Improving your website speed is a good way to give your website a little SEO boost. Google has indicated that site speed is one of many signals it uses in its algorithm to determine site rank. Furthermore, the slower a website is the fewer pages Google or Bing is going to index due to their allocated crawl budgets.
Beyond how site speed is used by the search engines, studies show that visitors who experience even a 1-second delay in anticipated load times will often abandon the website altogether. This metric is especially true when it comes to clicks from advertisements and links from email.
Top 5 Ways to Speed Up Your Website
- Enable compression. Most web servers have a gzip compression option. If yours does not there are plenty of plugins that are available to take it to the next level, I like Hummingbird. Not only does have an option to enable gzip compression but it is also jam-packed with additional features that will help you fine-tune your website.
- Reduce redirects, these can slow you down significantly. What is a redirect? When a user enters your url without the http:// your website redirects to http://; that is a redirect. If you use an SSL certificate it may redirect first to http:// then to https:// then to https://www. before the site actually starts to load. While redirects are useful in some instances most of the time they misused or overused. I see this a lot on established websites.
- Use a CDN (content distribution network), a CDN will store and serve your website data from different geographic locations. This is helpful if your web server is in Los Angeles and the customer is in New York. Rather than serving from the L.A. server, the website will be served from a location closer to New York.
- Optimize your images and serve in next-gen formats. Next-gen formats include JPEG2000, JPEGXR. WebP and often provide better compression than PNG or standard JPEG files. Using these newer formats can significantly increase your site’s speed, especially on image-heavy websites or websites that rely on large fullscreen images.
Need to test your website speed? No problem, Pingdom has a free tool that lets you test your website based on server locations all over the world. It will let you test your website’s speed in London, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Brazil. I find it helpful to run the test in a couple of different browsers and devices to see how I perform overall. It is important to find the right balance between on-page content and delivery performance.
Need help speeding up your website? I can help!
I write short easy to digest articles on SEO and website performance. My goal is to help clients better understand what it is SEOs do.
Michael Winchester is a website designer and search engine ranking specialist in Southern California.
Michael Winchester Design | (562)283-5688