A website page speed SEO means how fast elements on your webpages load. Page elements can include everything from images, text, to the backend coding. Why does it matter? Because Google has made page speed a ranking factor that affects your website’s position in search results.
How Does Website Page Speed SEO Impact Organic Rankings
When your webpages are loading at an insufficient speed, SEO efforts can be negatively impacted due to high bounce rate. Bounce rate is a metric measuring the percentage of visitors leaving your webpage without taking any action. This action can be visitors viewing more than one webpage, interacting with content, or responding to a call-to-action.
A high bounce rate can lead to visitors spending less time on your website (measured by average time on page), and result in a lower conversion rate (conversion can be anything from making a purchase to subscribing to newsletters).
How Page Speed SEO Impact User Experience
A slow loading webpage can ultimately affect your bottom line. From a user experience point of view, think about your own experience waiting for a webpage to load. The longer you have to wait, the less patience you have.
What happens if the page is still blank after 10, 20 or even 30 seconds of waiting? Most users will likely close out the browser at this point, and you’ve lost opportunities to make conversion happen.
How to Test for Page Speed SEO?
The first step to correcting a slow webpage is to find out exactly what is slowing it down. Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool will point out and suggest solutions to fix problems that are hindering your webpage loading speed.
Just enter the URL of the webpage you would like to test, and hit “analyze”. Google will give you a complete summary on what you should fix, should consider fixing, and a list of page speed rules you have already passed. The suggestions are categorized by mobile and desktop test results, so you can optimize page speed for all viewing devices.
5 Ways to Instantly Increase Page Speed SEO
Google has made official page speed rules spelling out exactly what should be done to increase webpage loading speed.
Here we have summarized solutions to five of the most common page speed problems that can improve your webpage speed instantly.
Minifying or reducing the size of the resource files by removing unnecessary code can improve page loading speed. When done correctly, the process of minifying resource files should not affect the way code functions.
Google recommends Github to minify resources. GitHub is a platform that hosts code for version control and collaboration. It allows everyone working on the same project to receive the latest changes and updates simultaneously no matter where they are located.
If you host with SiteGround, Github comes as part of your hosting package. So you can reap the benefits of it without the extra expenses.
Here you can find Github minifier for different resources as follows:
2. Use CDN (Content Delivery Network)
CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. It is a network of servers located in different geographical locations. These servers save copies of your website to be recalled more promptly in different locations.
CDN improves webpage loading speed by delivering cache content through a server that is in close proximity to where the visitor is located. For example, a visitor in Los Angeles, CA will see a webpage load faster than a visitor in New York, NY when the server is located in California. Therefore, the more geographical locations the servers of your Content Delivery Network cover, the better overall page loading speed visitors will receive.
You can get CDN service through reputable providers such as MaxCDN. It features premium data centers located across North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. MaxCDN offers intuitive control panels with detailed usage reports catering to your specific business needs.
If SiteGround is your hosting provider, you can receive free CDN services through its partner Content Delivery Network Cloudflare. It creates caches of your webpage content and optimizes it through Cloudflare’s CDN services. Your webpages are made available through 23 major data centers around the world. You can get the benefit of a reliable hosting service plus the speed of content delivery network in one package without the big bill.
3. Control Browser Caching
When visitors come to your website, they often use a browser such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Firefox to view webpages. During the process, files from your website such as images, HTML, and CSS are likely downloaded and temporarily stored in the visitor’s browser. This process is called browser caching.
Browser caching recalls stored files locally when the visitor comes to your website again. So after the initial visit, webpages will load faster during a revisit because some of the files have already been downloaded before.
SiteGround hosting service offers free caching service to speed up your website. SiteGround’s exclusively developed SuperCacher Static Cache comes with all hosting packages. It utilizes RAM caching, which is hundreds of times faster than HDD. Cache is flushed every 24 hours. If your website made updates, changes will be available to visitors in a timely manner. You can also manually clear cache through cPanel.
In addition, SiteGround has made three different layers of caching available to meet different business needs. You can find more information on SiteGround’s caching services here.
4. Reduce Image Size
One of the Google Speed Test rules is image optimization. When your website hosts a lot of image files, bandwidth is easily exhausted as the number of visitors coming to your website increases.
Large image files really slow down your webpage loading speed. You can reduce image file size with either a graphic tool like Adobe Photoshop, or utilize an image optimizer.
Use Web Design Tool to Reduce Image File Size
If you have Photoshop, use the “Save for Web” function to significantly reduce the image size without losing too much quality. In our opinion, it is one of the best graphic tools you can have for dynamic web design.
To best save images for web, also refer to our guide on how to format images for web design.
Use Image Optimizer to Reduce Image File Size
If you don’t do graphic designs in-house, it may make more sense financially to go with an image optimizer such as ImageRecycle.
The web-based tool allows you to compress image files up to a 74% size reduction without compromising image quality. CMS (content management system) extensions are available for Joomla, WordPress, Magento, and Shopify app. You can install the plugin into your website and compress files as you create content. Image file supported for compression are JPEG, PNG, GIF, and PDF.
Run a free audit of your website now with ImageRecycle.
5. Compress Videos
Videos are a great content type to engage visitors and explain subjects. However, when you have a video on a webpage, loading speed can be significantly impacted. Videos not only take up bandwidth, but they also eat up storage space on your hosting account very quickly. So when it comes to putting videos up on your website without breaking it, you have the following two solutions.
Compress Videos for Self-Host
Self-hosting videos seem to be a controversial topic. Many webmasters advise against it because of the trouble and expense it takes to host your own videos. One of the biggest problems with it is the huge file size of the videos make your webpage slower than a crawl.
One way to fix that problem is to use a video compressor to reduce file size for upload. Movavi offers a series of video editing and formatting tools. Out of which, its video converter for Mac and PC does a perfect job at compressing your video files for self-host. It also supports over 180 file types for conversion and compression. Try Movavi converter.
Use a Third Party Video Host
The advantage of using a third party video host is the huge savings on bandwidth and storage. Instead of uploading videos directly onto your website, you are publishing videos on the hosting provider’s servers. You can then embed the link to the video on your website without compromising webpage loading speed.
Video Hosting with YouTube
When we talk about third party video hosting services, YouTube may be the first that comes to mind. It is true that the video-sharing giant makes a great platform to host your videos. With more than one billion users to date, YouTube also gives you a good amount of visibilities in terms of video content marketing.
Video Hosting with Vimeo
The only problem with hosting with YouTube is the advertisement inserts. Many businesses choose to host video with Vimeo instead to avoid advertisements and improve user experience.
In addition to freeing up bandwidth, content marketing within Vimeo is also affordable and data-backed. With the Pro and Business accounts, users get access to real-time analytics about viewer demographics and viewing trends. You can create custom reports and use Vimeo’s power filters to break down user data for detailed analytics. Find more details on Vimeo’s plans here.
The Emphasis on Page Speed SEO and Mobile Search
According to ComScore’s statistics, in 2015, 78% percent of the “digital population” uses both desktop and mobile devices to browse the internet. This means all of your webpage’s loading speed should be optimized and ready for multi-device search. Learn more about how to make your website mobile-friendly.