Improving the site speed is one of the critical task to be considered while setting up a blog or website. Slow site irritates not only your visitors but also the search engines. Faster site creates satisfied users and will reduce the bounce rate and improve the conversion rate. Google has already included Ste Speed as signal in it’s search ranking algorithms. That means slow site may get penalized by Google and you may get a low SERP (Search Engine Result Page) ranking. Matt Cutts in his blog has indicated that Google included site speed as one of the over 200 signals that we use in determining search rankings. Experts says a website that takes more than 5 seconds to load is consdiered as “very slow” website that needs improvements.
All these factors points to the importance of Site speed in SEO. We have already discussed many SEO Topics in various articles in this blog (Read: A Guide to SEO. Best Practices and Optimization Starter Guide). Today we will check the most important and critical tips to improve your site speed that helps and boost your SEO.
Test Your Website Load Speed
First you need to analyze your website load speed and the factors that hinder the performance. There are many excellent free services and tools available to check your website load speed. These tools not only reports you the speed parameters but also gives you a very good insight into what and where you need to improve to make your website a fast website. We discussed many such points in the post How to Test Your Website Completely – Validate HTML,CSS , RSS, ATOM,Mobile compatibility
If you have already added your website in Google Webmaster Tools then you can verify the page speed there itself. There are many other very good services available and few of them are listed below.
- WebPageTest.org’s website speed test .
- Page Speed an open source Firefox/Firebug add-on
- Yahoo YSlow
- Pingdom‘s site speed test
- GTmetrix.com’s website speed test
Steps to Improve Site speed
There may be many reasons behind the slow performance of your website or blog. The reason can be lack of compression techniques, file caching non optimized images or even placement of Style sheets and scripts. Gzip compression helps your site serve files in a faster rate. Combining script and CSS files and Minifying them also makes things better. We have discussed all these points in the article Top Tips to Speed Up website – Website and Blog Optimization.
- If you use Apache as your web server the read the .htaccess tips to improve your site speed.
- Once you have done with all these website optimization processes then you can validate your hosting support. If your hosting provider is not offering you the optimum speed you can consider changing your hosting provider.
- Also many plugins which give more extra features on blog or website platforms like WordPress,Blog etc are known to slow down your sites. Remove all unnecessary plugins and add-ons from your site.
- You can also use a content delivery network (CDN) to make your site fast. The parallel download of resources from various locations improves site load speed considerably.
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