Ranking as high as possible is a goal that many businesses share. It is one of the true ways to dominate the search engine space. The higher you rank for a specific keyword, the better your chances are of showing everyone how your business is better than the rest. This is not an easy feat by any means, and it requires a lot of diligent search engine optimization (SEO). This means, constant planning, research, engagement and content creation that is keyword targetted. There are many factors that come into Google rankings, but one of the most important ones these days, especially due to peoples’ shortening attention spans, is site speed.
The speed of your website is crucial when it comes to how well your website can rank on Google search engines. Yes, keywords, backlinks, and proper content are important, but having a fast loading website is key. For starters, Google directly considers the speed of your website’s loading time to determine where it should rank your site on its search engine. This means that the quicker your website is able to load, the higher it can be placed just based on its performance.
Think about it, if a webpage takes too long to load, would you sit there waiting for it to respond? No, you would go to the next site that loads based on your requirements. Nowadays Google recommends a benchmark of 400 milliseconds or in other words, close to the blink of an eye. Essentially any website with a faster load speed will be able to be accessed much easier than one with a longer load speed. This makes it more relevant and in Google’s eyes… more valuable, therefore it should be ranked higher. As we become more technologically advanced, people will spend less time waiting for things, which is the overall idea this priority goes with. What can you do to ensure your site is running as optimally as it can?
Check your Server: Your web host provider is a crucial part of your website’s performance. We all try to cut costs wherever and whenever we can, and sometimes this means choosing a cheaper hosting service. Watch out! Sometimes cheaper web hosting platforms use shared servers, which causes clutter due to the fact that you are sharing web space with other websites. It may be in your best interest to update your hosting preferences that suit your business preferences. Always take the time to research which hosting providers are the best and go from there. A little due diligence can go a long way in this case.
Stay Up to Date: Ensure that your CMS (Content Management System) is always as up to date as it can possibly be. Updating can be annoying at times, but it is necessary in order to ensure that you are using the most current version of your CMS as possible. If you haven’t ever updated your CMS, you may want to do that as soon as possible as site speeds are correlated to the relevance of your CMS. Updates are good for your business. It means previous problems have been addressed, fixed, and improved.
Reduce Image Sizes: The larger your images are, the longer they will take to download. This is huge to remember. Many people do not think about image resolutions after uploading visual content to their websites. For example, if you’ve just completed a product shoot and want to upload to your website, it would be in your best interest to first edit these photos, as they are usually taken at very high resolutions. We’d recommend trying to keep images under 1 MB if possible.
Watch those Plugins: Plugins are awesome. They help you add some custom functionality to your site and there are millions to choose from. The thing is… if you have too many plugins running at once, they could drastically lower your site speed, so its best to try and keep your plugin usage to only what’s necessary. The reason this is important is because each plugin must make its own individual request that takes extra time to load online. We love plugins too, but try to use them sparingly!
Maintaining proper website speed is something that requires time, effort and patience. If you are interested in learning more about how to improve your business’s online presence, visit our contact us page here or fill out the form below to get in touch with us right away.