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Page Speed Optimisation To Boost Your SEO

Page speed optimisation to boost your SEO

Page speed is a dimension of how quick the content loads on a web page. In other words, it’s the amount of time your browser takes to receive the first byte of information from the web server. This is important for search engine algorithms, as they consider first byte response time when adjusting web page rankings. If your page speed is slow then it means that search engines will crawl fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget. This could then have a negative effect on your page rank within search results.

Before setting about increasing your website’s page speed, there are a series of tools you can use to determine just how slow the pages are and how you can improve them.

GTmetrix

GTmetrix is a free tool that analyses your website’s page speed performance and generates a score for them. It gives you an insight into exactly how well your site loads for users and provides you with actionable recommendations as to how to optimise them.

GTmetrix will also provide you with a downloadable report to give a full picture of your site, how well it loads and any bottlenecks that they might have detected along the way.

Key features covered within the report include your page’s load time, size, and its total number of requests. It will have also tested how well your website loads in foreign countries to give you an indication of your page’s speed abroad.

Providing you with much more information, I’ve attached an example image to show you just how much insight Gtmetrix can give you into the innermost workings of your website.

GTmetrix report

Page Speed Insights

This is Google’s version of a speed metric tool, which you can use to identify how well your website performs on both mobile and desktop devices.

Page Speed Insight provides both lab and field data for a page. Field data is useful for capturing real-world user experience for your site, whereas lab data is more metric based and can be used to debug performance issues.

Simply enter your URL and it will provide you with your website’s speed score and a series of suggestions as to how you can improve it.

These suggestions can include anything from removing large images, getting rid of any unnecessary or redundant data and leveraging browser caching.

page speed insights

Below I’ve listed some other common solutions for improving your page speed which will boost your website’s search engine ranking.

 

Enable compression                                                                                                               

Compression enables your web server to deliver smaller file sizes that load quicker for your website’s visitors. Compression of HTML, CSS and Javascript files with gzip predictably saves approximately 60% of the bandwidth.

To allow compression via .htaccess, you have to make sure gzip or deflate modules are loaded on to Apache servers. You will then be able to add the following rules on .htaccess file.

 .htaccess file

To allow compression in a NGINX server, you have to add the following rules to the nginx.conf file.

 nginx.conf file

Reduce server response time

There are lots of hypothetical aspects that may increase the response time of your server. You need to consider the following few factors to improve server response time.

  • Sluggish application logic
  • Slow database queries
  • Slow routing
  • Frameworks
  • Libraries
  • Resource CPU dearth
  • Leverage browser caching

Leverage browser caching

When a web browser shows web pages, it loads numerous things like images, Javascript files, CSS files and additional assets. This will be a slow and expensive process, as the browser has to fetch the same resources over the network on every HTTP request.

The download may involve multiple round trips between the client and server, which might block interpretation of web page content. This will result in data costs increasing for the visitor. All server responses should stipulate a caching strategy to support the client and determine if and when it can reprocess a formerly procured response. When a server replies with a response, it should deliver the Cache-Control and ETag headers:

Cache-Control describes the different responses that can be cached by the browser and other intermediary caches in terms of speed and operation.

ETag specifies a revalidation token that is automatically directed by the browser to check if the resource has changed since the last time it was demanded.

Reduce number of HTTP requests:

Every HTTP request between the client and server incurs an additional round trip time along with the total loading time. To improve web page loading times, you have to reduce the number of HTTP requests where possible. Some common techniques used to help reduce the number of HTTP requests are:

  • Merge multiple Javascript files and put into one or two files
  • Merge all CSS files into one file.
  • Make image sprites with multiple small images.
  • Remove all broken resource links from a web page
  • Minify CSS, Javascript and HTML

Minify CSS, Javascript and HTML

You have to minify CSS, Javascript and HTML to reduce the size of response. The smaller page size takes less bandwidth and time to display. By eliminating spaces, code comments, formatting, unused code and other unnecessary characters, you can then increase your page speed. You can use YUI Compressor to minify both CSS and JavaScript.

Optimise images

Make sure images are no bigger than needed and that they are compressed for the web. Remove all unnecessary Metadata from the image.

Use CSS sprites to combine small images into one large image that loads all at once. As a result, it will reduce the number of HTTP requests by saving load times. This ensures any users are not waiting for multiple images to load.

Defer Javascript loading

Defer loading of Javascript means the parsing of Javascript only commences after all page content has loaded. We can use the following script to defer a Javascript file:

By following these points you can perform your own page speed optimisation, giving your site a boost in search engine rankings. If you’re looking for other ways to improve your website ‘s ranking in search results then get in touch with a friendly member of our team here at Absolute Digital Media on 0800 088 6000.

To find out more about the digital marketing services available at Absolute Digital,
get in touch on 0800 088 6000 or fill in the contact form below.

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