Back in 2010 Google announced that Page Speed was one of the hundreds of ranking factors that they consider. However, many studies since then have shown that it is a very minor factor. A factor that did have a higher correlation was time to first byte. How long it took your servers to respond, and start sending data. Forgetting about the SEO factor, though, pagespeed is still very instrumental in the usability of your website. Your visitors do not want to sit around and wait for you website to load. So, what can you do to increase your page speed, and what are the the important factors you should consider.
1. Compress Your Images
Images are extremely important for the appearance and conversion ability of your websites. They help build your brand, and convey your point. However, they can also be the bane of your existence. Uncompressed images cause your website to function much slower, and can take up big chunks of your rented server space. When you build a page, especially a blog post that you created, make sure that all the images are compressed, and dropped to a DPI appropriate for the internet.
2. Improve Server Response Times
Your goal server response time is under 200ms. Unfortunately, this is a function of your server. That means that the only thing you can do is get a better server, or utilize a CDN.
3. Avoid Redirects
Redirects are typically bad business when it comes to usability and SEO. Redirects cause your website to lose some of the authority from links, and multiple redirects can diminish all authority from those links.
They also cause a problem with page load times. Going through a redirect causes your initial server response to double. While this may be pretty minimal in your eyes, it can be a big difference to the user. The difference between 2 second load time and 2.5 seconds is noticeable. So, make sure to make all the links you build land on the appropriate page. This includes social media.
4. Shrink The Code
Browsers are exceptional at getting through the code on your website as efficiently as possible. However, you should still make it as easy as possible for them. So, we suggest that you go through your code, and eliminate any extra spaces, lines and indentations when uploading your code. This will eliminate some of the time it takes the browser to read the code. The impact of this will be very minimal, but every millisecond counts when there’s money to be made.
5. Remove Render Blocking Java and CSS
For usability, people care less about overall loading times, and more about time to first paint. Time to first paint is how long it takes until the website is effectively usable. You can read words, interact with forms or what have you. However, this can be slowed down if the browser is running into external Java and CSS scripts.
We suggest that any scripts that need to function in order for your above the fold page to render be coded inline, and not external. This allows the browsers to engage this code immediately, and not hinge on your server response times.
If you have any questions about your site speed, or want help improving it, please contact us. We’d be happy to analyze your site, and tell you some changes that are needed.