In the ever-changing Google algorithm, site speed is one factor that continues to feature and something that should result in better search rankings for your website, regardless of whether you are a multinational or a local business. Of course, factors such as clean content and natural link building are still a huge aspect of SEO. Those interested can learn more at Link Building Media.
The role of fast site speed will successfully keep people on the site for longer, reduce bounce rates and exit rates and this in turn, leads to more engagement and better rankings. Therefore, whilst site speed is good, it should not be assumed that instantly improving your site speed will make your rankings skyrocket.
However, especially in the case of eCommerce sites that sell consumer goods and fashion items, keeping people on the site for longer is key and here are some vital site speed tips you can use.
Where possible, try to compress images to below 100kb and avoid using big and heavy files. This can be tricky when using high res images which are usually key for a good looking fashion or eCommerce site.
To do this manually, you can compress images using tinypng.com or use automated tools on wordpress such as wp-smush. This can provide an entire compression of all images and also compress upon every upload.
Not only should your hosting be local or in the country that you are targeting, but having fast hosting is key to achieving good site speed. You do not want to be on the fence in terms of how much bandwidth you have, so having more bandwidth than you may need is advisable. Where possible, upgrade to a dedicated server which means that you are not sharing hosting with any other sites and will give your speed a boost. See catalyst for more information.
Any redirects on your website will slow down the site and just give users more things to load. For SEO, it would be beneficial to show a smoother flow so when they click on a link which takes them to another website or page on the website, make sure that it is the actual link and not one that just redirects. Known as response codes, these URLs will typically be https but missing the ‘s’ or have been recently updated. Using Screaming Frog will allow you to find all these redirects and make the user journey smoother.
Browser caching allows you to show previously generated versions of the site to users that have already visited it. No need to load the same text and images all over again, making the site slowly. Using caching effectively will allow you to load the same site to users much faster. If you are using wordpress, the best plugins are Litespeed, Performance and WP Rocket – which are all free.
Accelerated mobile pages (AMP) are ideal for news and blog posts. They cut out images and any additional code meaning that the user has immediate access to the content they need. Since it is so stripped back, you are unlikely to have comparison tables and call-to-action buttons, hence it is better suited for news items and blog posts. Again, if using wordpress, this can be actioned with an AMP plugin. Other website providers will have their own plugins, see more for Wix or Weebly.
Monitor your site speed
Monitoring your site speed is essential to ensure that you are making progress. The most popular ones are Google Pagespeed Insights – and this is always good to know if you are optimising for Google. They will also give you suggestions too. For more technical second analysis, use GT Metrix.
A website’s loading speed has become integral in today’s highly competitive zero-sum SEO and content marketing world. With benefits both towards the actual human target of your content and Google’s bots, it is something that must not be ignored. Once you have implemented these changes, you can begin considering other SEO ideas. For further ideas, you can check out these guides and materials our partners and ourselves have published such as improving your CMS stability through reliable WordPress Maintenance, content marketing, and improving your local or regional SEO.