Google’s algorithms have been constantly modified over the years to look for sites that generate the maximum traffic and factors that attract users to a site and improve its visitor numbers. Web page speed is one essential factor that Google uses to rank websites. The page speed is measured by evaluating how a page responds to Googlebot and checking the page load time as measured by Google Toolbar.
A study has demonstrated that slowing the search result pages by 100 to 400 milliseconds drastically impacts the number of searches per user indicating the importance of page speed to attract and retain users. Also, since a larger number of users are shifting to using mobile devices for all their searches, site speed is now more crucial than ever. A fast website greatly enhances user experience and improves user conversion rates, thereby, considerably affecting the organic search engine ranking potential. The speed of a site is now actually representative of the brand personality and customer engagement.
A number of tools are available now to test page speed and alongside obtain other web page insights. Google PageSpeed is one such tool that provides an insights test report with a score from 1 to 100 and some suggestions on how your website can be improved in terms of page speed.
Below we mention a few ways to improve web page load speeds:
Optimize Images: One factor that influences page load is image size. Optimized images can help reduce page load times. Running the Optimus Image Optimizer plugin by KeyCDN can fix the “optimize images” warning by providing “lossless compression” so that image quality is not compromised. The plugin converts images to .webp format leading to a faster website.
Fonts: Certain fonts such as Google Fonts and Awesome Fonts sometimes minimize page load speeds. It is preferred to choose your content fonts carefully so that they do not affect the page load times.
Apart from these, there are other methods to optimize website speed for SEO which is given below:
- A good, affordable WordPress hosting solution that offers high quality shared hosting solutions
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- Update WordPress and Wordpress plugins at regular intervals
- Disable Wordpress plugins that are not used too often
Now that it is understood that page load speed acts as a crucial SEO ranking factor, it is always a good idea to go a step further to make sure your content is not causing this important component to be compromised. Especially when using content management systems like WordPress, a little extra effort can help achieve optimum page speeds and aid user interest. Additionally, keep a tab on the website speed and load times specially after making some major updates or plugin additions. Running a few regular or automated tests can help maintain good page speed levels and help your SEO efforts.