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Site speed is just one of those important metrics that increasingly becoming harder to ignore. Especially in 2019.
Visitors to your website probably don’t have all the time in the world to wait as your page loads. A slow website is not something you want to have, especially if you’re looking to achieve top tier status when it comes to SEO rankings.
While it’s true that search engine optimisation relies heavily on keywords and backlinks, there are other small conditions that need to be fulfilled in order for a website to rank.
Today, Google’s algorithm is built to consider loading time as an important attribute when determining how your website ranks in search results. Once you’re able to identify the weaknesses in your page and make enhancements to bolster your site speed, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to achieve that top spot you’ve always fancied.
Some of the factors affecting site speed include file sizes, plugins, and slow servers. Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, here’s a quick brush of things you need to know.
The Ideal Page Load Time
It takes about 400 milliseconds for an eye to blink. If you can able optimise your page to be just as fast, then, you stand a good chance of tiding the masses over to your side.
Slow site speeds usually negatively impact SEO strategies. This is because targeted customers tend to become frustrated with slow load time and may decide to bounce off your website. According to Google statistics, it takes about 0.4 seconds of load time before users decide to look elsewhere for content.
Essentially, this means that the slower the load speed, the more likely visitors to your page will deem your content irrelevant. With the opposite being true, it makes absolute sense why Google decided to introduce site speed into its algorithm.
Things that Lower Site Speed
1 - Server Performance
While hiring the services of a cheap web host seems like a grand idea, there’s also the downside of slow load time. This arises because such deals usually involve the sharing of servers. When this happens, space and resources that would have been dedicated to your website become spread out to a bunch of other websites.
If you’re looking to achieve fast site speed, then, it’s worth reconsidering your current strategy and adapting better suiting hosts that are capable of handling your business needs.
2 - Outdated CMS
Always check for new updates on your content management system, be it Drupal, WordPress, or Wix. In most situations, updates usually resolve common errors and bugs in the system. When this happens, you usually notice a considerable bump in site speed.
3 - Large and Heavy Images
Gone are the days when dial-up internet dictated the times. Today, users get frustrated whenever websites take forever to load.
Since larger images are certainly going to take longer periods to load, you need to optimise the images that you upload on your platform.
Making tweaks to things like the size of images uploaded and the format can make all the difference. Generally, browsers usually load PNG, JPG, and GIF images super fast. On the other hand, formats like BMP and TIFF are typically heavy which means that they usually cause slow site speed.
4 - Code Density
To ensure that your site speed is not affected by lengthy lines of code, you need to ensure to the backend of your site is not clogged up with redundant code. Else, you may find yourself having to pay the consequences.
5 - Too Many Plugins
If you’re using WordPress for your site, then the odds are you’ve got a number of plugins installed. While plugins are great in terms of functionality, you need not have too many hanging around. This is because every plugin usually makes a file request. The more requests generated, the slower your site speed is going to be.
6 - Minimise Redirects
Think about it, when you’re visiting a new city and want to ask directions, wouldn’t you rather ask a source who points you to a direct location? Exactly.
The same concept applies to websites. Nobody likes being redirected to a whole different page. In a way, it’s like telling visitors to your page to hold on the line as you process something else. Unless you really have to do it, avoid doing it since it may negatively impact your SEO goals.