A few weeks ago, I shared with you the benefits of site speed optimization as an effective method of improving your website’s SEO. In a nutshell, when search engine spiders find that your website is easy to load and without too many hiccups, then you will most probably find your pages at the top of Google rankings. Having a fast-loading website will also increase your follower count, since your site visitors will have a great browsing experience and never get impatient as they read your pages.
For this article, I’ll be focusing more on a particular way to speed up your website, and that is through the use of content delivery networks (CDN). This term has become a buzzword on its own, much like the recent hot-topic terms “cloud” and “localized SEO”, and its impact on site speed has proven to be huge.
If you’re not yet familiar with the term, CDN is a network created to serve your website visitor’s content requests faster than usual. When you enroll in a CDN, you get blazing-fast site speed from high-powered servers that cache your website content for your visitors. Most CDNs have set up several server locations all around the world, thereby making sure that your content is served by the closest servers to your site visitors.
Some of the advantages of using CDN include multiple hosting (with your website “copied” by many servers worldwide) and an overall faster page loading rate. The latter happens because of the proximity of the CDN servers to the users accessing your site content. The nearness of the servers reduces page time-outs, and makes that huge photo pop out faster than a finger snap!
In case you want to use CDN for your website, you can consult with your SEO company or I.T. expert. However, if you plan to do the dirty work yourself, here are some search engine optimization tips to get you started in setting up CDN to boost your website speed:
- Use popular CDNs even if they seem to cost more. There are many CDN providers out there, but it’s best to employ the services of reputable providers such as Akamai, MaxCDN and Amazon Cloudfront. These CDNs are popular not only because they’ve been in the business for quite a while, but due to their reliability. Sure, they might be a little more expensive that the other smaller players in the market, but you wouldn’t want to risk your site’s SEO for a few more savings, right?
- Use a subdomain. This tip is for advanced users, but I highly recommend you to set up a subdomain for your CDN-served content, rather than let the CDN host them (e.g. yourcontent.CDNprovider.com). Aside from prettifying your URLs, it also gives a more professional look to your pages.
- Don’t change filenames of content served through CDN. It’s highly advisable to retain the filenames even when you’ve transferred some of your content to CDN. This way, if you change your mind and want to revert to your original host server, then you don’t need to update your filenames again.