Page speed is something that every website owner needs to be concerned with today. Google uses page speed as one of their signals when determining where to rank your website.
If your website is quick to load, you will not only offer viewers an excellent user experience but you will also climb up the search engine result pages.
To summarize why page load speed is so important, there are a few key factors you need to keep in mind. This includes the following:
- When Google considers page speed as a ranking factor, it will look at the time to first byte.
- Indexation could suffer if your website is slow. This is because it prevents search engines from crawling all of your pages within the allocated crawl budget.
- Conversions suffer if your website is slow to load because it negatively impacts user experience.
- There have been numerous studies that have shown that bounce rate gets considerably worse for every second longer your website takes to load.
Speeding up your website demands a two-fold approach. Firstly, you need to make your server faster. Secondly, you need to optimize the elements of your website. So, let’s take a look at how to go about both in further detail.
How can you make your server faster?
The first thing you need to do is upgrade to a better website hosting company. In the beginning, we tend to go for the cheapest host we can find. But this is not wise. Cheap hosts are small and crowded, making your website slow. Even if your website speed is slightly below average, it’s too slow. This is where upgrading to a better web host can make a huge difference.
Next, you should consider switching to a VPS from a shared host. Shared hosting means you are always going to be fighting for resources. If another website gets heaps of traffic, your website is going to slow down as a consequence. If you don’t want to switch to a virtual private server or you believe it is unnecessary, at least choose a high-end shared server.
Another critical element when it comes to speeding up your server is to use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). This will put your data on numerous servers across the world. This means that whenever a person clicks on your site, they will receive the information from the server that is closest to them. This promises the fastest speeds.
Finally, you need to turn on the ‘keep alive’ setting. When your website files are sent down the tunnel by your server, all elements travel separately, for example, every image, logo, etc. travels on its own. You need to send them all down the same big tunnel if you are to reap high-efficiency levels, and this is where the ‘keep alive’ setting comes in.
How do you optimize the elements of your website?
Now you know about the different things you can do to make your server faster, so let’s take a look at optimizing website elements. You should start by making a dedicated effort to reduce redirects. For every redirect, your website packages go up and down the tunnel twice, adding significant time onto the load speed.
You should also get rid of plugins you do not use. You have probably experimented with heaps of plugins over the years. Have you uninstalled them once you stop using them? If not, this is where you are losing a lot of precious time.
Trimming your HTML code can also help. After all, HTML is incredibly repetitive, as well as being heavy and dense. It is certainly worth going through your code thoroughly so that you can get rid of anything that is not needed.
Of course, an essential step for all website owners to follow is optimising your images. For any website, images are typically the weightiest part. They are the slowest loading and biggest loading element. Firstly, crop the image down to the exact size needed. Moreover, scale them down in HTML and compress them prior to uploading.
As you can see, there is no denying that page load speed is one of the most pivotal factors when it comes to ranking your website today.
If your website is slow to load, use the suggestions that have been presented above and you will notice a considerable difference, both immediately and in the future.
This will ensure that all website users have a great experience which, in turn, will help significantly with your search engine ranking.