Pagespeed SEO
Website Speed Optimisation

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How Much Does Page Speed Affect SEO?

One thing that you may have noticed being brought up often when referring to SEO is page speed. Have you heard this term before?
Many people contest that it has no bearing on SEO, but the truth is that it does indeed.
Page speed is evidently, the measurement of how fast the content on your website’s page, loads up.

This is often confused with “site speed”, which is in fact the page speed for a sample of page views on the website. Instead, page speed can be described as “page load time”, or “time to first byte”.

You can evaluate your website’s current speed with Google’s Page Speed Insights. This is a great tool for identifying where your website is currently at and what changes can be made in order to get a higher score.

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The Human Connection

Before we get into the SEO best practices and how page speed affects SEO, let’s look at the human connection. How does page speed affect your users?
The fact is that nobody wants to spend 10 seconds waiting for a webpage to load. The longer your website takes to load, the more likely viewers will be to get fed up and click off onto another website. These drop off-rates will invariably affect your SEO, in addition to your conversions.

SEO Best Practices

Google has said that site speed (and page speed) is one of the signals that is used to rank pages by its algorithm. Additional research has shown that Google may also specifically measure the time it takes to first byte.
A slow page also means that engines will crawl fewer pages due to their allocated crawl budget, which could invariably negatively affect your indexation.
In addition to that, page speed is important for the user experience as mentioned above. In any case, here are some ways that you can improve your page speed :
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Enable Compression

File compression is important for keeping your CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files at a reasonable size. You should however, refrain from compressing images in software like Gzip. Instead, opt for programs like photoshop where you can compress images whilst maintaining quality.

Reduce Redirects

Every time a page is redirected to another page, there will be additional loading time for the HTTP request/response cycle.

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Remove Render-Blocking JavaScript

File compression is important for keeping your CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files at a reasonable size. You should however, refrain from compressing images in software like Gzip. Instead, opt for programs like photoshop where you can compress images whilst maintaining quality.

Leverage Browser Caching

A lot of information is cached by browsers (Java files, images, and so on), so when a visitor will come back to your website, they won’t have to reload everything all over again.
By using various tools, you can identify the expiration date on your cache. You can then change this based on how long you would like the information to remain cached. Preferences vary, but we’d recommend setting it to an annual time period.
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Use Content Distribution Networks

CND’s are networks of servers that are used to distribute a load of content. Essentially, there will be clones of your website stored all over the world in geographically diverse data centres, which will then maintain reliable access to your website no matter the location.

Bolster Server Response Times

The amount of traffic that you receive will have an affect on your server response. Other things which affect this are the software that is being used by your server, and your hosting package. In order to bolster and improve this, then you’ll need to look for “performance bottlenecks” or any other data issues which may be slowing it down.
You should aim for under 200ms for the optimal server response.
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Properly Optimise Your Images

Your images should never be larger than they need to be. They should also be in PNG or JPEG and compressed from the web.
You can also create a CSS template for images that are used frequently such as icons and buttons. The CCS sprites will combine all of the images into one, so that it can load as one (fewer HTTP requests = faster response). You can save a lot of time by not making your users have to load multiple images.

Conclusion - Does Page Speed Matter?

Yes! It absolutely does. And you should do everything that you can to ensure that your website runs as smooth as clockwork. Not only will page speed positively improve your SEO if rectified, but it will also boost your conversion rates and the overall user experience. You owe it to your customers to have an attractive and well-optimised website which doesn’t take forever to load.

If you are feeling a little lost in all of the information (which is understandable), we will gladly guide you through the motions. Here at TBS Marketing, we take great pride in offering a wide range of  SEO and web-related services for our valued clients. We can assess your website, and subsequently implement the appropriate changes in order for you to get the most out of it.

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