Is Page Speed Important for SEO?
A few weeks ago, our page speed was poor. Our website was taking far too many seconds to load both on desktop and mobile. As SEO’s we knew we had to address this immediately. It was a problem that crept up on us and was only identified when we ran a page speed insights test to understand the issue. At the time, search-consulting.com had a score of 36/100. Really poor. We are happy to report that we have moved that score to 90/100 for desktop, and 76/100 for mobile – See it here. In this blog post, we will explain key things to do when trying to improve your page speed.
Everyone loves a site with fast speed and after Google’s announcement that page speed will be a ranking factor in its mobile-first index, sites are working hard to make sure their sites speeds are faster and accessible by working on their mobile’s SEO.
Despite hearing mobile is going to take over the world, the reality is now upon us and almost everything is being done through a mobile device. As much as we spend a lot of time on our laptops and desktops screens, mobile phones are still crucial and they are being used for all possible tasks.
Currently, page speed is more of an indicator rather than a ranking factor and with average page speeds, you are in a better position to get decent ranking and hence the speedier your site, the better the results, ask any SEO expert.
To ensure your site gets better ranking with google through page speed ranking, consider the following
Activate Google AMP On Your Pages
Consider implementing Google AMP on your sites to ensure your page gets the perfect boost. To get the most out of this, link your pages as this will make them more discoverable and also follow the Google Search guidelines for AMP sites. Paying attention to these will give your page the most desired ranking.
Sites that are always redirecting users to other pages tend to be slower and avoiding this may always give your page better ranking. To avoid this, use HTTP/2 as it allows parallel connections and downloads within one connection.
A site can contain very large files and a lot of images that may need to compress to reduce the size and enable better loading speeds. These sites can use Gzip, a file compression tool that reduces the size of files significantly and also uses programs like Photoshop to retain the quality of your images.
Improve The Server’s Response Time
A servers speed is determined by the amount of traffic your site receives. To improve the server’s response time, try and fix all queries regarding it such as slow-routing, lack of enough memory and slow database queries.
Removing unnecessary characters, spaces, commas, comments and even unused codes can help increase your sites speed drastically and this, in turn, helps improve your pages ranking on google.
Leverage Browser Caching
Browsers can store a lot of information and visitors who come back to the site do not require the page to fully reload the whole page. To maximize on this, set and always check the expiry date for your cache. Most caches last a year or so and that can be enough time to have such data cached.
Ensure images on your sites can be found in the right file format and can be easily accessible once you load a site without further redirects. To ensure this is possible, use CSS Sprite that combines all your images into one image that loads only once.
Always remember that your site will never be too fast for your customers and continuous updates and PageSpeed Insights Testing can help maintain your page speeds and hence guarantee better ranking with Google always.