It’s no longer a secret; Google SEO ranking now depends on your WordPress website speed. This fact is quite remarkable. For the longest time possible, Google only relied on the quality of content posted, keyword usage, content’s relevance, backlinks, and so on.
But with the site speed now being a factor in ranking, your marketing strategy has to take this aspect into mind.
- It wouldn’t help much having sufficient structured content, trustworthy back-links, and all that; but have a site that takes ages to load. Major SERPs use algorithms to gauge your page speed before ranking.
- A huge chunk of internet users today rely on Mobile phones and other handheld devices. Google realizes that these users require a different user experience from those using desktops. Mobile phones have smaller screens compared to desktops. Besides, some users use data bundles to browse.
- In that regard, it’s important that the pages they’re visiting open up faster and have nicely displayed content. Underline the word faster and displayed. The concept of mobile-friendly websites is all about faster page speeds and beautifully displayed content.
What is page speed?
According to Fernando Raymond Page speed is often used to measure how fast content is loading on your page. Do not confuse page speed with site speed. Site speed refers to the duration it takes for content to load from one page to the other, on the same website. Page speed, on the other hand, means the period it takes for your browser to get the first bits of info from the webserver. You’re on your browser; you have tens of search results and decide to click on one URL. The duration for that page to load and display its content is the page speed.
You can estimate your page speed by trying Google’s PageSpeed Insights. This tool relies on two main metrics known as DOMContent Loaded (DCL) and First Contentful Paint (FCP).
Why is page speed important?
- Google’s algorithms measure your page speed based on the duration it takes to receive the first bytes from the main server.
- If your page is slow, it means Google will also take longer to crawl to other pages you may have as backlinks or outbound links. This reality means lower ranking and indexing.
- Secondly, fast load speed will mean a better user experience. Research has shown that pages that take longer to load report higher bounce rates, low average times on the page.
- High bounce rates are terrible news for your business and your marketing strategy. The essence of having a site is to have as many users visit and spend as much time as possible therein; this is the only way of increasing your chances of conversions.
How to Improve your Site Speed;
There are tools that SEO practitioners use to help improve your site speed. There are many myths and hearsay out there regarding site speed.
There’s the easy part, and there’s the technical part.
Let’s start with the easy part;
- Did you know that the pages used on a site determine to a large extent, how fast or slow the site will be? It’s not rocket science; there’s a clear correlation between the image size and the page speed.
- Also, keeping your site simple is a great way to make it load faster. Mind you, every photo, form, a style sheet or script that you use on your site will require your own HTTP request; this slows down the site.
- Just keep it simple and stick with the essentials.
- Lastly, you can upgrade the server on which your site is hosted. Speak to your web host about this and have them guide you forward.
The technical tools for improving site speed;
- One effective tool that developers use to increase your site speed is Gzip. The software application helps compress and reduce the size of your files.
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