Google takes several factors into account when ranking a website in its search results pages. Quality of written content, back links, use of images, and tidiness of source code all play their part in how well you perform. One factor that is now more important than any other, however, are page speeds—website page loading speed is now considered a priority by Google as it contributes to the overall user experience.
Additionally, with more traffic online coming from mobile devices, page speed is only going to grow more important as time goes by; people simply expect sites to load instantly.
Unfortunately, when people opt to build their own websites or have someone do it on the cheap in lieu of using the best website developers they can find, the end results tend to be slow, not optimized, and rank poorly.
Tips for Improving Your Page Speeds
If you have noticed that your pages aren't loading very fast or have been served with an unexpected result when carrying out a page speed test, there are lots of things you can do to make improvements.
1. Optimize your images
If you use lots of images and visual elements on your site, it can easily slow things down. This is one of the most common issues we see on sluggish pages. There is nothing wrong with using lots of images, however, when these images are not optimized, they take longer to load, and this slows everything down.
It is generally recommended that your images should be below 100kb in size where possible. Tools like tinyjpg can do this for you.
2. Use browser caching
All webservers should have a caching policy implemented. When a visitor first comes across your site, data is saved locally in their browser so that when they return, everything will load quicker because the browser loads cached files locally rather than pinging your server. This both helps your SEO and reduces the demand on your server's resources.
Google recommends that websites cache for a minimum of one week. If your website has assets that don't change often, you can cache for up to one year if you so choose. The best web development company will always implement browser caching as standard.
3. Avoid redirects
Some sites simply cannot help but use landing page redirects.
If, for example, you have a separate website on the same domain for mobile devices (m.yoursite.com), it is necessary to implement a landing page redirect so that the visitor ends up on the mobile optimized version of your site.
Landing page redirects for mobile devices are outdated, though—you should have a responsive web design on one domain that works for all devices across the board. If you don't, perhaps it is time to speak to an experienced web development agency in Birmingham for an upgrade.
While we always recommend outsourcing SEO to an established web development firm, there is no harm in having a go of it yourself. After all, SEO is a useful skill for any webmaster to know.