Page speed is a key factor that indicates how well a website is perceived by its visitors. Websites that load quickly give visitors an easy time and are desired all across platforms. On the mobile platform, page speed is especially a coveted factor. According to recent news, it is not just the user who cares about page speed. Even search engines now consider this crucial aspect of a website to be key to ranking.
Google released an update in 2018 that declared page speed as a factor for ranking. So what is the effect of page speed on ranking, and how can you increase your page speed to achieve more visitors? Let us analyze these issues down below.
Understanding page speed
Before going further, it is crucial to understand what page speed is. In the simplest terms, page speed refers to the time taken by a page to load. This speed can either be measured in terms of the fully-loaded page or the time taken to start the loading process. Generally, most pages that take over 10 seconds to fully load are considered to be slow. Even the heavy pages that carry multimedia and other forms of content do not take much time to load in the modern-day.
What is the connection between SEO and page speed?
One of the key questions that most webmasters have in regards to page speed is how it relates to SEO. To answer this question, it is important to understand the key issues that page visitors look for. The first one is a well-designed website that is easy to use. Another factor is the content itself.
Page visitors want to have their questions answered by the information they find on the website. As per Google’s criteria, pages that have a good design that enhances user experience are ranked better by the algorithm. A good design should thus be a crucial part of the SEO strategy.
How can you evaluate the speed of your site?
Evaluating the speed of your pages is an easy thing to do nowadays. According to CLT, an NC web design company, the process of making speed evaluations has become easier over the years. This is mainly due to the entrance of many tools and products focusing on helping webmasters establish the true speed of their sites. Some of the best tools you can use for this purpose include:
- WebPage Test: This site is a great option for webmasters looking to know their loading times across different platforms. Not only does WebPage Test include different tests for different devices, but the site also includes a variety of server locations.
- GTmetrix: This website has an intuitive test that even grades the user experience of your website. GTmetrix runs a test on your site and gives it a performance grade that allows you to know exactly where you rank.
- Google Page-Speed Insights: Finally, Google also has page-speed insights for webmasters. There is no better tool to use than one created by the search engine. With the insights, you will know the speed of your site and the issues that you might need to give priority.
Optimizing the speed of your site
After understanding all the different issues relating to SEO and page speed, you need to take the initiative to test your site and optimize it. When it comes to optimization, the main issues that need to be resolved include:
- Checking the efficiency of the code
- Enabling file compression
- Using a content distribution network (CDN)
- Allow for browser caching
By optimizing the various aspects of the code, files and response time, you can greatly increase the page load time and get your page ranked higher.
Many issues affect the ranking of your website. Page speed is a particular issue that is pertinent at the current time. Google constantly keeps evaluating the algorithm used to rank pages. As of 2018, the load time of a page is a major factor that can affect the ranking of a site. Pages that take more than five seconds to load are likely to be given less priority by search engines. To avoid poor ranking due to page speed issues, you need to check your code and other issues that might be resulting in slow pages and bad user experience.