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The ultimate goal of any website should be geared towards a good user experience (UX). One of the best ways to achieve this is to make sure that the website loads fast. In this article, we will discuss the reasons why page speed matters in SEO, and some tips on how to optimize your site loading time.

Page Speed Defined

Page speed refers to the amount of time that a page displays its full content. Depending on the metric used, this is also referred to as “page loading time” or “site speed”.

Google announced back in 2010 that site speed is a ranking signal in indexing websites. In other words, a site that has poor page speed may find it difficult to appear at the top of search results because it takes time for search engines to crawl the pages.

Slow page speed may mean a higher bounce rate. This is primarily because a user will probably switch to another website instead of waiting for the page to load completely. This means losing the possibility of converting a visitor into a customer.

In contrast, a fast site improves the overall site quality as well as user satisfaction. When this happens, expect more traffic towards your website, and eventually, better ranking that leads to better conversion.

Causes of Slow Page Speed

The phrase “taking it slow” may sound good in decision making, but definitely not in page loading. Below are some of the common reasons of poor page speed:

shutterstock_425326147Image handling

Using wrong image formats may affect the page speed of a site. GIF format is best for animated images, PNG is good for images with transparent backgrounds, and JPG works best in complex images and photographs.

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Excessive HTTP requests

When there are so many CSS files, javascript and image files included in a page, it can affect the loading time of a page.

Inability to use Server Optimization

Enabling Apache compression will reduce the size of content that is sent to browsers.

Using Shared Web Hosting

This dramatically slows down a website because the resources are stretched too thin.

JavaScript Issues

Adding excessive JavaScript plug-ins may affect page loading time most especially if the scripts are poorly implemented.

How to Optimize Page Loading Time

Fortunately, there are many ways by which we can solve the problem on slow page speed. Check these tips out!

  1. Use a software application that can help compress large files to optimize images and reduce the size of your HTML, CSS and JavaScript files.
  2. Removing unnecessary characters in your code can help increase page speed.
  3. Set an ‘expiration date” for all cache information, images, and files.
  4. Improve server response time. The amount of traffic you receive, the kind of software that your server uses, the resources each page uses, and the hosting solution that you choose may influence the server response time.
  5. Reduce redirects. Every time a page redirects to another page, this would add more time before the user can see what he is looking for.
  6. Optimize images in a way that it should be within the appropriate size needed without affecting the visual quality of the image.
  7. Use a content delivery network (CDN) to help you distribute the load of delivering content from your server.

Conclusion

By following these tips, you should experience an improvement in your page loading time. Eventually, this will lead to a good user experience, increase in lead conversion and sales, and better site SEO.

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Author
Michael Transon

Michael Transon is the CEO of Victorious. He's a big fan of ASU football, his cat Tux, and dinner parties. He lives at Ocean Beach in the Outer Sunset Neighborhood.

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