SEO Resolutions – #1 Shedding Weight
Welcome to our SEO Resolutions series. In this series of blog posts, we’re saying goodbye to 2016 and welcoming 2017 with some SEO resolutions for the new year. First up in this guide is all about shedding SEO weight!
How to shed some site weight and improve page load speed
Your website’s speed is very important both in terms of SEO and marketing. If the pages on your website are not loading fast enough, it can affect user experience and satisfaction, pages views, bounce rates and conversion rates. But crucially for SEO, page speed is one of Google’s ranking factors. This means that improving page load speeds will help your website rank better in Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
The Tamar team have compiled a list of New Years recommendations for you to shed some of this weight and improve your page speed.
Reduce server response time
One of the most common problems we come across in clients’ websites is server response time. Google have helpfully put together a guide within their Page Insights Tools to help you minimise this and you can find this here. Note that the ideal response time is less than 200 milliseconds!
If you’re producing rich video content or even text with high quality imagery, your website may look beautiful and your users may be highly engaged. However, the size of these files on your site may mean it’s heavy and therefore slow to load. If this is the case, Google may not rank you and highly and bounce rates may increase.
When you compress your web pages you’re essentially using less bandwidth. You should zip your pages in order to have them loading faster. On a WordPress site, compression is easily achieved with the installation of handy plugins such as GZip. Your development team will be able to advise which is the best method for your particular site.
We know that for most companies having high-quality images is vital for branding and sales, however, this can result in many images on the website being quite large and heavy. Ideally, all images on web pages should not exceed 100kb in size; however, we know this isn’t always possible. Therefore, we recommend reducing the size as much as possible without loosing quality. Just make sure that nothing is larger than 1mb.
Following best SEO practices will reduce your page load speed which may in turn help you to rank higher in the SERPs. We recommend that you lower the resolution of your images wherever possible to 640 x 480 or 800 x 600 and also if your images are jpegs, try reducing image quality to 50%.
What about browser caching?
The first time a user visits a web page their hard drive stores the page’s information and elements for future use so that it won’t have to load it from scratch next time they visit. This helpful feature means that load speeds can be reduced as files can be found locally. To make use of this, make sure that you have enabled browser caching on your website.
Again, WordPress websites will be able to use a plugin to address this. Otherwise, a web development team will be able to enable browser caching for you.
Extra bits of code such as CSS can make your web pages more interesting but they may also slow down page speed.
If your website needs some help to lose weight this year and your page speed needs improving, why not speak to one of the Tamar team who will be happy to help.