Website speed optimization has taken the center stage in the world of search engine optimization (SEO) today. It is a critical component in every digital marketer's SEO strategy. It impacts your SEO score and also the user experience drastically.
Some of the ways of website speed optimization techniques covered in this article are:
It is all the techniques employed to improve the page load speed of a website or a page. It includes basically changing in the website so that it loads up easily.
Google’s page speed data shows 6 key parameters:
Each parameter indicates various aspects of the page speed of the website.
The patience level of users is what actually makes page speed so crucial. They just don’t wait for a website to load if it takes too long.
According to Google, the probability of a user bouncing from the website vis-à-vis page load speed is :
So if you don’t want users bouncing off your website, ensure your website is speed optimized and page load below 3 seconds at least.
Google takes page speed as an important criterion for SEO as it does not want to serve slow websites to users who then bounce off it.
Google advises a page load speed under 3 sec as a best practice. You can also use the page speed insight tool from Google to know areas your website needs to be worked on.
Below are the few steps you can use to optimize the page speed of the website.
Basically, whenever a user visits your website, some data from the website is stored on the browser. This data is called as cache and has an age limit set by the webmaster. Next time when the user visits the website, not the whole page is downloaded but this cache is brought to use. This improves the page speed of the website and the user experience improves drastically.
For WordPress users, there are plugins like W3 Total Cache that make website caching easy to implement.
First of all, use as minimal plugins as possible on your WordPress website. They bring in lots and lots of codes with them, most of which could have been avoided in the first place. So, use only those plugins that are bare essential and avoid plugins that can be avoided.
Once the plugins have been installed, make sure they are always updated to the latest versions.
Tools like Kinsta help you audit the website plugins to show how much processing time each one uses based on which we can replace the heavy ones.
This is one of the pointers Google page speed test tool will definitely indicate if not implemented.
Minimizing the files basically means removing the white space between the codes. This makes parsing them easy for browsers and the page loads better.
If you have too many files to be brought to render the page, the page speed is bound to be lower. One smart move is to club the files together.
Image size plays the most important role in page speed. First, they add to the size of the downloads. Second, they increase the number of requests to the server.
Use the right format and make sure the images as optimized for SEO.
Wordpress makes multiple copies of images uploaded in its media under the names like – thumbnail, small and medium. You can easily set custom images or use one of the existing ones judiciously. In short, use a small size image wherever possible and not the desktop-sized ones.
Icons can be rendered using sprite images which bring just one image having all the icons and thus reduce the number of server requests.
A good server helps big time in SEO and you should read the reviews of the server provider carefully. A good server transfers files and processes the logic on the website much faster than. Avoid using shared servers that host multiple websites as they really screw up the SEO. Instead, buy a good one from a reputed service provider.
You also need to upgrade your PHP version of the server to the latest available one. The latest PHP version has more processing speed than earlier ones and improves the SEO of the website.
A lot of redirects lowers the page speed and you should ensure there are a few of them as possible. Redirects use extra HTTP requests which can be used t download resources required to render the page instead of directing to the right URL.
CDN delivers heavy loads like images, videos easily and their response for SE is also very good. You can choose to deliver bootstrap files through CDN also.
When it comes to SEO, Google is the big daddy and knows best. So listen to whatever it says and oblige. The Google page speed tool points out exactly what all needs to be done and every point should be carefully obliged until you score 90+ on the ranking system.
Images below the fold should be downloaded and rendered late to make room for more crucial resources. This is called as deferring off-screen images. The images will be downloaded but after the important resources required above the fold are downloaded.
Wordpress has lazy load plugins that can be installed easily. Similarly react has lazy load packages which can defer the loading of images and components below the fold.
You can achieve this by putting conditions in your functions.php file that allows them not to be rendered unless an admin has logged in. With a bit of coding knowledge, you can do the same in other frameworks that stop files meant for admins not to be downloaded for users.
Website speed optimization is pretty hard to achieve for mobile phones and other small-screen devices. This is because of the comparatively lower processing speed than a desktop. On top of that majority of the traffic comes from mobile.
Hence the importance of website speed optimization for mobiles.
Most of the components in website speed optimization are to be done once but you still need to monitor it on a regular basis. Look out for new ways to improve your page speed that Google provides and make changes as they come.
Website speed optimization takes a center stage in SEO of the website before you start putting more content on them in forms of blogs and stuff. Ideally, a score of 90+ on Google’s page speed tool is the best score to have.
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