Speedy websites can improve SEO provided it has the backing of fast server response time

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Speedy websites can improve SEO

The popularity of mobile devices has brought about some important changes in search engine optimization. There used to be a time when SEO and PCs were synonymous but no more. Today, SEO has become much more flexible and gone beyond desktops to find wide acceptance among mobile device users. Marketing has become more dynamic as people are able to search and buy even when they are moving around as they can access the internet on mobile devices. The growing popularity of mobile devices has created a new norm that for doing well in SEO you need to have mobile-optimized websites. Going a step ahead, Google has focused on mobile first indexing. The primary indexing will now happen on mobile version of websites that will apply for desktop versions too.

Besides the above changes, Google has also made it very clear that website speed is a factor for ranking.  Until now, everyone knew the importance of having speedy websites but with Google’s announcement it has become almost mandatory. Website visitors are impatient and no matter in which way you categorize them, this attribute is common for all. It is just normal for them to expect that website pages would open instantly on clicking and this attitude has even received Google’s endorsement that has set 2 seconds as the maximum permissible time for opening a web page. Nobody likes slow pages because visitors are keen to access information as fast as possible and not meeting with it can prove disastrous for websites.

The adverse impact of slow loading pages and how it harms websites will become clear from the fact that a delay of 1 second can cut down conversions by 7 percent as revealed in one study focusing on the experience of Amazon a few years ago. The delay for every second round the year translates into a loss of sales of $1.6 billion annually for the online behemoth. Although the number is much smaller for small businesses, who would ever want to lose 7 percent sales?

WordPress websites are fast loading, and with smartphones supporting speedy websites the optimization techniques have to ensure that websites maintain good speed. Indeed, website optimization is just one aspect that impacts its speed because another important factor that influences website speed is the type of hosting service and the servers used.  The latter acquires more importance because although it is not within the control of marketers, they have to ensure that they choose the appropriate web hosting service that not only helps to maintain the inbuilt speed but also enhance it.

Meet user expectations

User experience matters a lot in the success of SEO, and you should know what users expect and do everything possible to keep them happy. The easiest way to keep users happy is to ensure fast opening of web pages. With technology providing more options for speeding up websites, the expectations of users are also growing. Too much too soon is what users expect and whether you like it or not you have to cater to their needs to remain ahead in the race for gaining SEO supremacy. Web visitors are not willing to give a second chance to website owners, and you have to work hard to ensure that you protect your campaign by creating speedy websites.  Try to stay as close as possible to the 2 to 3 seconds mark because any delay would only drive away visitors who would never return to the website.

Create an action plan by knowing what to do

First, you have to determine the current website speed to understand the extent of the improvement required. By using the Page Insights Tool of Google, you can gather useful information about what could be lacking and what you have to do. The number of web pages affects the speed of the website for which you must not create too many web pages. If you can reduce the number of pages in case there are too many, you should see a marked improvement in page opening time. Images if not optimized can slow down websites and by loading fewer ads, using fewer external scripts compressing codes you can make the website speedier. Another way to speed up websites is to reduce the server response time. For more information, contact with digital marketing services.

Use compressed images

Images occupy large spaces, and large images take a long time to open for which you must not use too many images.  Moreover, optimize all images so that these are compressed and occupy less space without affecting its quality.  With the help of WordPress plugins, you can compress images up to 70%. This is quite significant because images constitute 56% of the page weight of any website. When you compress images by using WordPress plugins the image resolution and other quality parameters remain unaffected.  The process of compression removes unwanted colors from images and strips the Metadata depending on the needs.

Optimize the database

Often unwanted calls reaching the database can cause overloading as it takes up too much space and puts too much stress on the system memory. Optimizing the database helps to free up some space by either doing it manually or using some WordPress plugin.  Reducing the number of queries that reach the database is another method of database optimization.

Web server optimization

If the server speed is slow, it can slow down websites and in this respect, the server response time is important for ensuring that the website speed remains unaffected due to server performance. It might become necessary to optimize servers used for hosting websites to improve the response time and maintain good speed. The response time also depends on the type of software used in the server. Be careful to look into these aspects when selecting a hosting service.

Shared hosting though cheap comes at a cost because shared resources affect the server speed which in turn affects the speed of websites. Avoid shared hosting and even if you have to use it, make sure that the host allocates dedicated resources for your website so that the website speed remains unaffected.

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