Page loading speed has great importance with Google these days. From mobile visitors to Googlebots, every visitor will appreciate a speedy experience. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:
1. Rise of mobile
The importance of mobile can be seen in Google’s announcements the last few years. Mobile users are more impatient than ever, and Google provided stats last week regarding just how impatient mobile users are:
– The average mobile page takes 22 seconds to load, but 53% of users leave after 3 seconds!
– Even mobile landing pages in AdWords were found to take 10 seconds loading time.
There are many easy changes available for sites to make, as the answer isn’t always in purchasing a faster web server. Google’s own analysis found that simply compressing images and text can be a “game changer”—30% of pages could save more than 250KB that way.
2. Ranking factor
A few years back, Google made page speed a small ranking factor – or at least they were finally explicit about it being a ranking factor. Since page speed issues aren’t given the exposure of crawl errors and other items in Google Search Console, it can be easy to put them on the “long list” of items to fix. Its addition as a ranking factor is a great signal that this needs to be prioritized.
3. Bounce rate
Nice try, loading up your site with images that take forever to load. Unfortunately, that doesn’t increase the duration of site visits. It just makes people angry. According to Google’s analysis, every second of loading time, from 1 to 7 seconds, increases the chance of a bounce by 113%! Many SEOs believe that “engagement metrics” such as bounce rate could also be a ranking factor. And it makes sense: When Google sees a rise in organic bounce rate, they know human visitors are judging the content. How could Google not take this data into account?
4. Crawl rate
In one recent test, increasing page speed across a site dramatically increased the site’s crawl budget. Slower sites can be overwhelmed by crawl activity. But if you ever feel the need to put a crawl delay in your robots.txt, take that as a warning sign. After all, even reasonably fast sites can often need more crawl budget.
Tools and Fixes
Luckily there are remedies. Some can be quite easy, such as adding compression to your web server. Others might require a trip to Photoshop for your site’s images. However, some items will not be worth fixing. Try to concentrate on the easiest tasks first. Run an analysis of your site through these two tools and see what you need to fix:
Google’s newest tool:
GTmetrix.com features include a “waterfall” showing which page items load at which stage, history, monitoring, and more.
Good luck and enjoy optimizing the speed of your site!
- Using keywords too much in title tags and content
- Links with anchor-text (the blue underline) focused around too few phrases
- Anything with your site’s link profile that does not show a narural amount of diversity (duplicate pages titles, inbound links only from press release sites, etc).
- Link networks / schemes
- Links from de-indexed and banned websites, including old directories, blogs & article sites.
- Great content: Copy writing has gone through an evolution and cheap content is not going to cut it. Could it ever though?
- Promotion & Outreach for Social Media Marketing & Inbound Links: Since the web’s inception, much content has been posted with little regard to promotion. Social, link building, and other outreach initiatives are vital to maximize dollars spent on premium content.
- Brand Name Searches: Google knows big brands are searched. Their “buzz” is a signal of authority, although not yet on par with link building.
- User Engagement: Once a visitor is onsite, engage them. Keep their interest and involvement. Good design and excellent content have never been so important. Google has been watching this for some time.
- Multi-tiered approaches: Spread marketing dollars broadly across many initiatives. It creates a variety of signals to Google that you are legit.
Denver SEO Meetup and the Colorado working group of SEMPO have seen tremendous growth in the last year. In the ever developing world of search marketing, the meetups have become excellent resources for search marketing professionals looking to network – as well as the professional development opportunities provided by SEMPO’s excellent speakers.
Last week, our president Jim Kreinbrink spoke about “Driving traffic to your blog with SEO techniques”. It was a technical presentation that gave away many great tidbits. The audience was full of experienced search marketers, and we hoped to show the value of collaboration and community.
The previous month, two excellent PPC case studies were presented by Alex Porter from Location 3 Media. Seeing the approaches Location 3 took for two PPC campaigns, and the results attained, were very exciting.
Search marketing is growing in a recession, so expect a packed house. The focus on measurable, trackable results makes it particularly appealing to agencies and advertisers alike. All this means that the Denver search marketing coomunity will continue to grow and flourish.