What Is Page Speed?
Page speed is the speed at which a page loads on your site. Different pages can have different speeds due to various factors. We’ll be talking about some major factors in-depth and corrective measures to tackle them.
Most searches are abandoned if the page takes more than 3 seconds to load and the bounce rate increases by 90% if the site takes longer than 5 seconds to load. Every user likes quick access to what they are looking for. which is why page speed is also a contributor to page SEO as per the Google algorithm. Slow loading time can be troublesome for users as well as bots, which means negative impact on your SEO.
Corrective: Consider self-hosting or removing the script if it’s really slow. Or use async or defer attribute to avoid blocking document parsing.
Relation to SEO of page: The other option is to block certain scripts, although we don’t suggest doing it without professional help. Block cruicial scripts can impact SEO of the page.
⦁ Bad server/ host:
There are two types of hosting. Dedicated and shared (comparatively much slower). But even dedicated hosting doesn’t guarantee the best results. When a user visits the site, the information is first sent to the server host then back to the user. If the user is from the UK and the host is in the US… the site would take longer to load.
Corrective: pay for a good hosting that meets your requirements and consider the following.
⦁ Hard drive: SSD (solid-state drives) are faster than HDD(hard disk drive). So look a host that provides SSD
⦁ RAM: it’s the spine of operation and is responsible for loading all the scripts on the site. You should check if your plan offers enough RAM for a smooth experience.
⦁ Bandwidth: it’s like a vein through which information flows. The smaller and more restricted it is, the longer it will take to transmit data.
Relation to SEO of page: We STRONGLY recommend using a good hosting service. Because a good hosting service has a small impact on SEO, a bad host on the other hand hampers your SEO. Which leads to an impact on page rank.
⦁ Poor coding:
Not every website has an efficient coder among its ranks, which often results in websites running on huge chunks of code that perform a minor function. These huge chunks of code can delay the website from loading faster.
Corrective: Use dirty markup(site) or pretty-printer(site) to clean or beautify your website code. Or you can hire an experienced coder through fivver.
Relation to SEO of page: Poor coding like double titles, 205 errors, etc makes it harder for bots to crawl the site which can sometimes even result in them not being able to crawl the page properly. Which means, goodbye SEO.
⦁ Too many widgets and plugins:
Using more widgets and plugins does give the users a wide array of functions and increases site interactivity. But at the same time, the more functions they provide the longer they take to load with the page.
NOTE: the load that these widgets and plugins exercise on site speed is directly influenced by what the widgets and plugins do. If a widget has no function its impact on page loading speed would be minuscule.
⦁ Switch to using only well-coded plugins and widgets
⦁ Rather than using widgets on every page, use them only on pages where you need them.
The concept of hotlinking is fairly simple. When you find an image and you use the URL on your site for the image to be displayed but served by the original site. Which means that you’ll be using their bandwidth without permission. It doesn’t have a huge impact on SEO unless there are DMCA complaints against it. But it is a missed opportunity for image traffic
Corrective: Host your images. Not only does it protect you from legalities and negative SEO but it also gives access to attracting a crowd through images.
Relation to SEO of page: you should be on a lookout for people hotlinking to your site. That would lead to more load on your sever, resulting in low speed leading to negative SEO. If not stopped, it can lead to a snowball effect which keeps impacting SEO time over time.
⦁ File types and sizes:
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that large and complex files take longer to load as compared to their simple and comparatively smaller counterparts. A webpage should NEVER be over the size of a megabyte (1 MB). Yet many sites these days include files and images on their site. As a result? The size increases… to several megabytes (like 15MB). This additional baggage in turn makes the page heavier and sluggish while loading. You may use the site tinypng for the same. You can read more about it from Search Engine Land.
Corrective: compress the files you use and re-size the images. You should avoid using GIFs without a workaround to maintain the right load.
Relation to SEO of page: we recommend using a mix of all components without sacrificing page speed, that won’t directly affect SEO. But it will bring in more traffic, which is similar to the role played by good SEO.
Quick & Easy Page Speed Fixes
Below are some quick wins fir you to implement to improve your website and page speed. These fixes aren’t very time consuming and can have a big impact on keyword rankings by speeding up the time it takes for Google to crawl and index your website.
⦁ Enable browser caching:
⦁ Reduce redirects:
Redirects could be used all over the site to elevate user experience with a wide range of redirects. However, too many redirects or redirects to dead pages not only degrade your user experience but also causes the site to load slower.
However, this does not mean that you avoid using redirects entirely. At times it’s crucial to use a redirect. Imagine this, you had a page that was ranking well in 2020. However, in 2021 some major changes were made and you had to make a separate page for it. Now the information on the page from 2020 is outdated, but over time the page has gained authority, and just removing it would be a loss of time and efforts that was put into it. So what we can do is, use a redirect 301 here, to redirect users to the new page of 2021. This helps us retain about 95% authority for the new page and thus saving time and efforts of starting from scratch.
⦁ Choose a CDN:
Content delivery network works with your host and allows you to strategically distribute copies of your site through a server closest to the target audience. This in turn reduces lag time and loads your site much faster. However, for this to work, you need to know who your target audience is. This is where you can read about how CDN affects your SEO in detail.
⦁ Keep a check on page speed:
After optimizing everything you should make time to check your page speed. If you notice a major fall in speed, you must take corrective actions to bring it back up. By now you know that page speed is DIRECT factor of site ranking. Regularly checking your page speed would ensure there’s no derailment of plans and your take corrective action if your ranking falls.
⦁ Look out for errors:
Errors like error 404 may make it difficult for crawlers to crawl the site. So as a webmaster you need to be on a constant lookout for errors. However, in some rare cases leaving 404 is best. To retain site authority, although make sure to leave links to valid pages for users to visit.
⦁ Implement AMP:
As the name suggests, it refers to PRELOADING the resources on a priority basis. It is like giving the browser a command to load this bit on a priority basis. It not only increases the speed at which your load, but also enhances your user experience.
How to measure page speed?
It’s a really simple process. All you need to do is visit https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
This will show your page speed on desktops and mobile browsers separately. The reason being, users have different signal speeds (4G, 3G, and even 5G has joined the relay). This causes the page to load at different speeds across various signals, areas, and connectivity.
Having a responsive website is a major plus here because it can help the site adapt to various platforms.
Page speed DOES affect your page rank. It IS an important and direct factor of seo.
However, don’t get too hung up on it. It’s one ranking factor among MANY. But that doesn’t mean you completely ignore it. we’ve seen people work on page speed and they saw great results. We would recommend trying the quick fixes we talked about. Because aside from site rank, It also affects your user experience. And we all know, you never a second chance at a first impression.