There are many factors that are important when it comes to how Google will rank your website in their search results. Some of these ranking factors will be much more important than others. There is no definitive list of every single factor that Google uses in their algorithm to rank websites, but most SEOs have a general idea about the main ones and which are the most influential.
Factors such as backlinks, original quality content, authority and page speed are some of the most important, and great emphasis is placed on these when performing SEO on a website. In fact, if you are building a brand new website, then a lot of the on-page SEO can be carried out during the development process.
Why is a fast website important?
Loading speeds for websites are very important. No one wants to be waiting ages for a website to load up. If your site is not loaded within 2-3 seconds, you’ll find that the visitor won’t hang around, and will be off to another website. If your website is an E-Commerce or business website, then that means that you’ve just lost a potential client.
Faster loading times means a better experience for the user, which in turn can improve conversions on your site. Every additional second that your site takes to load, you’ve probably lost a lot of traffic. It’s as simple as that.
Determining the cause of the problem
There are a number of things that you can do to improve the speed of your website. First you need to determine if the slow loading times are due to your website or the server which is hosting the website. There are a number of online tests that you can do on your test to check its performance.
Page Insights by Google is a great tool that lets you enter a URL, and then it reports back with any issues it may find. Another very popular tool is GTMetrix, which performs a range of tests on your website and gives you solutions to any issues that it has picked up.
Is the server the problem?
If you find that the server is the issue and that it is performing badly, the best thing you can do is to find another host.
It is much better to have the location of the server that is hosting your website based in the same country and the main traffic to your site. If you want to find local web hosts in your country, then head over to Fortunelords and check out their local web host information.
Running your website on a server on the other side of the world from where your target audience is based can cause the loading time to increase slightly. Having the datacenter located locally can help serve your audience quicker, thus hopefully leading them to enquire about your services or products.
Is your website the problem?
If your website is the cause of the slow loading times, and in a lot of cases it is, there are a number of things that you can do to fix the issues. Using some of the online tools mentioned above, you’ll be given a list of different things you can fix to help speed up the loading time.
Some of the most common causes of slow loading times include poor image optimization, where images have not been resized for your website and you are loading multiple images that measure thousands of pixels in width, rather than a few hundred.
Another issue that lots of people have is related to caching, which is where once the data for a website such as the images, css, js, files have been downloaded for the first time, they are cached, so that when you return to the site again, you can load them from the cache, rather than directly from the server. This can help improve the loading times of websites, but if you are setting cache limits, use long periods of time for files that you are not going to update, rather than a short period.
If you are unable to fix these issues yourself, then it’s probably a good idea to get in touch with an experienced developer or even an SEO who can help with such issues.
No one likes a slow loading website. The visitors who land on it won’t like hanging about, while the site owner will be pulling out their hair that they are losing potential business. Google also doesn’t like websites that take an age to load. They want to give their users the best experience with their search results, so don’t be surprised if your site is buried under hundreds of others that are simply much quicker.