Improve Your Site Speed for SEO and Conversions
Follow the Traffic Challenge Here:
- Day #1: Getting Started
- Day #2: The High Quality Approach To Traffic
- Day #3:Drive Traffic by Piggybacking on Trending Topics
- Day #5: Improve Your User Experience – And Boost Your Traffic
Your website’s speed can help you build traffic in a few different ways. For one, Google considers a fast loading site an indication of quality, meaning you’ll improve your rankings and get more traffic. Boosting your website’s speed will also increase your conversion rate. Amazon increased its revenue by 5% just by improving their load speed by 1 second – a $1.6 billion dollar increase.
So, how do you increase your website’s speed?
Use a Content Distribution Network
A Content Distribution Network (CDN) is a network of servers that are mirrored all over the world. Anytime a file needs to be downloaded, the file is downloaded from the nearest server. In other words, let’s say you have 3 browsers – one in the US, one in Germany, one in Singapore. If you’re using a server in the USA, the load time will be much shorter for someone in the US than someone in Germany or Singapore. With a CDN, the person from Germany will just download the file from the Germany server, and likewise with the person from Singapore.
Amazon’s CloudFront is a popular and affordable CDN.
Minify Your Code
Compress and Embed Images the Right Way
In your <img> tags, always include the width and height. This helps the browser layout the page on load instead of moving things around as it receives more content. Also, make sure your images are web optimized, so they’re stripped of additional (bandwidth consuming) header data. Also, compress your images – as a rule of thumb, no single image should be above 100kbs.
Most websites on the web today are dynamic. That means that instead of having a static page on a server, the page is “generated” on the fly. All WordPress websites are dynamic. Most eCommerce platforms are as well. Every time the server has to generate a page, it uses a bit of computing power – and slightly slows down the load time.
Caching lets you “generate” the page just once. Then, assuming the page hasn’t changed, it can just pull up the old page instead of having to generate everything again. This can be a big saver of processing power and bandwidth, as well as greatly speed up your load time.
Finally, the server you’re on plays a big role as well. For starters, any website on a shared plan or even a VPS plan will have uneven speed. Why? Because the bandwidth use of other people on your server will affect your website’s performance. A dedicated server is almost always faster and generally more reliable as well. RackSpace.com and LiquidWeb.com are two recommended and very fast hosts widely used by growing companies.
Now that we’ve covered speed, let’s talk about keyword optimization for SEO. In other words, how to use your Google Analytics data to figure out what content you should optimize on your site. It’s coming to you in 24 hours, so stay tuned!
Your Traffic Assignment:
Check your website code. If your site is small, this may only take an hour or so. If it’s large, start working on it and add a plan to your weekly schedule to continue working on it.
Look for ways to improve and minimize the code. Check your images to ensure they are compressed and embedded properly. Check that caching is enabled.
If your budget allows and you offer a lot of material for download from your website, look into a CDN.
If you’ve noticed in the past that your website experiences server issues, look into other server options that may improve not only the speed but user experience.