Mobile optimization keyword research, algorithm updates, and now also page speed. If you are in the business of SEO, you really don’t have time to get bored.
Google has been getting serious about its mobile-first orientation and introducing — at least for mobile pages — the page speed ranking factor. In other words — how far your page ranks in front or at the top of Google search results now also depends on how fast its mobile version loads.
If your site doesn’t run fast, your customers will simply run away.
No one likes to wait. Least of all surfers who view your website on a mobile device. After all, smartphones and the like are used precisely for the purpose of “just quickly” looking up something. And if a page doesn’t display what they’re looking for in a flash, they switch back to the search results and choose another website — which means your bounce rates will be through the roof.
As such, websites that offer users an optimal user experience and that also quickly deliver the desired content should be at the top.
This is particularly interesting for web store operators — if page elements are slow to build up before the desired article finally appears, the prospective customer is already frustrated and prejudiced against your store. Try to turn such a disappointed visitor into a customer.
This challenges you to think about the user experience of your website and the customer journey of your store and to optimize it accordingly. And this optimization best starts with the analysis of those elements that slow down your page.
What makes pages slow?
The classic is, of course, images that are too large or not compressed enough. Weigh up how large images and graphics need to be, and find the right compromise between quality and file size when compressing them.
However, your website’s technology can also slow down optimal page speed. Limiting factors include:
- slow web server/long server response time
- large, uncompressed CSS, HTML, and Java Script files
- multiple CSS stylesheets
- poor caching
- database structure in need of improvement
Not to forget — if you have ads from other providers playing on your site, their ad servers, if slow, will slow down your site as well.
Website speed test with different tools
Create a table with the content of your website. You don’t have to cover everything, but the most visited pages and sample pages of certain categories — home page, product overview, blog articles, etc. — should be among them.
It’s best to use more than one tool and enter the results in your table for each. It is best to repeat the process monthly to be able to measure the development. Some measures can only be detected over a longer period of time.
An useful tip would be to use tools like Google Analytics to find out which devices and bandwidths most of your users use to access your website. Try setting this setup in Website Speed Test to track your customers’ user experience.
Targeted Page Speed Optimization
To improve page speed and user experience in the long run, optimizations to your website are necessary. A look at your spreadsheet will tell you where the biggest construction sites are.
You can orientate yourself on the test results of some tools, which already provide suggestions for optimization. The most important tips for page speed optimization:
- Compress images
- Set up lazy loading on pages with many images
- Enable HTTP/2 for data transfer
- Set up website cache (e.g. via a CDN)
What Google demands actually always corresponds to what your customers, your prospects and website visitors expect — and that is a first-class user experience. So again, on the topic of Page Speed SEO, I can advise you: Consider everything you do with and on your website from the eyes and with the expectations of your customers. If you act this way, Google will inevitably like it too.