When it comes to SEO, there are so many factors that you will need to take into account as you know and whereas a lot of people just jump in and start building a tonne of likes, it is also important to remember that the number one priority; making sure that your website is user friendly. There are a lot of different aspects that make a website user friendly including the navigation system and of course, the content that you are actually displaying on your site. A website should be displaying to the user what they want to see and when. This is what is going to really get you a good position in Google and other major search engines.
However, one of the factors that often goes unmissed in the world of SEO is the loading time of the website that you are looking at. Making sure that your website doesn’t take a huge amount of time to load is a big factor when it comes to the usability of the website as much of the world still has a relatively slow internet connection and it is important that you cater for these visitors. There are a number of things that you can do in order to bring down the loading time number including all of the following tips.
#1 – Optimise Images
This might be something that you think you’ve got covered on your website as most SEO’s know all about setting alt tags and things like that. However, you need to ask yourself, could you make your images smaller on your website. For a lot of people, the answer is yes. In fact, it is definitely something that you should look at as it won’t only be a positive thing in terms of SEO, but it will also use up less bandwidth on your website and in the long run, cost you a lot less.
If you are using Photoshop or any other image editing program, then you will probably be able to adjust the quality of your images and the size of the files rather easily. However, if you have already uploaded the images to your website and you have a lot of them, things might be a little harder. The good news is that there are actually a number of plug-ins out there that can help you as well as other sites too. For example, if you are using the WordPress system for your website, there is a plug-in entitled WP Smush.it which can really help you to minimise the sizes of those images pretty easily.
You can also use a number of image editing websites including the PicNik site which is a favourite of ours here at Triphp.
#2 – Avoid One Page Websites
Another thing that you might want to do to ensure that your loading time is as good as possible is to avoid a one-page website. You might have seen these cropping up all over the place just lately as they are becoming quite popular. The thing with these websites is that they have a positive and a negative point. The positive thing about them is that they provide a good user experience in terms of the way they work once they have loaded. The negative side is that if you cram too much content into them, they will take forever to load and will seriously harm your SEO work.
As a rule of thumb, it is probably best to avoid these websites at the moment until Google starts to analyse them a little better. However, if you don’t have too much content and can ensure that the loading time is low even with a one-page website, you should go for it. Making sure that the images and content is properly optimised will help if you are really set on a one-page website.
Remember, one page websites are usually best as landing pages and minisites. Never use them for huge blogs.
#3 – Minimise the Coding
Now, of course, one of the things that you must do in order to make sure that your website loads as fast as possible is to ensure that there is no unnecessary code in your website. If you are using a content management system, it is quite hard to change the coding and a lot of the time, you will have excess code. Luckily, with CMS’ like WordPress, the CMS actually has a lot of benefits and the user experience usually makes up for the slight excess amount of coding.
However, when posting blog posts, you can make sure that there isn’t excess code. There are also a number of plug-ins out there for WordPress and other CMS systems that will reduce the amount of code by using this such as Gzip etc. When coding a website yourself, make sure your HTML is W3C optimised as much as possible.
#4 – Choose reliable and quick hosting
The hosting that you have plays another big part in how fast your website loads. Hosting is basically a computer that serves your website to the visitors so making sure that you have sufficient bandwidth, web space etc will certainly help. Also, making sure that your server is quite and responsive is also a plus point.
If possible, you can make sure that you have a dedicated server meaning that you will have access to the quickest speeds possible. There are plenty of great hosting companies out there, so make sure to shop around for the best priced one.
In conclusion, loading time is extremely important and something that all SEO’s should be thinking about a bit more. User experience is number one priority so ensuring that loading time is as well-optimised as possible is a must-do.