Web Speed Ranking Factors

Google has many ranking factors used to determine where a website will end up appearing in search results, these factor many on page details such as page titles, on page keywords, inbound links (and the quality of these links), latent semantic keywords (related keywords to the one searched), social signals, and other factors.

As well as the on page SEO factors that Google and other search engines will use as ranking factors are off page technical SEO aspects. These include code validation (check your website) and what we are talking about today – site speed.

There are numerous factors that many websites fall foul of when it comes to increasing the speed of a website which may have an adverse effect on your SEO efforts and stop you from appearing higher in search results.

Underneath I will list the most common ways in which your website might be going too slow and how to improve this.

1. Images and Image size

The amount of images that you have used on a page can have an impact on the load time of your webpage. Each image has to be called up from your server, increasing the amount of work a internet browser has to perform to display your webpage. This can slow down the displaying of the webpage depending on how many times the images have to be displayed.

The size of the images is one of the most common issues that we come across. Many people when blogging or uploading more content to the website (which is great!) will upload images straight from a high quality camera. These images can often be over 10mb each. A high quality image on a website should be at a maximum 700kb. The more very high memory size images there are, the longer these will take to download, creating a lag on your website and increasing the loading times. To combat this, run the images that you have through photo editing software such as photoshop and reduce the file size by re-saving as a lower quality jpg or png (use save for web and devices).

2. Too many plugins

Often when people are looking around at how to improve their websites, they come across a website that will feature a list of plugins that are ‘must have’ or similar, once this is spotted it is often the case that all of these plugins are then downloaded (whether they are then used to good effect is not known…).

Plugins for WordPress or extensions for Joomla are often a god send and can help increase functionality on the website, however, each plugin comes with the its own css files and javascript files which can slow down the website from loading and many times these plugins can do the same job as other plugins that have been downloaded.

Only download the plugins and extensions that are essential to your site such as contact forms and other plugins that are required and deactivate and delete the plugins that are not being used. This will reduce the amount of calls on the server and speed up the loading time of the page.

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