Increase Your Website Speed – On-Site SEO 101

As a small business owner trying to keep your business afloat in a sea of competitors, both in the online and offline world, you know that every customer and every website visitor matters. For your site to gain the online presence and exposure you need to grow, you have to invest time and money in developing your SEO strategy. And one of the key elements of an effective SEO strategy is the performance of your website.

The speed at which your site loads and the responsiveness with which it enables visitors to seamlessly navigate its pages will make the difference between positioning your brand high in the results pages, and getting lost in the second page of Google. The latter is one of the SEO mistakes you cannot afford to make. With all of that in mind, here’s how you can increase your site’s speed to boost your entire SEO strategy.

Code with mobile platforms in mind

We live in the age of handheld devices, mobile commerce, and mobile browsing, so the first thing you need to do is to optimize your entire online presence for the mobile audience. Doing this will allow you to appeal to an ever-growing demographic, and appeal to the search engines that prioritize mobile-friendly websites in their algorithms. But first, be sure to run a mobile-friendly audit.

After you have determined how well your site looks and acts on mobile devices, you can start implementing or tweaking your AMPs (Accelerated Mobile Pages) that are tailor-made to make mobile website browsing as seamless and stress-free as possible. Don’t forget to adapt your content for voice search as well in order to capitalize on this rising AI-driven trend.

Reduce image size but keep the quality

Another important tweak you need to make relates to the visual content on your website. Optimizing your images is one of those proven ways to reduce the loading time of every page through compressed, or smaller-sized, imagery. One word of caution though, you should never reduce image size at the expense of quality. Your images need to be crisp, clear, and hi-res if possible, in order to improve your user experience rate.

Combined, these tactics will help you improve your SEO significantly, as your visitors will have an easier time loading your pages, navigating through your products and services without delay, and will ultimately stay on your website longer. In turn, Google will take note of the relevance of your content (because why else would people stick around) and push your website higher in the relevant search results.

Integrate a content delivery network

In the pursuit of better website speed and loading times, the physical location of your site’s visitors matters. A potential customer or client trying to load your site halfway across the world is not going to get the same loading time as a customer loading your site within the region, which is why business leaders operating in highly-competitive markets such as Dallas in the US have been using CDNs to ensure better site performance in the local marketplace.

Along with meticulous local SEO implementation, proper coding, and image optimization, a content delivery network has become one of the pillars of a smart Dallas SEO strategy in growth-oriented companies. Using the same mindset, be sure to integrate a content delivery network yourself in order to minimize the time it takes to load your site in different locations by delivering your site’s static files (like CSS, images, and JavaScript) through a network of distributed servers. This will help you rank higher locally and beyond.

Cache as much as you can

When a potential customer visits your site for the first time, they are coming in with an empty cache. What this means is that they need to download the HTML document, stylesheets, JavaScript files and images in order to use your website – an action that could take three seconds, or twenty depending on your site’s speed. Now, while this further reinforces the need to optimize your site for first-time visitors primarily, you also want to cater to your recurring traffic.

If you want to maximize your SEO potential, you shouldn’t forget about the people who come back to read your content or make another purchase. People who venture back on your website will automatically call upon the many cached files stored on their hard drives in temporary files in order to load the page faster. This can shave valuable seconds off your load times, and significantly improve user experience. Go to your site’s settings to enable this feature on your website.

Switch to a dedicated hosting plan

And finally, be sure to review your hosting plan. If you’re like the majority of small business owners whose primary concern is improving cash flow and minimizing expenses, then you’ve probably chosen the cheapest hosting option on offer – shared hosting. While there’s nothing wrong with shared hosting if you’re just starting out, growth-oriented businesses should make the transition to more performance-driven hosting plans if they wish to improve site speed.

Dedicated hosting is perfect for this, as it allocates all of the server’s resources to your website and ensures it loads quickly and easily. In turn, this will improve your SEO and your customer experience rate.

Final thoughts

Website speed is but a single part of the SEO puzzle, but it is nonetheless an important element that can influence your brand’s online future in a big way. Use these tips to improve your site’s loading time and responsiveness, and witness as you start to climb the SERPs.

About the author

Emma is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in marketing, startups and latest business trends.


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