SEO and Page Speed


What Is Page Speed?

Page speed plays an important role in improving your site’s ranking. If you do not pay attention to the page speed, you might be putting your site at risk. It deals with the amount of time it takes to load the pages of your site and it depends on a number of distinctive factors, including images, GIFs, articles, blogs, designs, and links. It not only affects visitors but also various search engines.

If it takes too much time for your site to load, the level of online traffic on your site will gradually drop. Moreover, Google will label your site as slow, hence downgrading its ranking. Similarly, if the site is fast and does not take a lot of time to load, the traffic would automatically increase leading to a higher rank in search engines.

If the content on your site is authentic and highly relevant, it would still be of no use if it is slow as people usually do not want to stay on slower sites. Therefore, it is necessary for you to make sure the speed of your site is noticeably fast and the content is original. In 2010, Google announced that it will use the page speed of websites to determine the rankings and since then many sites have paid a lot more attention to the time it takes them to load.

While page speed matters a lot to Google and other search engines, it also affects visitors. In fact, the visitors are more affected by it. If your website is fast, you can please the visitors in various ways. If you sell products online, you should make sure your website is fast as it would allow people to get complete information about the product and they can fill out the forms and submit them easily.

Similarly, if your website helps you generate funds using advertisements for other sites, you should again make sure it is fast, as this would allow people to navigate from page to page quicker and ultimately increase your overall revenue. While it is necessary for almost all kinds of websites to be fast, e-commerce sites should have page speed as its top priority. If you use your website to sell different products worldwide, you need to make it fast as you do not want to lose customers to your rivals.

When Wal-Mart became the fastest e-commerce website, it decided to increase its speed even more. The increased speed resulted in higher sales and increased profit margins. This allowed Wal-Mart generate higher revenues than many popular e-commerce websites, including Amazon and eBay. This means that even milliseconds of load time can affect your website business.

Some of you might confuse page speed with site speed. Both are different from each other. Site speed refers to the page speed but just for a sample of page views on a site while page speed is the load time it takes to display all the content on your site’s page. Page speed can be better described as a measurement of how fast all the content on a particular page is displayed. This helps improve ranking and conversion rate.

If your site is slow, search engines would not give it a better rank as their crawl budget is limited and they would not spend a lot of time waiting for the pages of your website to load. This is the case with the traffic as slower websites increase the bounce rate. If you already have a website or if you are creating one from scratch, it does not matter as you can always make the page speed better. To do so, you must:

Compress

A number of software applications allow you to compress almost all kinds of files, including JavaScript files. You should make sure you reduce the size of your HTML and CSS too as they can unnecessarily take up a large amount of space. You can use applications, like Gzip, to do the job. For other files like videos, GIFs and images, you should use Photoshop or other advanced software as they allow you to compress the file while maintaining good quality.

You should also optimize the codes to increase the speed. This can be done by removing spaces and various unneeded characters. If there any unused codes or comments, you should remove them. For better compression, you can use the YUI Compressor. This highly used CSS and JavaScript compressing software is recommended by Google so you can rely on it.

Reduce Redirects

Whenever you are redirected to another page, mostly an irrelevant one, you might have to face additional time waiting for the page to load. It is important to see how many redirects your site is using. If there are too many redirects, the visitors on your site would have to wait longer as each redirect makes the site slower. Be sure to minimize the number of redirects to make your site fast.

Optimize Images

You should keep all the images on your website light by optimizing them correctly. You should make sure all the pictures are in the right format. If they take more space than what is required, use compressing applications to bring them to the minimum size. If the image consists of fewer than 16 colors, you should convert it to PNG format and if the image is a proper photograph with a significant number of colors, you should make sure it is in the JPEG format.

Customize the Browser Caching Setting

Whenever someone revisits your site, the whole site reloads. To avoid reloading, you should keep a customized setting of the browser. Browsers cache a massive amount of information including text, JavaScripts, and images. You can use tools like YSlow to set an extended expiration date.