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Does Website Speed Affect SEO?

If your website is running at a snail’s pace, the two most important things you learn today should be;

  • Your Page Speed could be restricting people from finding your site in search engines
  • 47% of people won’t wait more than two seconds for your page to load

Website Page Speed can have a massive impact on everything from User Experience to Conversion Rates. If your website looks beautiful, but your products take too long to load, for example, you’re missing out on sales and leads. However, page speed is considered so important now that, in recent years, Google has taken things further by categorising it as a significant ranking factor for SEO. 

In addition to this, Google has also given particular attention to the performance and speed of websites on mobile devices and their updated algorithm has been ranking websites accordingly. This is because every year, more and more users are engaging with websites on mobile devices and Google wants to provide the best possible experience for users. This is evidenced on platforms that Google provides, such as PageSpeed Insights, which now separates the speed of websites for both desktop and mobile devices.

So the bottom line is that if you’re looking to increase your website’s Search Engine Optimisation, you need to address its overall performance.

What can I do about this?

For some people, the perception of website design is that it’s all about creating a visually arresting digital masterpiece. Website performance, however, is an often overlooked key element that plays an important role for any website. Some of t
he main problems relating to speed may be simple to understand but can be tricky to fix, depending on how long these problems have persisted and your own level of website design knowledge.

So, why is your website stuck in first gear and what can you do about it? Well here are some common reasons why websites can suffer from slow down and general poor performance. If you think your own website could be improved in some of these areas, we recommend that you contact a web developer before taking action.

1. Your Media Files Are Too Large

Some website owners have a tendency to insert multiple images and videos on their website without ever considering the size of these files. If your images have not been optimised, they’re probably taking up unnecessary space on your website which slows everything down. You need to reduce the size of your images. You can do this manually or if you’re using a CMS like WordPress, there are plugins you can install but be mindful to do this properly.

If you have any video files uploaded to your website, this is also a strong indicator as to why a website page will load slowly. It’s far better for you to have a video that is hosted on a streaming website such as Youtube or Vimeo. Not only will the video work consistently, your website will be given the chance to breathe.

2. JavaScript Problems

In website design, JavaScript enables so many dynamic and interactive features that can really bring your website to life. If you’re not careful, however, implementing this JavaScript in the wrong way can cause your website to slow down. This is because when a page is loading, the JavaScript needs to be loaded in the correct order. If there is some excess script or an error within the code of your page, this can result in ‘render blocking’ which doesn’t help your performance. 

More than likely, there will be some unnecessary code which could either be simplified or removed. Another possible solution would be to minify your JavaScript files. In a similar way to how image sizes can be reduced, JavaScript can be compressed. This area is a tricky one though, so we recommend consulting a developer first.

3. Clear Your Cache!

Purging the cache on your website is an excellent way to increase performance fast. Static files and excess code can build up over time without having any real purpose. Without any improvements, your pages will become cluttered and certain elements will begin slowing things down over time. 

Think of clearing your cache as wiping a slate clean. Not everything can be solved in the long-run by doing this but if you have the opportunity to safely purge your cache, you should. Please make sure to backup your website and consult professional advice first, as occasionally there can be some complications.

4. Failing To Update

Today so many websites are being built using a CMS. Within the market share of CMS, it was found that WordPress accounted for 60.2%. As of 2018, however, websites that were designed on WordPress had become 30% of all the websites on the entire internet

If your website was designed on a platform like WordPress, another reason your performance is low could be due to a lack of updates. Similarly to clearing your cache, if you leave your website absent without updates for a long time, the problem only worsens. Make sure you update your themes and your plugin software to avoid slow-down for the website. It’s recommended that you first carry out a backup before doing these updates. 

5. Slow Server Response Time

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons your website suffers from slow speed is due to your hosting. The worst part of this is that while you could go and fix everything mentioned in the previous 4 points, having a bad host provider may still be a source of anguish.

Many people don’t consider their options when choosing their host provider and they also don’t research what kind of package they are receiving for the price they pay. Do some homework on the reputable hosting providers and reconsider if you’re getting the best out of what you’ve paid for. Ask a professional to take a look at this and recommend a better provider or package.

What next?

When it comes to Search Engine Optimisation, website speed should never be overlooked and you need to start thinking about your own website today. The truth is that you could have the most beautiful and visually stunning website on earth, with meta tags and great content etc, but if your website is slow this can only account for so much.

At ITM Digital, our team of SEO Experts  and Web Developers help website owners sort out these kinds of issues on a daily basis. We offer website maintenance services that will look after all of the above, including hosting. You can also learn about the wide range of SEO services we offer by clicking here.

If you want to move forward with your website but are unsure of the next step to take; don’t worry. Get in touch with ITM Digital today.

Call us at 045 409984

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