Your website should load quickly. It’s a better experience for people coming to your site, since most people are somewhat impatient, and if another site can give them the same information quicker – than why not just go to sites that don’t take a long time to load?
Why does site speed matter, and what’s an acceptable speed?
Beyond just people having a good experience, Google uses site speed as an indicator of what it will serve up to searchers. That’s why it’s one of the biggest pieces of technical SEO that you can master.
To Google – everything is just headed in the direction of serving it’s searchers (and selling Adwords advertising), so when their algorithm can ‘see’ people bouncing back to search results after landing on your page for 4 seconds (because your page took too long to load) it will use that as a signal that the person didn’t really like what they were served.
Google likes it when your website loads in less than 2 seconds.
It likes it because it is more likely to keep using it’s platform longer if it doesn’t serve people frustrating websites!
So how do we serve Google (and people) what they want? Start with diagnosing your current situation:
How do you figure out what your website speed currently is, and what issues to fix?
- Use pingdom to test
- Look at the suggestions
- Do them
3 key suggestions for making this happen
- Smush.it gets images under 100kb – WordPress plugin version
- WordPress Fastest Cache Plugin
- Gzip in .htaccess for compression
Go to the root folder of your website with FTP.
Find the .htaccess file
Put this in the bottom of the file and save:
Hey, how’s it going? It’s Tim Brown, and this is the fourth episode of “Google Likes It.” We’re going to talk about how Google likes it when your website loads in less than two seconds. Two seconds! Yes, because it’s a great user experience. Google likes giving people that are on Google a great user experience. It uses that as one metric to figure out if your website is going to be a good experience for the people searching on it. It knows, and I’m always humanizing Google, but the algorithm can decipher whether you are giving people a good experience. If not, they click back to search results. Use pingdom to test. You can go to HookAgency.com/pingdom to check out this tool. Look at the suggestions that it gives you and do them.
Here are three key suggestions for making your website quicker:
1) Use Smush.it to get images under 100kb -Ideally, they’re 30 or less, but you can use backgrounds up to 50, and your very important images up to 100 at most.
2) Use WordPress Fastest Cache – This one is very specific to WordPress, but WordPress Fastest Cache plugin is one the quickest and easiest to setup caching plugins.
3) Use Gzip in htaccess for compression – I’m going to leave this in this post. If you go to GoogleLikesIt.com, you can see the code I’m suggesting you put in your htaccess file and a little excerpt about how to do that.