Have you heard of lazy loading? Do you know what it means and how it can influence both SEO and your user experience? If not keep reading. And even if you have, keep reading, you might learn something or have something to add in the comments.
What is lazy loading?
Lazy loading is a method used to ensure page loading has as minimal effect on users are possible. By using lazy loading you can place preference on what is loaded to users in a browser, on desktop or mobile with the ideal goal being that they don’t even know it’s happening.
If you have lots of images or videos on a page you can trigger their loading when a user scrolls to them. This means that you can ensure that priority content can be loaded first.
How does Lazy loading affect SEO?
Lazy loading effects SEO in many ways and whilst we cover a few points here it is worth noting that many see lazy loading as a negative for search engine ranking because bots do not see the full page when indexing and this can affect ranking positions. However there are many user points that out weigh this potential negative. Here are a few points:
- Page load time – By ensuring that a page is loaded with minimal effect to a user, so much that they shouldn’t notice, especially if using large image or media files then you are driving UX metrics that search engines want to see.
- Bounce rate – to put it in simple terms lazy loading should reduce on page bounce rate through better delivery of content on page.
- Higher conversion rates – specifically on landing pages where content if crucial to drive the conversion.
Whilst search engines use many factors in their ranking algorithm they place significant importance of collective user metrics so they can provide the best pages for user searches.
How does lazy loading affect user experience?
Simple – it significantly increases it. The question shouldn’t be how can it drive UX, it should be how can it drive conversion rate?
Lazy loading done correctly will significantly drive engagement, reduce bounce rate and therefore increase the number of users of a page who are likely to convert.
Should you implement Lazy loading?
Of course this all depends on you users, strategy, resources and budget however for the most time the answer is yes. Especially if you rely on local or mobile search. Mobile search in particular as these are generally users with lower quality internet connection.
Image courtesy of Atlas Soft Web