Page load speed is an essential factor in SEO as Google has confirmed that they use page loading times as a ranking factor. Therefore, pages with high-speed scores will rank higher on the SERPs than those with lower scores.
Google’s algorithm considers how long your website takes to load and the user experience when they visit. It means that if you have a slower website, then people are less likely to stay on your site for an extended period and more likely to leave.
Many factors can affect your site’s loading time, such as server location, hosting plan, website size, and more. This blog will discuss what page speed is, why it matters for SEO, and how you can improve your page speed score.
What is Page Speed?
Page speed is a measurement of how fast the content on your page loads. It is the amount of time it takes for a web page to load. The average load time of a web page is defined as the number of seconds it takes for a browser to fully render that webpage, applicable for content viewed on a computer rather than mobile phones or tablets.
The page speed depends on multiple factors. It can be the website’s performance, server’s performance, the particular web page, connection type, the user’s internet service provider, internet package, and many more. However, regardless of these factors, your website can have control over the remaining aspects.
In much more technical terms, page speed is the length of time taken for a browser to receive a web server’s first byte or the first batch of information. The page speed is measured differently on desktop and mobile devices. There are a lot of different ways to measure the page speed, but the most common three are given below:
● First fully loaded page: Duration to load 100% of the resources on the page.
● Time to load the first byte: Measures how long it takes for a page to start the loading process.
● First meaningful paint or first contextual paint: The time taken to load enough of its resources for the user to read the content
Why is Page Speed Important for SEO?
Page speed affects SEO because Google’s algorithm rewards websites with fast-loading pages by ranking them higher in search engine results. As well, website visitors are likely to leave if they’re waiting too long for their desired information to appear on the screen. The faster speeds also translate into less stress for servers which translate into savings over time.
Page speed is one factor that search engines use to rank pages and websites in their results, as Google has indicated.
In 2018, Google revamped its version of its Page Speed with the Speed update. It also offers advice on how they can improve it through different practices. For example, the higher the Page Speed Score, the faster your content will load when visitors read it.
More incredible page speed for both desktop and mobile users implies that it is more likely to have a higher ranking from Google’s algorithm because you will be seen as having an elevated user experience.
Does Page Speed affect SEO?
Yes, it does. Google has said that page speed is a ranking factor for SEO, so you need to make sure your site loads fast and consistently to increase the likelihood of having higher rankings from Google’s algorithm.
It is human nature for users to care about how fast results show up for them. Due to faster pages being more viable and famous than slower pages, it gives the search engines another SEO factor to rank off the sources in SERP (Search Engine Result Page). Conversely, there are chances for slower pages to rank highly if the search intent of the query is relevant and robust. How to become an SEO expert will educate you more about how SEO works and the skills required to be an expert.
Ways to Improve Page Speed Score
Page Speed acts as a crucial key to improve your SEO rankings. Hence, you must know how to improve your page speed to improve the loading time and increase the core web vital score. Here are some effective methods to improve your page speed:
1. Image Compression
Images or graphic elements cover two-third of a page’s total weight. It affects the page load time; hence, compressing or optimizing the images can reduce their size drastically.
To optimize images for the web, compress them with an image compressor. It will decrease file size and load time by up to 15%. Image compression is also a standard solution that reduces the weight of your website’s graphics files, so they are quicker to load on mobile devices and reduce page loading times in general as well as bandwidth usage costs.
You will need to analyze an image’s importance, quality, type of encoded data, pixel dimension, format capabilities and more. The ultimate goal is to reduce the file size as much as possible without significantly compromising on its quality.
2. Leverage Browser Caching
Caching is the process of storing files in a client’s browser to access them later quickly. It allows you to hold parts of your page in their browser cache. As a result, it will make the page load faster and reduce cache misses.
Caching is the first step in improving your website’s loading times. It allows users to access pages without downloading them for every request, which can be time-consuming when you don’t have any caching mechanism.
Caching allows your browser to create a temporary file to store certain elements that have been loaded. The more often you go back to the site, the less time it takes for each page because all those images and files are already there waiting for you. It does not apply to first-time users. However, it is an effective policy because it won’t have to be downloaded again as they revisit.
Google recommends caching at least one week’s worth of content, and for those elements that hardly go changed, the static asset can go up to one year.
3. Reduce Landing Page Redirects
You may have seen landing pages that, when you click on them, redirect to another page. It is not recommended because every time a user has to open up and wait for a new page, it can cause the loading process to slow down.
The result is a delay in page rendering because an additional HTTP request-response cycle is required. Redirects become multiple round trips for mobile users and become a prolonged experience. Try to avoid redirects as much as possible.
4. Minify Resources
● HTML minifier for HTML
● CSS nano for CSS
● Page Speed Module
5. Enable Compression
You might think that a website visitor’s download time is only limited by how fast their internet connection can transfer data, but that’s not the only factor. For example, if the server sends your resources in compressed form, it will take less bandwidth to send them back, and therefore visitors’ downloads will go much faster than if they are uncompressed.
You can reduce the time it takes for a website visitor to get your resources by enabling gzip compression support on your web server. Doing so offers 90% reductions in the size of transferred responses.
6. Improve Server Response Time
Improving server response time is a crucial SEO task. A faster web server will be able to serve more concurrent requests, which means that the browser will cache your site for an extended period on visitors’ local servers, and they’ll have quicker access to the content you provide. The server response time is affected by the amount of traffic you receive, the resource each page uses, the server software, and the hosting solution you use. Therefore, it is vital to have a good server in the first place. To have better site performance, you have to invest accordingly.
Your server response time should be below 200ms, and it shouldn’t vary broadly between one test and the next. If it is above that or differs significantly, you’ll need to analyze your existing performance data to determine what’s causing this. It could have various causes such as slow database queries, memory starvation; slow routing, slow application logic, etc.
7. Implement Content Delivery Network
Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of servers located across the globe that stores your content. You can control the location from where you deliver content to visitors, affecting page speed.
It is one of the easiest methods of boosting page speed. CDN figures the physical location of the user and servers the resources from servers closer to them.
It holds many benefits, such as reducing bandwidth usage and loading time for website owners by minimizing server overloads or downtime, speeding up connection times within specific geographic regions, improving customer experience on mobile networks with high latency, etc.
To Sum Up
It is essential to have a fast loading website because it can improve your SEO. The Google ranking factors state that page speed affects the rank of a site in SERPs. On the other hand, a slow-loading web page will decrease user loyalty and increase bounce rates; both are detrimental to business success online. Hence, utilize these methods of improving page speed for a better outcome of your web page.