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12 Page Speed Best Practices to Follow for SEO

12 Page Speed Best Practices to Follow for SEO

Last Edited August 19, 2021 by Garenne Bigby in Search Engine Optimization

The speed at which content on your page loads is what is referred to as its page speed. Needless to say, the faster content loads, the better. It is important to have fast page speeds for two main reasons. The first is that it directly affects your SEO rankings. This is because a slow page speed will slow down the bots crawling around your site.

You need these bots because that is how you get a better SEO ranking. They only have so much time to spend on each page so if your page is slow, they will miss out on other content and thus your SEO ranking will not be as high as it could or should be. The other main reason you want a high page speed is that people have increasingly short attention spans. With the advancements in technology, things are becoming more and more instant.

Tasks that used to take hours or even days before can now be done with the touch of one button. People have grown accustomed to this. Instead of having to go get a newspaper, they can read a simple headline on the internet and feel like they are up to speed on current events.

That being said, rarely will a visitor to your site hang around and wait for your page to load if it is taking a long time. They will just move on to a site that loads faster. That could be detrimental to your website and if it is a business, to your income. Read on to learn about several methods that can help you make your page speed as fast as it can be.

Page Speed Best Practices


Page Speed vs. Site Speed

However long it takes to display all of the content on a page is its page speed. Do not confuse page speed with site speed. Site speed is the speed of a bunch of page speeds combined. One way to test your page’s page speed is to use a tool called PageSpeed Insights. It will give you a score that will help you decide if your page is fast enough for you or not.

Remember that you want your page speed to be as fast as it can possibly be. No one wants to sit around and wait for something to load. Chances are if they have to, they will close the page and start over, this time not returning to your site. In fact, they may very well never return again. This was probably not what you wanted when you decided to spend the time and money to create a website.

You might as well do whatever you can to attract as many people as possible to your site, and having a faster page speed is a great way to do just that. Give it a try, and you may be very pleasantly surprised by the results you see.


Page Speed and SEO     

SEO, or search engine optimization, rears its ugly head once again in relation to page speed. Both site speed and page speed may play a role in the algorithms used to rank pages by Google affiliated bots. A slow page speed means less crawling by bots because they only have certain amounts of time budgeted for each site. The slower your site, the less crawling that can be done and thus the lower your rankings will be in the search engines. This is a bad thing.

With faster page speeds, bots will be able to crawl through more if not all of your content and thus you will gain higher SEO rankings, which is vital to the success and popularity of your site. In almost every instance, you want to have the highest SEO ranking that you can possibly get. Whether you are trying to make money or educate people on your site, the more visitors you are able to attract, the better.

The only case in which you may not want visitors to find your site is if it is some sort of private scrapbook or blog of sorts, but that is a different matter entirely. If that is the case, then page speed would only matter for your own sake. Say you wanted to look at your own picture album from years back—how long do you  want to sit there and wait for your pictures to load?

The answer is probably not very long. However, if you have a lot of time on your hands and little else in your life, you may not mind watching the clock tick by.


Enable Compression     

Pages that take a long time to load understandably have higher rates of people leaving them before the content had time to show up. This means the average time people spend on your site will be lower than on a faster site. This is bad news for your site, so it is important to increase page speeds. You can do this by enabling compression.

There is a software application called Gzip that can reduce the size of many of your files. Do not, however, use it on images. Photoshop and Paint are ways to decrease image file sizes. Photoshop is not free, but it is a better option if you are wanting to retain the quality of the image. Paint may make the smaller file look pixelated or blurry.


Optimize Code     

You can also optimize your code to increase your page speed. Do this by removing spaces, commas, special characters and anything that is not necessary. Removing code comments is helpful also. CSSNano and Uglify JS are two tools that can assist you in your endeavor to do so.

Garenne Bigby
Author: Garenne BigbyWebsite: http://garennebigby.com
Founder of DYNO Mapper and Advisory Committee Representative at the W3C.

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