Isn’t getting enough responses as expected from your website? Though you have a simple but attractive design with punchy and crispy text, the site is getting down. But why?
Yes, my friend, it’s all about slow website speed. Website Speed is one of the most important factors for SEO.
So, today we will show you the complete guideline for website speed in SEO. It includes:
- Clarification of website speed, page speed, and SEO
- Google’s ranking mechanism
- Easy process of testing your website speed
- Causes and effects of slow a website
- 12 best SEO practices to boost your website speed for WordPress, Shopify, and Wix platforms.
What are Website Speed and SEO?
Website speed is a metric to measure a website’s effectiveness. It refers to how quickly the website can respond to user interactions. Lower website speeds may leave users feeling frustrated and waiting longer for pages to load. On the other hand, higher website speeds may make users feel more satisfied.
Website SEO is the process of improving the visibility and ranking of a website on search engines. This can be done through techniques such as keyword placement, on-page optimization, link building, and backlinking. Properly executed website SEO can also lead to increased web traffic, which can result in an increase in revenue.
Is Website Speed and Page Speed Same?
There is a common misunderstanding between “page speed” and “site speed”. While they share some similarities, they are two different things.
Website speed refers to the time it takes for a user to complete the overall downloading process of a webpage. This includes waiting for images to load, listening for sound files, reading through AJAX requests, parsing fonts, then finally loading content onto the screen.
On the other hand, Page speed is more specific and measures how long it takes for a user just to view content on a single web page.
Relation Between Website Speed and SEO
As a website’s speed increases, the likelihood of being found on search engines also increases. According to one study, a 2% increase in website speed can result in a 3% increase in organic search traffic.
Additionally, websites that load quickly tend to be more credible and trustworthy – making them more likely to convert visitors into customers.
There are three main reasons why faster websites perform better on search engines:
- Faster websites load quicker
- Faster sites are less likely to crash
- Googlebot is pushed further down the page rankings for slow-loading sites
Is Website’s Page Speed A Google Ranking Factor?
In this regard, Google itself says, “A site should be as fast as possible”
According to Google’s Core Web Vitals report 2022, you can have insights of your page speed depending on the three Web Core Vitals: LCP, FID, and CLS.
Google defines these three major Web Core Vitals in the following ways:
1. LCP (Largest Contentful Paint)
The amount of time to render the largest content element visible in the viewport, from when the user requests the URL. LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading- Google.
2. FID (First Input Delay)
The time from when a user first interacts with your page to the time when the browser responds to that interaction. Pages should have a FID of 100 milliseconds or less– Google.
3. CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift)
CLS measures the sum total of all individual layout shift scores for every unexpected layout shift that occurs during the entire lifespan of the page. Pages should maintain a CLS of 0.1. or less– Google.
Google’s standard measurements for each of these metrics and three different categories: Good Need Improvement, and Poor.
How to Test The Speed of Your Website
At this point, your burning question may be, “How fast my website loads?” In fact, testing the speed of your website is a complex task. Here, we have enlisted 5 effective tools so that you can test yourself.
5 Effective Website Speed Test Tools
The following tools will help you to find out the real speed of your website. They are easy to use and very trustworthy.
1. Google PageSpeed Insights
Google PageSpeed Insights is a free tool that measures how fast your page is loading on Google Search and Google Page Result pages.
It also tells you how well your page uses web resources and whether it has problems with ETags, Canonicalization, Transfer Speed, or Compressing Images.
You can use it to see which pages on your site load quickly, which ones slow down significantly, and where you can make improvements.
Pingdom gives you a live diagnosis of the performance of your websites using real-world data collected from millions of visits every day. Pingdom tests the performance of all devices including mobile devices, laptops, and desktops as well as search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! Search.
You can see where loading times are problematic and identify issues such as low bandwidth connections or slow routers that may be causing problems.
It provides a comprehensive set of online analytics that include detailed information about your web traffic sources and destinations, browser types and versions used, search engine keywords used, and other activity on your website.
WebPageTest is a useful website testing tool that can be used to measure the speed of your website. This can help you to identify potential problems with the speed of your website, and to make improvements where necessary.
You can use WebPageTest to test the speed of your website in two different ways: by loading a page and measuring the time it takes to download, or by loading a page and recording the number of errors that occur.
WebPageTest allows you to measure the following aspects of a web page:
- – Page Load Time
- – Connect Speed (Download Speed)
- – DOM/HTML (+CSS, images) Size
- – Number of Failed Requests
- – Time Taken To Receive Response From Server
You can also use Sematext to measure the speed of your pages. Sematext uses web performance monitoring (WPM) technologies to collect data from visitors and users to generate insights about webpage speed. Sematext reports include summarized data from each page load, as well as detailed information about slow requests and errors.
Sematext offers a variety of ways to measure page speed. The first step is to create a report for each page on your website using either our desktop or web-based tool. After you have created the reports, you will then want to export them into a file that you can use with Sematext.
