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Gilad David Maayan
Gilad David Maayan

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Page Speed: How It Impacts Your SEO and How to Improve It


Image by Arek Socha from
Pixabay

Page speed load time is one of the main aspects impacting a visitor's permanence on a website. Google's directive of penalizing slow sites makes it increasingly important to speed up loading times to improve the ranks in search results. Read on to find out more about how you can improve your web loading times.

Why Page Speed Matters

According to Google’s last study, the average page loading time is 15 seconds. However, more than half of users will leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Page speed is not only an important component of user experience, but it also impacts the organic ranking as well. There is a direct correlation between page speed and bounce rate. An increase of page speed from one to three seconds increases the average bounce rate a whopping 32%.

Moreover, Google announced last year they will count page speed as a ranking factor for searches. Therefore, to rank your site nowadays your page load speed shouldn't be over 2 seconds.

To achieve this goal, let's check what factors are slowing your page.

What Can Lower Your Page Speed

To reduce your page load speed, you first need to identify which factors affect the page load time.

Server Location
A server in another region slows access to the page, especially if the connection must go across different open networks. Choosing a server closer to the user allows for quicker access.

Web Hosting Service
A poor web hosting service can be the reason your page load is sluggish. While choosing a cheap shared server hosting plan may seem a smart choice at the beginning, it can lead to resource overload.

Therefore, you find your page stalling to load due to the increasing amount of traffic, which is too much for a shared server to take. This means it is time to move to a better server, being careful to check the bandwidth limit first.

Image and Video Sizes
The larger the image or the heavier the video, the slower the page load speed. Therefore, using image optimization techniques and solutions is essential to ensure the images don't weigh down your page.

In the case of videos, a video transcoding solution can be useful to keep their weight on track, while uploading them to streaming engines such as Youtube and then embedding the video on the website is a simple way to minimize the loading time.

Plugins
While widgets and plugins improve the customer experience, too many plugins can stall your page loading, since the individual time of loading each widget and plugin adds to the total page load speed.

HTTP Requests
Each HTTP request for resources like scripts and styles must come and go from the server hosting the resource, increasing the overall load time. For better performance, the number of assets required to load the page should be minimal. You can use a speed test to identify which HTTP requests take longer.

Ad Overload
While digital advertisements are a necessity to help monetize the website, they can slow the website since they are usually coded in JavaScript.

How to Increase Page Speed to Improve SEO Results

#1. Optimize images
As we mentioned above, images make up the bulk of a page’s weight. Therefore using image optimization tools and software can help compress and reduce the size of the rich media content, positively affecting your organic search rankings.

A digital asset management solution can prove highly effective by automating format conversions. Read more about how a digital asset management system can help you manage and optimize your images.

#2. Leverage browser caching
The benefit of enabling browser caching is that when visitors revisit your site, the browser doesn’t have to reload the whole page. A web browser can cache a large variety of information, including images, javascript files. and stylesheets. Your server should include caching headers to avoid the page loading slower.

Google's recommendations are setting the cache time for as long as possible depending on the type of assets. Static assets can be set up for up to one year.

#3. Reduce server response time
Your server can be slow due to slow database queries, slow routing, frameworks, libraries, slow application logic, or insufficient memory. A fast server response time is under 200ms. Therefore, working on all these factors can improve the response time, thus improving page performance.

#4. HTTP requests
We previously mentioned that loading HTTP requests constitute a large part of the page's loading time., like images, stylesheets and scripts.

An HTTP request is made for each element such as image and scripts, the larger the number of page components, the longer it takes for the page to load. You should start by setting a baseline assessing how many requests your company currently makes.

The Bottom Line

Improving your SEO is not a matter of choosing the right keywords. It encompasses optimizing your web performance to provide the best possible user experience. Reducing your page load speed is one of the most effective ways to better your ranking ensuring your visitors immediate access to the content they request.

Discussion (1)

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ut4utc profile image
ut4utc

Thank you David,

My opinion - WP theme maker's don't understand that is problem and make theme with 100500+ js scripts, where located bootstrap.js, composer.js (together 1MB) and a lot another js & css code, what never used in the pages. This is problem^ because when you want optimize it - your brain pain from a lot of dependencies.