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Website speed optimisation: How does it work?

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July 14, 2023

Website speed optimisation is a subsection of SEO strategies that businesses like online casinos implement to improve the user experience when people visit their websites. Online casinos need strategies like these since their business operations are exclusively online, unlike traditional brick-and-mortar casinos.

Optimising your site’s loading speed improves your website performance, increases user retention rates, and converts clicks into valued customers. Use this helpful guide from QWERTYLABS to learn all about website speed optimisation and how to optimize website speed to develop your strategy and build a better site for your users. 

What is website speed optimisation?

The ultimate goal of website optimisation techniques is to satisfy your visitors so they are incentivised to stay on your website longer and repeat their visits. Optimising your site’s performance includes lowering loading time and ensuring content loads fast as possible. 

Studies have shown that websites with a 1-second loading time have a much higher conversion rate than websites with much lower page speeds, almost triple the amount. The reason for this is having a faster website reduces the waiting time your visitors might face, therefore giving them a better experience. This works in tandem with website navigation optimisation, which is having an intuitive user interface since your website layout and high-quality web design are the main elements you need to adjust to achieve higher speeds. 

It’s important to increase website speed when you’re developing a page specifically for mobile devices. Mobile responsiveness plays a huge role in creating a successful website due to how accessible it is to many people. Given the constraints mobile devices have compared to desktops, aside from having a much smaller screen, having a website optimised for loading speeds makes for a much smoother experience.

How website speed and SEO go hand-in-hand

From an SEO perspective, ensuring your website has high page speeds is vital to improving your ranking on Google’s search engine results pages. Google’s algorithm has confirmed that webpage speed impacts your website’s rank and overall success. 

Here is the basic gist: when a user visits your website, it should take only a few seconds for your content to load. Any longer than a few seconds might result in the user just giving up and looking for another page in search of what your website could have given them. This increases bounce rates, which is bad for your website’s performance since it tells Google that your website isn’t relevant enough for users to visit and stay for long.

A good website digital marketing strategy is to set KPIs for the goals you want to achieve when properly developing your website. If you want a set of criteria that can accurately tell you the areas you can improve on, you can use Google’s Core Web Vital report, found on the Google Search Console. 

Here are the three metrics you should keep in mind:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This measures how long it takes for your content to load. The best amount of time should be at around 2.5 seconds or less.
  • First Input Delay (FID): This measures how long it takes before a user can interact with your page. It’s expected for this to be at about 100 milliseconds or less.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This refers to how often a user experiences shifts in your layout. This is when elements of your webpage move around due to loading. Your score for this should lie at around 0.1 or less.
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Why website speed is important for online casinos

The online gambling industry has grown huge and competition is as tight as ever. If you want your online casino to stand out above the rest, you need to have a sound website loading speed strategy to ensure each user has the best user experience. Here are the key reasons you should keep in mind when considering optimising your website loading time:

  1. User experience and engagement

Having faster loading times can help generate more organic traffic for your casino website. Since users won’t be wasting time waiting for your website to load all of its content, you could potentially turn a casual visitor into a loyal patron, which is great for your conversion rates. If your page has appropriate waiting times, visitors are more inclined to explore your site and see what services you have to offer.

  1. Search engine rankings

One successful SEO tip for a higher casino ranking is to have an optimised website speed. Google search results are ranked according to many factors, and one revolves around your page's relevance to users. If your visitors are unsatisfied with your site’s performance, they may choose to click off without getting the chance to explore your page. This causes your site to get a low ranking, thus negatively affecting your visibility. 

  1. Bounce rates and player retention

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors to your site that click off after viewing only one page. Having a high bounce rate implies that they were not satisfied with the usability of your site. Speed-optimised websites tend to have lower bounce rates and encourage player retention and loyalty.

What affects the website speed of a casino?

There are a few technical aspects you should know about when optimising your website’s speed, as they are the leading factors that contribute to your website’s loading times. These are:

  1. Hosting infrastructure

Your website’s performance hinges on the quality of your web hosting infrastructure, which is the organisation of your hosted services. Optimising your hosting infrastructure can help loading speeds, especially with resource-intensive websites like online casinos.

  1. Website design

Graphics can enhance the experience of your users as they can emphasise certain aspects of your website. Having a large page with complex website designs can negatively impact your loading speed, as it may become too labour-intensive for your page to load up. This is why your web design matters. It’s better to use effective web designs or learn from website design trends to improve your site speed.

  1. Images and media

Unoptimised images and media can also cause your website to slow down. If your files are too big and not optimised for your web page, it may cause certain elements of your site to load slowly, making it look incomplete and unprofessional. 

  1. Code and scripts

The way your website is coded and scripted can also affect loading times. If your code is too complex and bloated with excessive resources that it needs to run, it may cause your website to slow down.

  1. Network and server response

Your network and server providers are the foundation of your website. If the network provider of your website does not have the proper resources on their servers, such as providing quality DNS resolution, it can slow down your website.

  1. Third-party resources

External resources can also cause some delays in your website’s loading time. These third-party networks may refer to ads or other services that operate under a different domain.

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How to test website speed

Testing for your website’s speed is important for general upkeep and further improvement of its performance. If something goes wrong, you have to perform troubleshooting procedures to fix any issues that may arise. You can use QA Web automation tools to test your website speed and keep track of user behaviour.