To import the reports into Sematext:
1) Open our web-based tool;
2) Select “Import Reports”;
3) Browse and select the reports you would like to import;
4) Click “Import Reports”
Main Reasons Behind a Slow Website
Let’s see some of the major factors that cause slow page speed.
1. Hosting Service That You Are Using
One of the key aspects that influence the speed of your website is the hosting service that you are using. A good hosting service will optimize your website for faster loading times, which can make a significant difference in overall website speed.
Your host’s performance depends on the following factors:
- Server configurations
- Specifications of machines running the servers.
Things to consider while choosing a hosting service:
- Server Location
- Server Size
- Price etc.
2. HTTPS Connection
In order to improve website performance, it is important to use a secure HTTPS connection. However, not all websites support HTTPS connections. According to a 2017 study by NetSolutenzer, only 43% of all websites are currently running on a secure HTTPS connection.
Additionally, 63% of website users incorrectly believe that HTTPS is required for all connections. In order to increase the speed of your website and ensure that your customers have a positive experience, it is important to make sure your site is running securely over HTTPS.
3. Page Size of Your Website
A website’s page size can affect its speed. A larger page size will take longer to load, and can result in a slower website. Factors that can affect a website’s page size include the following:
- The type of file format used for the website’s content.
- The number of images on the site.
- The number of redirects the site has
Google’s recommendation is to keep the weight of your page under 500KB.
4. Images and Videos
The images and videos you use in your website are responsible for slow speed. SEO experts say that videos and images account for seventy percent of all website content, so it makes sense that they would impact website speed. In this regard, you should invest in Image SEO to speed up your website.
5. Theme of Your Website
The Theme you have chosen may be the main reason for your slow website speed. This is because it controls the design, layouts, font, etc. of your website.
So, select a theme that loads fast and is properly organized. You may not even be aware of how much of a negative impact your site’s speed has on a slowly loaded theme.
6. Use of Unnecessary Plugins and Widgets
Are you using plugins and widgets that you don’t need? Many webmasters think that because they have a plugin or widget, their website is faster. But in reality, using these extras can actually slow down your website.
There are a few ways that unneeded plugins and widgets can slow down your website. First, these add extra HTTP requests to your website. This can cause your pages to load slower than they would if you didn’t have them. Second, these plugins and widgets can consume resources on your server.
7. Codes Written in an Unprofessional Way
Codes written in an unprofessional way can often be the cause of slow network speeds and streaming videos. Poorly written network codes can lead to freezes and slow internet speeds for the users. These codes often include technical jargon that is unfamiliar to most users and can be difficult to understand.
In fact, one study found that 42% of American businesses suffer from slowed website performance because of poorly written network codes.
Importance of Page Speed in SEO
Does website speed affect SEO? The answer is “Yes”, my friend. Research has shown that pages with a loading time of under three seconds are 95% more likely to be clicked than pages with a loading time of over four seconds.
Again, according to Google’s New Industry Benchmarks for Mobile Page Speed, bounce rates are higher if the pages take longer times to load.
The Benefits of a Fast-Loaded Website
You may ask, “Why does website speed matter?” This is because the web is an ever-changing place where new technologies are constantly being developed and old ones are obsolete. Consequently, the ranking of websites changes on a regular basis.
In recent days, Google and other search engines use page load time as one factor in their algorithms to determine which websites are most relevant to a given query.
As a result, having a fast-loading website can have a significant impact on your website’s traffic and user experience.
Here are some other benefits of having a fast-loading website:
- Better Ranking, More Traffic
- Improved User-experience
- The bounce Rate Dramatically Get Decreased
- The Retention Rate of Your Website Increases
- Higher Conversion Rate, More Profit
- Better Usability For Mobile Users
12 SEO Best Practices to Increase The Performance and Speed of Your Website
Website speed in SEO plays a pivotal role. So, we have gathered 12 best SEO practices here for you. Why are you waiting? Let’s boost your website speed to rank fast!
1. Write Good Code (For Developers)
There is no doubt that good coding practices can help improve the performance and speed of your website. By following these best practices, you can make sure that your website loads quickly and responds smoothly to user interactions.
That’s why the developers should use optimal code formatting. When your code is formatted correctly, your pages will load faster because they will not have to load all of the code for each individual element.
2. Minimize the HTTP Requests
HTTP requests are a major performance bottleneck on the web. By minimizing the number of HTTP requests your website makes, you can improve its overall speed and performance.
4. Optimize the Images
Images are an important part of a website’s speed in SEO, and optimizing them can have a significant impact on its performance and speed. Optimize the images on your website for both size and file type. For smaller images, use JPEGs instead of PNGs or GIFs, which tend to be larger.
