Ever click onto a website and have to wait for images and graphics to load on it? I don’t know about you, but we here at Rock Solid Marketing don’t like it, and more importantly Google doesn’t like it. In fact, Google takes page loading speed into account when determining search rankings
Simply put, website loading time affects SEO – and in order to move up in your keyword rankings, your website must load reasonably fast for its visitors.
Here’s how to get your website squared away with regards to speed.
Check Your Page Speed
First, you should check to see how fast your website loads, and whether there are specific pages of your site that load more slowly than others. Google’s PageSpeed Tool is a good way to check it, but there are plenty of other similar tools you can find online.
This tool examines both mobile and desktop site loading, scores the speed of each, and gives recommendations for further optimisation.
Ways To Speed Up Your Website
Install WordPress Plugins
If you have a WordPress website, there are several plugins you can install that will help to speed up your site:
WP Smush compresses and optimises images in order to decrease page load time. It gives you the option to resize images, smush them in bulk, and automatically smush images when they’re uploaded. Images are one of the main contributors to a slow-loading website because large image files naturally take a longer time to load, so it’s an excellent idea to ‘smush’ them with this plugin.
P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) examines your existing plugins and measures their impact on your website load time. It can be helpful for pointing out any plugins you have installed that may be slowing your site down, which you can then deactivate.
Image via vahrokh.com.
Enable gzip Compression
Gzip is an easy and effective way to enable compression on your website. It reduces server response time by about 70% and makes a noticeable impact on page speed.
To enable gzip compression, all you need to do is add some lines of code to your .htaccess file. If you don’t know what that means, it’s a good idea to have a Melbourne SEO agency take care of it for you.
Be sure to create page slugs with care so that you won’t have to change them to something shorter or more descriptive at some point down the line. If you change URLs, best practise is to configure a redirect so that the old URL redirects to the new URL; however, redirects trigger additional HTTP requests, which slow down your site.
If you must implement a redirect, though, make sure that it leads directly to the new URL. You don’t want URL A to link to URL B which links to URL C.