Can Website Loading Speed Impact SEO?
The speed at which your website loads has quite an impact on your site’s SEO. Search engine companies realize that no one wants to sit and wait for a page to load. When a page is loading slowly, or not at all, users tend to move on to another site, never to return. When it comes to web browsing, the faster the better. People don’t have time to wait. So, anyone concerned with SEO needs to know how to make their site load faster, thereby ensuring readers, and repeat visitors. Here are some tips to decrease the wait time on loading your website:
- Streamline your site: As much as viewers like pictures, videos, and infographics, the more of these you have on one page, the slower that page is going to load. That’s not to say you shouldn’t use them: use them, but don’t over-use them. When you do place a jpeg, gif, or video on your site, compress the files so they aren’t so large they can’t load.
- Cut down on redirects: Every time you click a link and it has to redirect to another page, because that link is dead, it takes time. Review your site for dead links and spots where you get redirected. Reroute these links to avoid the middle-man to cut down on time. It may take you some time to comb through your site and re-set any dead-end links, but it’s going to be worth it in the long run, for your SEO. Time you spend amending your website is time your viewers don’t have to take in navigating it.
- Turn on your browser caching: Browser caching is similar to memory. When a reader loads your page once, the images can be stored in its memory if the caching is enabled, meaning that the second time they load the page, it loads that much more quickly. This is an excellent short-cut for loyal visitors who keep coming back to your site. So do them a favour and enable the browser caching so they don’t have to wait every time.
- Re-think your plug-ins:Every additional thing happening on your website factors into its loading speed and time. Unless a plug-in is vitally important, see if you can cut it out. While people appreciate aesthetics, and the convenience added by certain plug-ins, they won’t be able to appreciate them if the page is loading so slowly they never get there. Sometimes simplicity is key, and when it comes to things that clog your website and derail your loading speed, it should be your mantra. Don’t let fancy web gadgets get in the way of your site’s effectiveness.
- Keep an eye on things: Conducting an SEO audit will help you evaluate what’s important, and what’s slowing you down. It may be your plug-ins, or it might be your hosting plan. Perhaps the site provider you signed up with is no longer the most effective for your website. Re-examine your options, and see if a switch is in order. When new content goes up, test it out to see if it meets your standards for loading time. Keep monitoring your site for ongoing issues. The more you’re aware of, the more quickly you can fix things.
Remember, while loading speed may not be the most glamorous part of your website to work on, it is vitally important. After all, your visitors can only appreciate your design and content if they stay around long enough to view it.