Does site speed influence SEO?
Understanding Google Search
Does site speed influence SEO? – “Site speed is everything”. Not a day goes by without a new article, white paper, Google representative or SEO expert telling us that optimizing for speed is one of the most important things you can do right now. And they’re right, of course! Site speed influences SEO in many ways. We prepared a small overview of how site speed and SEO go together.
Okay, so we now know that site speed influences SEO. But how? Users expect websites to be fast. As the world becomes increasingly mobile and as consumers expect services to be on-demand and seamlessly delivered, having a poor site speed can seriously impact your SEO.
What to do OR not do for speed
NOT – Do not use large graphics, especially graphics that are resized from massive photos.
NOT – Do not use unnecessary WordPress plugins. Each one takes time to load from the server and can accumulate badly. If your site does not need it, remove it.
NOT – Do not use outdated or plugins that are not tested for your site.
NOT – Do not use a cheap, slow host server.
DO – Use quality hosting for your site. Shared servers save a lot of $$, but can slow down your loading time / performance.
DO – Adjust your images for some reasonable size (max = ~1200 pixels wide) so that your browser does not have to resize every large image.
DO – Optimize all images, using such tools as TingPNG, WP Smush, Imagify, ImageRecycle, etc.
DO – Enable caching. Simply put, caching is the technical term for storing data in a temporary storage area. This improves a site’s performance.
Do – Test your site’s loading time using tools such as Pingdom, GTmetrix, WebPagetest, WP Checkup, Google Mobile Speed Test, etc.
Understanding Google Search – At its core, Google search is about understanding language. It’s job to figure out what you’re searching for and surface helpful information from the web, no matter how you spell or combine the words in your search query.
Have you noticed that many of your searches are related to questions AND Google will answer these WITHOUT sending you to a web site. How does Google know all of these questions / answers? It’s from MANY sites having FAQ’s. Think about this … Your site includes various questions and answers, Google sees these and uses the answers that you have provided.
In other words – USE YOUR FAQ PAGES – Add as many questions / answers as humanly possible. If you do not have a FAQ page, add one NOW!
No matter what you’re looking for, or what language you speak, let go of some of your keyword-ese and search in a way that feels natural for you. But you’ll still stump Google from time to time.
Language understanding remains an ongoing challenge, and Google keeps us motivated to continue to improve Search. We’re always getting better and working to find the meaning in– and most helpful information for– every query you search for.