speed as well as MOZ’s speed up guide.

To reduce your bounce rate, it’s actually very simple: provide great content to your users and make sure your website is designed and structured well.

People leave a website for a few reasons: your content is boring or is nothing special, or your website is not loading up or is not functioning well.  Basically, your website should offer a great user experience, both content wise and how our website functions.

Here are some tips:

  • For content creation, figure out what topic you want to create. Do research on it, and create an article on it that is refreshing and original compared to other existing articles out there.
  • Provide additional value to any content you offer users on your website.
  • Make sure your website is designed well. Users should have no trouble navigating through your website.  Your website should also load fast (see tips on site loading speed).
  • Don’t use too many ads. Value is important.  Ads are ok if they are relevant but too many ads are annoying.
  • Make sure everything on your website works. This includes links, buttons, and forms.

Things not working the way they should or content that looks unoriginal are two of the biggest reasons why users will bounce off your site.  Check out SearchEngineWatch’s article on reducing bounce rates as well as Neil Patel’s tips.

Whenever I see bounce rate, the first things I look at is quality of content.  Is the article lacking substance?  Can it be enhanced?  If the bounce rate is high throughout the site, it could be a problem with the site itself.  If the bounce rate is high on only a few posts, the quality of the post could be the problem.