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:
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.
Excessive HTTP requests
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.
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!
- Removing unnecessary characters in your code can help increase page speed.
- Set an ‘expiration date” for all cache information, images, and files.
- 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.
- 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.
- Optimize images in a way that it should be within the appropriate size needed without affecting the visual quality of the image.
- Use a content delivery network (CDN) to help you distribute the load of delivering content from your server.
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.