The slow page loading speed is a real nightmare for everyone who above all appreciates the quick access to the site. In modern world, also this online world, speed counts – fast information delivery, quick reactions and fast page loading. In the era of the Internet, the well-known saying that time is money takes on a whole new meaning. According to the data provided by Google, a website that loads longer than 5 seconds is exposed to as much as 40% decrease in conversion rate.
Lazy loading – what is it?
Lazy loading is simply a script entered into the code of the page which causes that images and video files don’t load as soon as the users open the page, but only when they’re in this part of the website where the images or videos are located.
Therefore, thanks to lazy loading you can profit from the transfer and the efficiency of your website which loads significantly faster and at the same time contributes to the customer satisfaction. This, in turn, makes it more probable that the users will stay on the website and as a result increase your conversion rate by, for example, buying something from the offer, signing up for a newsletter or filling in a contact form. You’ve probably noticed that the name of the script is slightly peculiar and might be misleading, as many can think that the tool is intended not to speed up but to slow down the page loading. However, this isn’t the case. We could define lazy loading simply as loading images on demand which significantly speeds up the initial page loading. How does it work? Well, many users don’t even get to the place where your image is located, so it’s pointless to load it right away along with the whole content. Eager loading is the exact opposite of lazy loading, here the whole site including images and other objects is loaded at the very moment of entering the page.
Currently, people pay more and more attention to the speed at which website is loaded both on the computer and on the phone or tablet. Users and enthusiasts of social media, especially those in the form of mobile apps, may have come across lazy loading already two years ago while they were using Tumblr for Android and iOS.
Slower means faster
In its official guidelines, Google states that the loading speed of the website is a ranking factor affecting its SEO. Maybe it’s high time to think about it carefully and prioritize your online work so that you can improve your search results and customer satisfaction. We can distinguish several factors that influence the loading speed of the website. As you’re only a website owner, you don’t have control over such aspects as the quality of the user’s Internet connection. The only thing that you can bear in mind in this situation is that not everyone has a fast Internet connection and not every telephone network provides satisfactory bandwidth in every corner of the world. But, on the other hand, there are numerous factors that you can easily influence. If the website loads slowly, then the hosting server is first to be blamed. It must have sufficient performance so that the slowdown of the website isn’t noticeable for the users, especially when the website traffic increases. And the last factor is entirely dependent on you as the person managing the site because even the fastest server won’t be able to improve loading speed of a heavy website.
The technique of lazy loading was applied among others by NY Studio+107, which increased their page loading speed from 107.8 to only 2.8 seconds. Impressive, isn’t it?
How does lazy loading affect SEO?
A fast website definitely allows you to increase the effectiveness of various SEO activities. Additionally, it doesn’t require investing any money and will help you to win users from both organic and paid search results.
Here is a sample code using lazy loading technique:
As soon as the user reaches the point on the page where the graphic is located, it’s loaded and displayed. Everything seems perfect, but there is one more very basic question – what about Google robots?
We fully recommend you to see the video prepared for webmasters by Google: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFwUbgvpdaQ&feature=youtu.be&t=33m
How to deploy the lazy loading script?
Lazy loading for mobile devices
According to Google, more than 50% of searches come from mobile devices so you can easily notice how much potential lies in this form of technology. However, the greatest risk of limited bandwidth concerns exactly mobile devices. Here, there is also no need to display images in high definition right after entering a website so it’s a good idea to also take this aspect into consideration during mobile optimization.