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Understanding Lazy Loading for SEO

Small business owners realize page loading speed is critical to the success of their online business. Every downloading delay can cost them potential leads, resources, and money. When users can’t access information quickly, they leave these pages for faster loading ones.

Speed also plays a significant role in Search Engine Optimization(SEO). Google’s search engine also uses it as a signal in its ranking algorithm. The tech giant ranks slower sites lower because they offer a poor user experience for visitors.

Boosting site speed is a top goal for many SEO experts and web developers. Lazy loading is one strategy that speeds up the page loading time of sites. In this article, you’ll learn about lazy loading and how it can impact your SEO strategy.

What is Lazy Loading?

When individuals visit a site, their browsers download and render all of the page’s content. This strategy, called bulk downloading, is costly for businesses. It strains bandwidth when visitors access these bulky files like images, videos, and scripts.

If a person leaves a small business’ site without looking at this material, it means the company has wasted significant resources and money. Additionally, bulk loading can waste a consumer’s battery life, system resources, and processing life because their devices must decode and render the content.

Lazy loading is an alternative strategy that allows webmasters to select appears at page load time. It defers the downloading of non-critical or non-visible resources, like videos or images. This strategy can occur at different moments when the page loads, but it generally occurs when visitors need them.

For instance, a webmaster may decide to lazily load a page when their users scroll down or navigate to different sections on a page. As a result, the content loads fast, and visitors can access information swiftly. It also reduces the page’s resource consumption because it only downloads items when necessary. Lazy loading also lowers the bounce rates on-site since users won’t leave when sites take too long to load.

Google says lazy loading is a common performance strategy. The industry considers it as a best UX practice.

What is an example of lazy loading on websites?

  • A visitor clicks on a link on a search engine results page.
  • The content quickly loads, and the person scrolls down the page to read the content.
  • As the person scrolls down the page, they encounter a placeholder image in their viewport.
  • When the visitor reaches each section, the site downloads the actual image replaces the placeholder.

Why Is Lazy Loading a Concern for SEO?

More developers are using lazy loading to help websites load quickly. Although lazy loading provides enormous benefits, this technology has drawbacks. This practice can significantly impact how GoogleBot crawls and indexes the materials on your site. If webmasters implement this practice improperly, the Bot will miss some undiscoverable materials on sites. This situation can negatively impact your SEO.

To avoid this situation, the tech giant recommends that developers load content within the viewport so GoogleBot can discover it. For infinite scrolling, owners must provide unique links to each section that the users can directly load.

Google’s experts also recommend using a Puppeteer script to test lazy loading scripts, which uses the Node.js library to control headless Chrome. When you run the script, it will create a set of images. It ensures that the GoogleBot can see all content is visible and index it.

Four Fabulous Benefits of Lazy Loading

There are several reasons why you should consider lazy loading. Lazy loading provides small business websites with the following benefits:

1. It allows visitors to access your content faster since only a part of the website appears when visitors access pages. Visitors will receive the materials they need quickly. It only provides information to users when they scroll or interact with resources on the page.

2. It optimizes the page load time. The site will only download content as users need this information. As a result, the site doesn’t waste bandwidth or tax the server’s resources by downloading scripts, images, or videos that visitors may not access.

3. It encourages people to stay on your page. People are more likely to stay on your page longer if they can access information quickly. They will spend more time reading the content you have to offer. The longer time they remain on your page, the higher chance you can convert them into customers.

4. It maximizes the site’s resources. Lazy loading requires less work from browsers. It also saves bandwidth and data since the entire page doesn’t load every time someone accesses them.

How to Effectively Use Lazy Loading on Your Site

Do you want to take advantage of the benefits lazy loading has to offer? There are several ways you can implement this strategy on your website.

First, your small business should create a plan to implement lazy loading on your site. Decide which content you want browsers to lazy load (images, videos, or scripts).

Next, consider which browsers your site will support. The majority of modern browsers already have built-in technology to lazy load content. Users can access this feature using the “loading” tag for images and iframes. You can use javascript to implement lazy loading in older browsers.

Finally, you develop a strategy to implement lazy loading on every page. Here are two tips to remember:

  • Don’t use lazy loading above the fold. This technique only works when you use it below the fold on a page. If you use it above the fold, it will negatively impact your SEO since the GoogleBot may not see all of your content.
  • Optimize your videos and images. You should make sure that your photos and videos are the right resolutions and the lowest possible size. These files have an enormous impact on your site’s loading time. Use an image compression tool to reduce the size of your images. When a page contains videos, host them on an external site like YouTube, Vimeo, Wistia, or others.

In conclusion, lazy loading is a strategy that can improve the page load times for your site and provide information to your visitors quickly.

Does your Dallas small business need an optimized, fast-loading website that will help lower your bounce rates? Dialed In Web has experts that can attract customers and take your site to the next level. To set up a consultation, contact us today.

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