Earlier this month, Google finally brought out the news: the speed of your mobile website becomes a ranking factor. In other words, that quick site of your competitor can catch up in the search results!
Why is the speed of a site important for your Google Ranking?
All changes Google makes to the search algorithm have one goal: to increase user-friendliness or to improve the experience of the Google visitor. The vast majority of internet traffic now runs via mobile devices. Despite the fast connections of smartphones and tablets, pages on these devices load slower than on ‘regular’ computers. And everyone knows how annoying it is to stare at a white screen (User Experience!!).
If a user clicks on your search result at Google and returns to the same results page on Google shortly after, Google sees that as a negative user signal. The interpretation of Google is that this user did not find the best information, another result might have been better: a reason to adjust the ranking. Up to now, the speed of your pages was already an indirect ranking factor. From July 2018, Google will cut this loose and use the speed of your site as a separate ranking factor.
Time to get into action. And remember: even if you do not do it for SEO purposes, you always make your users happy with fast pages.
SEO Marketing: How do I measure the speed of my site?
Google is happy to help you on your way with the free Page Speed Insights tool. It works easily: you paste your URL into it and get a report, both for Mobile and for Desktop. Important to know is that the speed per page is calculated. Another free tool that you can use is Pingdom. At Pingdom, you get next to a performance grade also the time that is needed to fully load your website.
At Google and Pingdom you immediately get tips to increase your speed, for most you have to switch with web developers because they are technical adjustments, but especially Google makes it as easy as possible.
SEO Marketing: Optimize your website for speed
Of course, you can immediately get started with optimizing your website, often you come a long way with, for example, adjusting/reducing images. Certainly, if you have a site with multiple authors, too large images will soon be present. A handy and quick tool to reduce your images is TinyPng. You drag an image and this free online tool will compress it automatically, sometimes it saves you 70-80 percent, overwrites the image on your page with the smaller version and gets the page through Google’s page speed tool again.
The other optimizations are more technical in nature, but solutions can also be used without direct developers. Especially when your site is running on WordPress, you can use Plugins to work with the 100/100 score of Pagespeed Insights fairly quickly. A lot of articles can be found about that.
Finally, another important consideration
The speed of your website is also a relative ranking factor. This means that your speed is compared with other websites, that try to rank on the same keyword. Google (especially with your smartphone) on your main keywords and compare the speeds of the competitors that are both better and worse than yours. Scoring better than your direct competitors for specific terms should be your primary goal!
FML Marketing – SEO consultancy on the Costa del Sol
Thank you for reading our blog and good luck improving your search engine ranking! If you require professional support, or more information about our Search Engine Optimization services, please feel free to contact us. We are here to help you and improve your Google Ranking!