How does a website’s loading speed affect seo?

26

JULY, 2017

Marketing online
Strategy
Web analytics

The speed at which your website and each web page loads is a factor you need to keep very much in mind for positioning purposes.

The concept of Web Performance Optimisation (WPO) became highly relevant from the moment Google and other major search engines started to underpin its importance in site indexing. The reason is quite simple. Search engines read millions of web pages every day to rearrange their indexes. Naturally, the time they invest in each page is limited and if it takes too long to load, the robot may not have time to index all of your pages.

Web analytics. Analysing the statistical data you get from your website is absolutely vital.

But what do we mean by web analytics?

Analysing your web means extracting a range of significant data regarding the conditions and behaviour of the traffic on your site, then studying the data, defining conditions and making decisions based on your findings so as to optimise the resources and actions you invest in fulfilling your goals.

Photograph via Unsplash

At the other end of the line, loading times affect users too. The easier and faster it is for us to access information, the more urgently we want it. As users, we are becoming less patient and now demand near-instant web speed. In fact, the average time a user is willing to wait for a page to load is about two seconds. What do we do when a page takes too long to load? We simply give up and move on to the next link in our search list. This is known as ‘rebounding’ and is the main reason why many potential visitors may never access your site, which has two immediate consequences.

On the one hand, having less visitors accessing your site directly results in worse SEO positioning. The number of visits you get affects how high – or low – you rank and, therefore, where you will be positioned on search engines. On the other hand, your conversion rate will drop, as will the likelihood of users coming back to your site for new content. This will be detrimental to your user loyalty, your number of followers and your chances of content being shared and disseminated, all of which affects your overall marketing strategy.

But it is not just a case of having a landing page that is optimised and ‘not too heavy’ in terms of charging speed. Each and every page that is linked to your home page should offer the same performance; after all, users could enter your site from anywhere and search engines will have to index all of your pages.

About WPO

We have clearly established why it is so important to keep your website constantly and perfectly optimised and that this requires refined SEO techniques. Checking and improving web performance has to be done methodically and constantly, ensuring faults are corrected the moment they appear.

One of the first steps is to choose good hosting, i.e. deciding where your website will be housed. The host has to process so many requests for information, images, codes, addresses and so on that it rises as a key element in your site performance with a direct impact on your web speed. Price is not always a reliable indicator, so make sure the service has a good reputation, an efficient customer care department and good technology with plenty of RAM and SSD drives to keep reading and writing speedy.

The ideal solution is to have your own server, but not everyone can afford to for one reason or another and a practical alternative is to use a virtual private server or VPS. If as well as good hosting you add a static content distribution network (CDN) that chooses the nearest and most available server when a request for information is made, your loading speed will rocket as far as hosting is concerned.

Another key factor is image optimisation because pictures tend to be very heavy have a direct effect on loading speed. There is now a multitude of ways to compress and shrink images which exponentially speed up each page’s loading time.

“Using the right CMS platform is crucial for good positioning”

Equipo Novaigrup

Marketing digital

SEO web positioning: How to choose the right CMS platform?

Choosing an optimised Content Management System will ensure you are always up-to-date as far as the inner features of your website are concerned, so our advice here is to go for a content manager that is broadly disseminated and highly developed so as to enhance your SEO. Nowadays, websites are not often programmed from scratch using code, which is something only very large sites tend to do. Clients and developers generally turn to the major content managers who offer fully customisable formats.

Using the right CMS platform is crucial for good SEO web positioning. The good thing about a CMS like WordPress is that you get to use perfectly designed and totally configurable themes as the source of your website, and it is all fully optimised in terms of performance, as well as having a responsive multi-format option to automatically detect the characteristics of the user’s device and adapt the display to that format.

One of the most common mistakes people make in optimisation is to overload the website with all kinds of unnecessary or inconvenient plug-ins.

We need to realise that mobile devices are taking over and they are only getting smaller. Watches, key rings, headsets… They are all gradually replacing PCs, tablets and smartphones, imposing new search criteria such as voice command and changing not only indexing systems but also content characteristics. Hence the importance of optimising your website and keeping it up-to-date with the latest SEO techniques.

Clever use and optimisation of your Rapid Access Memory (RAM) and cache along with file compression and reduction systems will help to neatly round off your site’s performance and loading times.

Tips for measuring loading time performance

The Internet is full of apps you can use to precisely assess how well your site is performing and how quickly it loads, as well as telling you where it stands in the search engine page rank.

We would only like to mention the Google tool in this post. Go to Semrush to find a basic guide with everything you need to know about the Google tool. Or simply browse the net to see a range of applications offering varying amounts of information, some of which are more easy to use than others.

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