Website speed optimisation tools

With the help of online tools, you can gain valuable insights into your website’s analytics. Knowing what these tools can do help you create measures that ensure your website’s success. Here are some of the tools you should use:

Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PagaSpeed Insights (PSI) is an invaluable tool if you want to optimise your website speed. This provides you with reports on user experience for both your desktop and mobile websites and gives suggestions on improving your page.

GTMetrix

GTMetrix is another free online tool that gives you a website speed analysis and tracks user activity and behaviour on your site, as well as load time. It also gives you recommendations on how to improve website speeds.

How to improve website speed

Now, let’s cover some website speed optimisation tips and techniques that can help you optimise your website for faster loading times. Follow these tips to speed up website loading times:

1. Using Content Delivery Networks

Content Delivery Networks (CDN) are a series of multiple servers that work together to send data and information to your users to improve their connection to your website, which eliminates any latency. These rely on the geographical location of the user to transmit the data in a fast and simple manner.

2. Upgrading web hosting

Choosing a reliable web hosting provider with a faster server can help your website run faster overall. Web hosting providers typically allow you to make configurations to their services that best fit the needs of your site. Here are their various types:

Shared Hosting

This refers to a method that lets you host your website on a server along with other websites. These websites all share the same resources.

Virtual Private Servers Hosting

This is similar to shared hosting, except each website has individual access to the resources provided by the host server, allowing for a more flexible design.

Dedicated server (serverless)

This refers to the full, independent control of a business owner over the running and managing of their website without the use of a provider and without sharing resources with other websites.

3. Optimising images and media

As an online casino, adding images, infographics, and videos can greatly enhance your players’ gaming experience. When adding these types of media to your website, ensure that the format is optimised for performance by resizing the image and lowering the video resolution. This makes it easy for your website to load these contents.

4. Eliminating website bottlenecks

Bottlenecks in web design refer to the inefficiency of your website that increases its response time for any specific reason such as heavy traffic, overloading servers, complex themes and designs, or an inefficient codebase.

5. Minimising External Scripts, Plugins, and Optimising CSS/JavaScript Files

Minimise the use of external scripts to minimise the threats you might encounter concerning the security and quality of your online casino. 

If you want to ensure the functionality of your plugins and keep everything up-to-date, you can optimise your CSS or JavaScript code blocks by using HTML tags. You can minify or combine blocks of code to organise everything. You can also make HTTP requests to your provider should you need access to any other resources on the server.

6. Enabling Website Caching

By enabling webpage caching, static files can be saved and stored in your user’s browser so they won’t have to redownload files they’ve already had in the past. This reduces the number of requests to the server and overall loading speeds.

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7. Utilising GZIP compression

GZIP is a utility that allows you to compress and decompress file sizes to optimise them for your website for faster data transfers. You can enable compression by editing the access code of your chosen client.

8. Database optimisation

To optimise your database, ensure you minimise the use of plugins to lessen the number of queries generated. Just keep the necessary ones to run everything smoothly and keep up your website’s speed index.

9. Prioritising Above-the-Fold Content

Content optimisation can involve the prioritisation of above-the-fold content, or the content users will see before having to scroll down. You can use external resources to choose pleasing web fonts that are not too complex to avoid affecting your loading speed.

10. Handling Redirects and Broken Links

Fixing broken links is vital to the performance of your website. You can use online tools like Google Console that track down these dead links with instructions to create redirects and chains to help fix the issue. Google Console is a helpful tool that also analyses user behaviour and patterns to help you further improve your page.

Here are some resource hints and directives that can help you boost your website’s performance:

DNS Prefetching  

This is a resource hint that attempts to resolve domain issues before an actual request is made.

TCP Preconnect  

This allows the browser to connect to a domain before sending an HTTP request.

Link Prefetching  

This allows browsers to fetch data and preload information.

Prerendering 

This allows browsers to preload all media content on your website.

11. Adopting Cloud-Based Monitoring

Cloud-based monitoring helps with the tracking of your website’s metrics like your TTFB (Time to First Byte), ensuring everything is running as it should and helps you make the necessary audits of your website. Below are some types of cloud-based monitoring you can do for your website:

Real User Monitoring 

This refers to a process that tracks detailed information about a user’s habits on your website.

Synthetic Monitoring 

This refers to a practice that simulates the behaviour of users on your website.

Optimise your website speed with QWERTYLABS

Optimising your website to achieve fast loading times is crucial if you want your business to become a success, especially for online casinos. It’s a continuous process that needs constant audits to ensure your website is up to your users’ satisfaction. If this guide was helpful to you, check out other blog posts and services from QWERTYLABS to further improve your website and find more resources about top SEO strategies.

FAQs

What is a good website speed?

About 1 second to load is a good speed for your website to have.

Why is my website slow?

There are several factors for your website’s slow loading speed. It could be anywhere from your server provider to your image optimisation techniques.

Does website speed affect SEO?

Yes, it does. It directly impacts your visitor’s decision to leave or stay, which plays into your ranking on the SERPs.

How important is website speed?

It is very essential since it directly influences your SERP rankings and visibility.

How to increase website speed?

You can increase your website speed by implementing a website speed optimisation strategy such as optimising images and media, fixing broken links, upgrading web hosting, and more. 

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