There’s no question that if you want to succeed in today’s business world you must have a strong online presence. While on active social media and solid marketing budget are both good things, at the end of the day nothing moves the needle quite like a successful and high-quality SEO campaign.
However the SEO world is definitely always changing and that presents plenty of challenges. Google is made it clear from here on out that having a technically sound website will be crucial to ranking high in their search engine. This means page speed, which is a major issue for most sites out on the web, will become a major factor from here on out when it comes to SEO. In fact, in many ways it already is a major ranking factor.
So what can you do if you need to improve your page speed? How do you even know where to start? Read on to find out!
Start With Tracking
You need to make sure you create a working account with Google. Specifically, you want to have Google Analytics on your website so you have access to tools like the publicly shared data from Analytics in addition to Google Search Consul. These tools allow Google to create a profile that they are happy to share with you on how they see your website. This includes a very important one for page speed: Google Page Speed Insight.
This tool is all you’ll need to see how Google grades your overall website’s speed, as well as looking at every single post and URL attached to your site.
Look At Your Hosting
Chances are that if you’re having a page speed issue, hosting is playing a major part of it. While it is certainly understandable that small business owners need to watch the budget and would go with the cheapest option, shared hosting isn’t going to get it done from an SEO point of view now anymore. At least not most really cheap shared hosting.
If you can’t afford a server or VPS, or it doesn’t make sense in your situation to front that expense, then you still need to look around for high quality shared hosting, the kind that give speed guarantees and/or can show why they beat the competition. The cheapest shared hosting from major vendors like GoDaddy or HostGator isn’t going to cut it anymore. Not from an SEO speed perspective.
Upgrade Your Theme
There are a lot of themes out there that look good at first but are bloated with code, unoptimized graphics, and other issues that can cause severe lagging or issues with quick loading. The theme is often the #2 issue for site speed right behind hosting, and if both are problems you have no chance of having a good page speed in Google’s eyes.
Make sure you have a good theme that is light on code or even consider a premium theme that is specifically designed to be as fast as possible and provide maximum site speed.
Don’t Drown In Plug-Ins
This is a big one. Five or six normal plug-ins for a site is fine, but if you have 15 or 20, that’s too many. You need to find a way to slim that down and make sure that the plug-ins you’re using are hopefully lightweight and give as little pain to hosting as possible.
While you don’t want to overdo the plug-ins, there are many specialty ones designed specifically for making a site faster. This can be by optimizing photos, delaying video loading, or even from caching. Take a look at some of the most highly recommended ones and go with those.
Pushing up your on page speed is often a multi-faceted process but if you take on all of these tips you are sure to see a vast improvement in results.