SEO Page Speed Best Practices


What is page speed?

Page speed can sometimes be confused as “site speed”. These two are totally different. Page speed is, in fact, the speed of the page for a sample page views on a site. It can be either defined as “page load”, which is the amount of time it will take to show the content of a specific page completely or “time to first byte”, which is the amount of time for your browser to obtain the first byte of information from the web server.

It doesn’t matter how you measure the speed; the point is, a fast page speed is better and more convenient for the users. In fact, fast pages have better ranking and conversion percentage.

SEO Best Practices

SEO is a difficult subject, particularly if you take into consideration all the information and misinformation that’s been roaming online. Regrettably, it is sometimes difficult to tell from one another. Is the most recent strategy you’re reading effective? Does the strategy work on all the web pages? And so on. Indeed, there are a lot to assess when it comes to the effective SEO practices for page speed.

Just accept the fact, SEO is tricky. But the good thing is, it doesn’t have to be that stressful. If you allocate sufficient time to learn about it, then you will be able to differentiate information from misinformation more easily, and also, you will have the means to go deeper in the advanced concepts of SEO.

SEO isn’t a set it and forget scheme. It is a continuous process. You work on it, quantify results and constantly improve it.

Google has designated site speed as among the signals utilized by its algorithm in ranking pages. As a matter of fact, studies revealed that Google may have been measuring time to the first byte when considering page speed. Moreover, a page that has slow speed will mean that its search engines are crawling fewer pages using their allotted crawl budget and as a result can adversely upset your indexation.

Page speed is imperative for user experience. Pages that are slow loading have a tendency to have high bounce rate and lesser average time on page. Pages that have longer loading times have been shown to adversely lower conversions.

WordPress Speed Test

Ways to Improve the Speed of Your Page

1. Optimize images

You need to ensure that the size of the image is not so huge. For example, if an image you are planning to upload is 2,000 pixels wide, but your post will only allow you 600 pixels of space to fill your blog, then it’s smart that you change the size of the picture. This will help your page not to load for a long time because of large image size.

TIP: Make sure that the pictures aren’t big as they have to be, they have the appropriate format (PNGs are typically much better for visuals with less than 16 colors while JPEGs are normally superior for pictures) and that the images are compressed.

You can utilize CSS sprites to make a template for images that you normally use on your websites such as icons and buttons. CSS sprites work by combining your images making it one big image that loads everything at the same time (which results in fewer HTTP requests) and then is showed in sections that you want to display. This results in less loading time by not letting users wait for numerous images to load.

Since you are optimizing images, you must also ensure that you should focus is in the Alt Area. Bots that are crawling into your web page doesn’t see the picture as human onlookers do. But, the Alt texts that you enter can be seen by these bots. Therefore, make sure that you write information that is related to the post and the picture. Valid HTML also need to have alt tags.

2. Enable compression

Compression allows your web server to offer reduced file sizes that can load much faster for the users. Compression with Gzip for CSS and HTML files normally saves about 50-70% of the file size. This results in reduced loading speed for your pages and lesser bandwidth used.

Gzip should not be used on image files. As an alternative, compress these files using a program such as Photoshop where you can maintain control on the image quality.

3. Increase the server response time

Server response time pertains to the response time of a web server to a request from a particular browser. It doesn’t matter how ready your web pages are for speed, if you have a slow server response time, your pages will display slowly.

Four important factors converge to define your server response time:

  • Website Traffic – More traffic, more problems.
  • Website Resource Usage – If every web page you have uses few resources, server response time could improve and at the same time spend less money.
  • Web Server Software – If your planning to change the web server configuration or software, server response time can also improve and you can spend less money.
  • Web Hosting – Your server response time can also be improved by improving the quality and scope of your web hosting; however, you will need to spend money on doing this.

4. Lessen the redirects

Redirects are methods or directions that design take visitors from one file location to another. There are a lot of good reasons for having redirects; however, it is important to remember that redirects can result in problems in speed and performance. Each redirect you can eliminate or clean can help make your page load much faster.

5. Leverage browser caching

Leverage browser caching is among the fastest ways to improve performance for any website, irrespective of the system or CMS, just make certain that you’re using it. Browser caching is great for speeding your website by utilizing cached files or resources found in your browser. What you’re going to do is: you identify an expiry limit in minutes/days/weeks for particular file types such as Javascript, images or CSS. Given that the expiry hasn’t passed, the resources won’t be downloaded again, however the version that has been previously downloaded will be utilized.

6. Use a Content Distribution Network

CDNs or Contact Delivery Networks are a system of servers spread all over the world to deliver web pages and other content centered on the geographical location of the user. As a result, huge volumes of content are easily delivered without any disruptions.

For example, if you have a website that’s in Ontario, people accessing its pages in Alberta are going to receive the web content much faster as compared to people accessing it from Japan. The distant the person is in accessing the page, the longer the loading time. This can be terrifying for the user. However, having your website loaded from numerous servers and numerous locations is good for SEO as it speeds up the load time of the web pages.

CDNs give businesses the chance to spread out to numerous web users anywhere around the world in a few seconds. Being able to present your company up front to a lot of people rapidly must be your topmost concern.

7. Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML

Minification is a method that helps to decrease the size your JavaScript, HTML content and website CSS to its best size and lessen a number of request counts. Minification merges the different CSS files in your website into one file; minification also do the same for HTML and JavaScript files, which merges various files and making it into one file.

Minifying pertains to specific removal of undesirable codes from your website such as unnecessary code written in your JavaScript, spaces that are written in your CSS or unnecessary line-breaks in your HTML. As a result, minification is essential and helpful in improving the load speed of your page. It’s also vital that the markup size of your website’s CSS, JavaScript and HTML must be minimum, and a number of external requests must be few as possible so as to enhance the loading speed of your web page.

So now that we have listed the best practices for page speed, our next blog post will talk about reasons why your website is loading slow. Stay tuned for that. Read the previous SEO page speed posts as well to get up to date.