Better Search Engine Optimisation - Tip 3

Posted By Dan on Jul 28, 2014

In February of this year, Google published a patent stating that a website's load time would be a factor in its ranking. In essence, the faster your website loads, the better your search ranking.

If you have a large website, the goal is to get the load time under 3 seconds, as statistics show that 40% of people abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load (Source: Kissmetrics). For smaller brochure websites, it should load much faster, ideally between 1.5 seconds and 2 seconds.

Unfortunately, the more interactive and complex your design, the longer it will take to load. Thankfully however, there are some tools you can use to reduce the time.

Firstly, you can reduce the number of HTTP requests. These requests are calling scripts like CSS and JavaScript that your website uses. Simply combine all your CSS into one file. You can also use the likes of CSS Sprites that calls one large image instead of multiple smaller ones. In the screenshot below, you can see some of the requests made when our own website - www.passionforcreative.com - loads. 

 http-requests.jpg

Secondly, make sure your images are optimised for the web. This can be done by using an application like Photoshop, which has a 'Save for Web' feature. 

Screen_shot_2014-07-29_at_16.27.02.png

Thirdly, if you have a content management system, enable server side caching on your pages. The image below shows the different options available for the Concrete5 content management system. 

caching.jpg

Finally, reduce 301 redirects on your website, usually set up through a .htaccess file. Re-directing the browser takes time. 

If you are still unsure if your website is loading quick enough, enter the address into the pingdom speed test. You can also contact us directly and we'll do our best to help you.

Stay tuned for more SEO tips.

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