Page speed is a cornerstone of SEO.
While the content on a page is super important for SEO (search engine optimization), that content also helps determine page speed. Aside from that, there are other factors that can help improve page speed, site speed, and overall SEO.
The things that you can do right now to improve these tomorrow are ever-growing and evolving, though a few of the most important things that you can do have remained the same for a long time. Here are five of the best things that you can do right now to improve site speed and overall SEO tomorrow.
1. Use a CDN to Increase Site Speed Without Updating Content
A CDN is an excellent way to increase website speed as quickly as possible and without having to modify content. CDN stands for “content delivery network” and it does just that. It works to quickly distribute content to any visitor’s browser from the nearest server’s network. A website that does not use a CDN will take longer to load web pages that are hosted because it is downloaded only from where that website’s server is located.
- Ask your host provider if they offer this service. If you have WP Engine, it might be free.
- Try Cloud Flare
2. Make Sure That Browser Caching Is Enabled
Caching works alongside a CDN, being another way to improve site speed without modifying website content. It ultimately improves site speed for repeat website visitors. With caching enabled, your web server will store static copies of your web pages in visitors’ browsers. That reduces the number of files being downloaded with each visit, and in turn, improves site speed.
- As your host provider if this is turned on. If not…
- Ask your website developer to help you find a quick solution. If you have a WordPress site, many plugins are an option here.
3. Optimize Images, Video, & Other Media Files
As most web pages contain some sort of media, make sure that they are properly sized and compressed. Many websites have too-large images or overly-lengthy videos that could look equally as high quality if resized or compressed.
There are many ways to optimize images to improve website speed. The first thing you can do is to check to see what size images are being displayed on your website and resize them to no larger than those dimensions. The smaller the images are on a page, the faster that page will load. 500 pixels wide may be a good start. Compressing image files is also ideal, and free website plugins can compress images as soon as they’re uploaded.
- Make sure that before you even upload any photos, that they are optimized for the web.
- If you have a WordPress site, once they’re uploaded, use a compression plugin such as [our fave] ShortPixel.
- You can always check the status of your images by running a quick speed report with GTmetrix, or some other free tool. Although, we find this one to be accurate. Pay more attention to the Pagespeed section versus YSlow – although both are important.
There are many things that can be done to optimize videos to improve site speed, as well. MP4 produces the smallest file size, making it the best choice video format, in most cases. Ideally, videos should be as short as possible on a website. Removing audio tracks can also help. Longer videos should be uploaded to Vimeo or YouTube instead of being served locally. You can then either provide a link to that video or use their embedding code to display the video on your website.
4. Simplify Website Content
Use simple HTML code whenever possible. That means sticking to paragraphs, headings, links, and bolded and italic text only where needed. If web pages’ code is kept as clean as possible, this will improve site speed as well as improve overall SEO. Less styling also simply leads to faster downloading times and the content will be more easily and quickly crawled upon for higher search engine rankings.
- If this is beyond your skillset, please reach out to your website developer. Although, these types of things should be able to be managed easily. If your website isn’t easy to use or edit, please let us know.
5. Reduce Website Redirects
Minimize the number of website redirects as much as possible. Redirects reduce site speed as they each add an HTTP request to load from their original URL to their redirected destination.
- While redirects are a great way to let users and bots know that something has changed or moved—having too many of them can be an issue for speed and sometimes even errors. Please have your website developer check to see if you have too many redirects on your website and ask them to help you form a game plan to clean them up.
Anything you can do to improve site speed for your website will also improve your website’s overall SEO. Improving site speed is a very highly important part of SEO.
We know that it’s not easy to improve site speed and to maintain excellent SEO, as it takes up-to-date know-how as well as commitment. If you have any questions or doubts about what you can do to improve your site speed, book an SEO Strategy Session with us.