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6 Ways to Increase Page Load Speed for SEO

ImageIncreasing page load speed isn’t just necessary these days for increasing conversion rates. One of its biggest benefactors is now search engine optimization, especially since the creation of Google’s site preview feature. Ask any SEO about the importance of page load speed when it comes to rankings and expect to get a discourse on the subject.

But while everyone in the SEO industry knows the importance of page load speed and its effects on rankings, not everyone is as nearly aware of the technical details that go into actually making a website faster. So rather than just telling you why page load speed is so important, I’m going to break down a few technical specifics that you can get working on today to make your website faster!

1. Server Side Caching

Server side either using something like PHP caching or leveraging your htaccess. If you’re running a wordpress site (and there’s a good chance you are) than you can install the WP Super Cache plugin which will make this happen for you. Caching will save you a ton of memory on your server and increase the page load time dramatically for the end user.

2. Minimizing CSS

There are actually dozens of free tools that will help you minimize your CSS files. Do a Google search and pick a tool, or do it manually if you choose. The goal here is that you eliminate excess code, duplicate code, and condense the overall CSS file into fewer lines of code.

3. Minimize Javascript

The work here is almost identical to the one mentioned above about CSS. The difference here is that unless you are very familiar with Javascript you may find this difficult to do. In that case, definitely use one of the many free Javascript minimize tools that are out there on the web.

4. Minimize Programming Scripts

This one takes a bit more knowledge in coding but is crucial for increasing page load speed. Let’s say for example you have a site running WordPress, in which case you have a particular theme that your site is using. 9 out of 10 themes use far too much PHP and query the database far too many times. Reducing this code down to what’s necessary will speed you up big time!

5. CSS Sprite Images

Your effort in this area will probably have the biggest impact of all. This involves combining multiple images into one image, and then using the CSS background-position syntax to call specific images within your one image. That way the look and feel of your site is really only loading 1, maybe 2 images rather than dozens. Less calls to the server for images means less time to load.

6. Mobile and Tablet Versions of Site

Create mobile and tablet versions of your site and use the display:none CSS syntax to eliminate divs that the mobile user doesn’t need. If you minimize your site in this fashion and focus on giving your mobile users a better user experience, you will by default drastically increase page load speed for that 20-30% of your audience that comes to your site through mobile devices.

Sure there’s many others that people always mentions such as “purchase better hosting” or “host your images in the cloud.” But there’s always more we can buy. Instead I wanted to spell out some specific efforts you can put forth now to get the most out of your hosting and business situation. It’s not always about buying more of something when it comes to increasing page load speed on the web. Most of the time it’s about better optimizing what you already have!

 

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  • tobyjim's picture
    Nov 20 Posted 1 year ago tobyjim

    Thanks Silver for great tips. CSS sprite images is such great idea.

  • ankitp3's picture
    Apr 19 Posted 1 year ago ankitp3

    Pingdom, GTMetrix, google page speed tool are few main source to check page speed. 

    gZIP compression help allot in increasing page speed. 

     

     

  • Jan 30 Posted 2 years ago William Vuong

    Nice post Silver.

    We know that speed is becoming more and more critical in both for SEO and end user experience... which has an impact on conversion, so it's great to see more marketers talking about.

    For smaller sites, caching plugins are a good idea but for larger sites that deliver large amounts of media files and/or dynamic content, a #Content Delivery Network (CDN) can be extremely valuable. While we've been doing it a while, it's why we are seeing sites like Amazon and more recently, Netflix, creating their own CDNs. Load time is key. Anyway, great post, thanks!

    Willv
    Marketer @ CDNetworks

     

  • SueCockburn's picture
    Jan 29 Posted 2 years ago SueCockburn

    Good tips! Thanks for the info Silver! Sue

  • anilbvalvi's picture
    Jan 28 Posted 2 years ago anilbvalvi

    Normally I use Pingdom tool to check the page load speed. These are very small but very important points. Thanks for your input in SMT.