Did you know that Search engine traffic generates 300% more traffic than social media platforms do? While this is great (and SEO is certainly powerful), it only works if you fully optimize your website for things like page speed.
Slow page speeds can be the bane of any business, however it doesn’t have to be the case with a great speed update. With just a few simple steps, you can evaluate how quickly pages on your site are loading and then take action to improve them with technical SEO techniques.
In this article, we’ll explore what page speed is, why it matters for SEO rankings, and show you how to assess and boost your load times using page speed ranking factors.
What Is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the practice of optimizing a website’s infrastructure so that search engines can crawl, index, and understand the content on the page. Here’s how technical SEO works.
It involves optimizing the website code, structure, and server settings to ensure that search engine bots can easily understand what’s on each page and how to access it. Technical SEO services also include making sure your site is free from technical errors like:
- Broken link
- 404 errors
- Duplicate content issues
Overall, the goal of technical SEO is to increase a website’s visibility in organic (non-paid) searches by improving its ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).
By implementing these optimization practices, businesses can help ensure their websites appear higher up in relevant SERPs, leading to more people discovering your business online through organic searches.
What Is Page Speed?
Page speed, sometimes called “site speed,” measures how quickly a website’s content loads or the time it takes for the page to render fully. It’s an important factor in technical SEO and can affect site rankings.
This means that, for businesses, page speed means more than just getting pages to load faster. It can also influence user experience and conversion rates.
Site visitors expect pages to load in less than five seconds. If it doesn’t, this can greatly impact your conversion rates. Simply put, if your website isn’t loading fast enough, potential customers are likely to abandon it.
Page speed has to be considered for mobile devices as well. Page speed is an important ranking factor for mobile devices.
As mentioned above, page speed also affects your search engine rankings, though. Pages that take too long to load will often be pushed further down in SERPs (search engine result pages). We’ll get into how to combat this below. But first, let’s explore.
Why Page Speed Matters
Page speed is an important factor for SEO, sure. It’s one of Google’s many ranking factors. Search engines such as Google reward fast-loading pages in their rankings, which can be an important factor for your business’s success.
However, per the statistic above, it’s clearly important for website visitors and their user experience. Businesses need to keep up with the ever-increasing expectations of their online customers. If they expect fast loading speeds, then it is your duty to provide them with it.
Think about yourself as a user. A slow website page usually leads to frustration. After a few seconds of loading, you’ll likely leave the site without engaging with any content.
If one of your potential customers does this, it can not only affect your ranking in search engine results but also reflect poorly on the overall perception of your brand.
Additionally, quick load times can improve user experience by providing visitors with relevant information faster and more efficiently.
How to Measure Page Speed
To measure page speed, use online tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, or WebPageTest.org. They analyze how long your webpage loads in different browsers and on different devices (e.g., mobile phones).
When using these technical SEO tools, you will receive detailed feedback on what changes to make to improve website performance.
You may also want to monitor the server response time. This is the amount of time it takes for a request from a user’s browser to reach your server and start loading a web page. If you’re having trouble with slow page loading times or other performance issues, it can also be helpful to check this metric.
Signs of Slow Page Speed
If you try to load your website and it takes forever, that’s an obvious sign of page speed issues. However, what are the signs of slow page speed aside from that?
If your users experience slow load times, the chances are that they will leave the site before it loads completely. As a result, your bounce rate is likely to increase significantly. In addition, a slow page speed may prevent customers from completing orders or taking other desired actions on a webpage.
Moreover, high bounce rates negatively affect SEO rankings due to fewer visits and less engagement with content. As a result, organic traffic could suffer drastically. If nothing else has changed and you notice a dip in rankings, it could be to something technical like page speed.
What Is Page Speed Optimization?
Page speed optimization is a process used to make web pages load faster. Usually, this is part of technical SEO. The goal is to provide users with a better online experience and to boost your SEO rankings.
The process involves a lot of tasks but can include the following:
- Compressing images
- Reducing redirects
- Caching static content
- Using browser-side enhancements like lazy loading assets
Additionally, reducing server response time by leveraging a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can also help websites deliver content faster to users.
How to Improve Page Speed
Do you have to learn all about page speed optimization on your own? You can. However, it’s typically included in most technical SEO and general SEO strategies.
However, if you want to take steps to improve page speed in-house, there are several steps you can take. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, it’s a great place to start.
Compressing your website files can dramatically improve your site’s page speed. You can do this by reducing the size of large images and HTML files, allowing them to load quicker for visitors.
There are a few ways you can compress your site’s files.
For images, you can use lossless compression technology, which reduces the file size while preserving quality. Additionally, consider using browser caching and image sprites to increase loading times further.
When you audit redirects, you’re taking an in-depth look at the connections between pages on your website to ensure that none of them are causing a slowdown.
You should check that any redirects are pointing to the right destination URL and update them if not. To complete your audit, check for invalid or broken redirects, which can also affect page speed.
Lengthy code can slow a site down significantly. Reducing code includes:
- Deleting unnecessary code, such as HTML comments
- Getting rid of excess whitespace
- Reducing inline styles from the source code
Use Cache Plugins
Cache plugins are an essential tool to help improve the speed of your website. They store a copy of the page in the plugin’s cache, so it loads faster the next time someone visits that page.
By caching often-accessed pages, you can reduce loading time and deliver a better user experience for your visitors.
Get Technical SEO Services
Does all of this sound confusing? Don’t worry. A professional technical SEO service provider can identify search engine trends and use those insights to develop effective strategies for boosting the visibility of your website.
They will have extensive experience in improving ranking signals like:
- Keyword selection
- Link building
- Content optimization
- Meta tags
- Tagging images
- Designing business websites for improved structure
Professional providers are also familiar with the ever-changing algorithms used by Google and other search engines, so they can continually adapt their approach as needed.
In addition, hiring professional technical SEO services can save you time and money in the long run.
Instead of investing resources into training staff or researching new algorithms, the team of professionals you hire can do all this work for you. This leaves you free to focus on other aspects of your business.
Benefits of Technical SEO
The most obvious (and often lucrative) benefit of technical SEO optimization is improved visibility in the SERPs. By ensuring that all aspects of your website are up to SEO standards, you can ensure it will be found quickly and easily by the major search engines.
This includes ensuring all aspects of your webpages are coded accurately, so the search engine crawlers can understand them and crawl your site. Additionally, any broken links or missing content should be fixed or added to make sure they don’t affect rankings negatively.
Technical SEO also helps improve user experience. By optimizing for speed and usability, visitors will have an easier time getting around and finding what they need more quickly. This leads to higher engagement rates and lower bounce rates.
Basically, it benefits your bottom line in several ways.
Boost Your Business Website Traffic
We believe technical SEO is invaluable for businesses seeking a competitive edge.
From improving your website speed and enhancing user experience to enabling better indexing by search engines and optimizing key elements of your codebase, our technical SEO services will ensure a healthy foundation for your website.
Our specialists will conduct an in-depth audit to identify issues needing resolution and develop a custom strategy to address them. Contact us today to start setting up the right technical SEO solutions for your business.