Instant Access: Improving Page Load Speed Just Got More Important

July 29th, 2011 07:00am CDT by Scot Small

By SEO TeamSEO Company

Page load speed was going to begin factoring into search rankings for websites according to Google. What on the surface sounds like an unfair punishment to larger websites makes quite a bit of sense when you think about it. Ask yourself: How long do you wait for a webpage to load before you get frustrated at its sluggishness? How long do you wait before you leave?

It turns out that the answer to the second question for the average person is about four seconds. This means that you have at most four seconds to present your page to the reader before they will leave. Suddenly the only impression you have left your potential customers is that impression of slowness. In today’s fast-paced world, slow rarely is a good thing, and so you have lost a lead before they ever saw text. As such, now more than ever it is important for companies to streamline their approach to web design in order to create websites which load as quickly as possible.

Determine Your Page Load Speed

The first step in improving your page load speed is to check your current load speed. There are numerous add-ons for Firefox which can do exactly this. Google has a proprietary add-on called Page Speed which might be particularly useful, since it allows you to judge your site on the same guidelines that Google will when determining your page’s search ranking. Google also has a knowledge base on their Page Speed website which discusses various ways to improve your site’s speed.

Minimize Redirects

The server load on a redirect is fairly high. First, it has to find the redirect order within your coding. This process in itself can take a while if there is a lot of meta data to get through before the redirect. Then, even with a zero-delay redirect, the server still has to find the file that you are redirecting the user to and load that. As a result, redirecting the user takes a rather substantial amount of time, and so should be avoided whenever possible.

Use External Scripting for Javascript and CSS

External scripting is something of a paradox. Everything about it suggests that it would slow load speeds, due to there being multiple files involved in the loading of the page. However, it turns out that external scripting speeds up site loading times in practice, due to the browser not having to parse through the entire Javascript or CSS file to get to your actual layout elements in your HTML.

Compress and Streamline Content

If your site is not already doing this, now is the time to compress files on your server and eliminate all but the critical parts of your website. Of all the different ways to improve your web page’s load speed, reducing the size and number of your files will have the most drastic result. This is because of the simple fact that how fast a website loads ultimately comes down to one very simple concept: the more data there is to send to the user, the more time it is going to take to send it to them. Nothing will make a large file get to the user faster, and so it is important to use whatever means necessary to shrink or eliminate these large files.

By improving page load speed, you will improve your Google search rankings as well as the user’s experience on your site. Both of these things are crucial to continually getting traffic and leads off your site. If your site is suffering from slow load times, give our SEO company a call. We know how to streamline websites so that they load in the blink of an eye, while also making it easy for search engines to find. If you know anyone with a slow site make sure you share this post with them – it could be useful information for them.

So what do you think? Do you think it’s fair for page load speed to factor into a website’s search rankings? Do you have any questions for the RevBuilders team on improving page speed?





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