Have you ever been super excited to check out a website that you clicked on the link, and then you waited… and waited… and waited? We’ve all been there, and it’s not much fun. When a website takes forever to load, we tend to click away in frustration. And it also means that website will slip in Google’s ranking, eventually becoming nearly impossible to find when searching.
Fortunately, there’s a simple fix for this issue: Increase your website’s speed! Not only will this make visitors happier, but it will result in better SEO, which means you show up higher and look better on Google.
Let’s look at how that plays into SEO, some tips for increasing your website’s speed—both with and without WordPress—and finally, how to test your website to see whether Google thinks it loads quickly enough or not.
How website speed impacts SEO
One of many factors in SEO is something called technical SEO. Technical SEO is all about the behind-the-scenes aspects of your website, like the code it’s written in, metadata, how many other resources an individual page includes, and more.
One of the more important aspects of technical SEO is how quickly your website loads.
Google wants people to have the best user experience possible when they search the web. That means providing users with relevant information as quickly as possible. So, if two websites are virtually tied in every other aspect of SEO, but one takes five seconds longer than the other to load, Google will give preference to the faster site in its search engine rankings.
This means that having a faster-loading website is essential if you want your business pages to show up on page one of Google search results instead of page 100!
Tips for increasing your website’s speed
There are several ways that you can increase the speed of your website without having to invest in expensive software or hardware upgrades. Here are just a few tips for improving your site’s loading time:
- Make large images smaller before uploading them onto your webpage; this can significantly save loading time! I usually recommend a max width and height of 1200 pixels.
- Optimize code by removing unnecessary characters and spacing; this makes code easier for browsers to read and render quickly. It doesn’t make a huge difference, but sometimes every little bit helps!
- Clean up any broken links or redirects; these create extra work for browsers, slowing down loading times.
- If using WordPress, consider installing and configuring technical SEO plugins.
- Consider springing for better hosting if you’re just paying $5 or $10 a month. Better hosting typically means a better computer which usually means your website will load faster.
- Finally, ensure all elements of your site are mobile-friendly; many people access websites through their phones nowadays, and having a mobile-optimized site is essential for maintaining good loading speeds across devices!
How to check your website speed on Google
There are plenty of ways you can improve the speed of your website without investing too much money or time into technical upgrades. But how do you know whether these efforts have paid off? The best way is to test your website with a tool provided by Google!
Google offers a free tool called PageSpeed Insights which helps you measure how quickly your website loads on both desktop and mobile devices. It also provides specific recommendations to help increase the loading speed of each page. All you have to do is enter the URL of your website, and it will generate an overall score based on how quickly it loads.
If this is more than you want to do on your own, my team and I can help with our technical SEO services. Feel free to reach out to us. We would be glad to talk and see if we’re a good fit for you and your website.