5 Best Tools for Image Optimization
- WebUtils Bulk Image Compress
5. Minimize The Redirects
“We strongly encourage webmasters to minimize the number or ideally eliminate redirects entirely”– Google Developer
There are a few things you can do to help reduce the number of redirects your site experiences.
- Use 301 redirects. This will tell search engines that the old URL is no longer relevant and should be redirected to the new URL.
- Include a canonical tag on your pages. This tells search engines which page should be considered the “official” page for a given topic.
- Avoid creating duplicate pages. If you have two pages with the same title, Google may consider them duplicates and redirect them both.
- Use meta tags to further refine your site’s content.
One approach is to use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to analyze your page and identify any slow scripts.
7. Use Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)
You can also use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to transfer scripts from a server outside of your website’s content delivery network to reduce the load time of specific pages on your website.
8. Compress Files As Much As You Can
Additionally, compression can also help reduce your hosting costs. You can use GZipG to manually compress your files
9. Choose The Right Hosting Option for Your Needs
There are a number of different hosting options available when it comes to speeding up your website. Depending on the type of website you have, a different hosting option may be more suited.
If your website is built on a platform such as WordPress, then using a managed WordPress hosting service such as WP Engine will likely result in the fastest speeds.
10. Use Caching
There are a number of caching solutions available that can speed up the loading of specific pages or posts on your site. Try using a content delivery network (CDN) like Cloudflare, W3 Total Cache, or NGINX.
11. Use External Hosting Platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia to Host Your Videos
Videos are capable enough to slow down your website as they require more bandwidth. So, uploading the videos on YouTube, Vimeo, or Wistia and then sharing the link on your website is one of the best SEO practices.
12. Reduce The Number of Plugins You Use on Your Site
Another quickest and most effective way to boost your website’s speed is to reduce the number of plugins installed e on your site.
Plugins can slow down a site by loading additional code and taking up space in the browser, which can impact load time and overall performance.
Ways to Optimize Page Speed for WordPress
Here are 6 easy steps to optimize page speed for WordPress:
Step 1: Pick an appropriate domain name.
Step 2: Select a suitable hosting plan depending on the nature of your website.
Step 3: Make sure your theme framework is simple and lightweight.
Step 4: Use a Caching plugin to speed up your website.
Step 5: Use a Content Delivery Network(CDNs)
Step 6: Design your homepage in a minimalist way.
Ways to Optimize Page Speed for Shopify Page
Let’s discover how you can boost the page speed of a Shopify Page in just 4 steps.
Step 1: Go for a fast, up-to-date version, and fully responsive theme.
Step 2: Concentrate on organizing your Shopify apps. Remove the unused and unnecessary ones.
Step 3: Use AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) as a huge number of people browse Shopify Page through mobile phones. So, it is important to fasten your website for mobile.
Step 4: Use the HTTP requests checker.
Ways to Optimize Page Speed for Wix
Are you using the Wix platform for your website? Is your website speed slow? No worries! Let’s learn how to optimize page speed for Wix.
Step 1: Compress the images before uploading. While compressing, always remember that you need not change the dimensions of the images. Just reduce the image size.
Step 2: Try to use animations as less as you can on a page. Because it will make your page heavy to load.
Step 3: Use the best-suited font on your website. For example San Serif
Step 4: Reduce the number of web effects and slideshows on a page.
FAQs on Website Speed in SEO
How to increase website speed?
You can fasten your website speed in many ways. Let’s have a look at the most effective ones:
- Carefully optimize the codes of your site.
- Allow for compression
- Upload well-optimized images (smaller in size)
How do you test website speed?
Testing the speed of your website is a complex process. But you can do it easily by using some tools like:
- Google PageSpeed Insights
Why do you need to increase website speed?
There are numerous reasons to boost your website speed. Some of them are:
- To get more traffic
- To reduce the bounce rate
- To improve user experience
- To increase conversion rates
- To get a higher ranking on Google
How to improve website SEO performance?
There are a few simple things you can do to improve your website’s SEO performance. For example:
- Use the correct keywords and keyword density
- Update your website content regularly
- Create high-quality content
- Write an engaging Title
- Write a crisp Meta Description
- Use relevant internal and external links
- Use eye-soothing and fully optimized images
How to increase website speed on mobile?
If you don’t concentrate on increasing your website’s speed for mobile, you are surely getting away from your competitors. Here are some tips you can follow to optimize your site for mobile.
- Enable Browser Caching
- Enable Image Compression
- Minimize HTTP Requests
- Minimize Redirects to Increase Mobile Page Speed
Wrapping Up: Website Speed in SEO
When it comes to website speed, you want to make sure that your site is as fast as possible so that your visitors don’t get annoyed. customers can easily find what they’re looking for. By optimizing your web pages, you can help your site rank higher in search engine results, which will result in more qualified leads and sales.
If you like to learn more about website speed in SEO, or need help fine-tuning your webpages for optimal performance, reach out to our team of experienced professionals. We would be happy to offer a consultation!