2. Page speed
Page speed is the speed at which a specific page on your website loads. This is affected by the elements on the page so you should look at optimising these in order to appear higher up in the rankings of search engines.
Some elements may be outside of your control and you’ll have to call on your web development team, but some you can fix with ease.
Since the middle of 2016, Google has been paying more attention to the speed of your website and is now part of the search ranking algorithm. In short, Google will favour a page that loads in the shortest amount of time, meaning the quicker your page renders, the more likely you are to be towards the top of the results page. When you think about it, it makes sense and Google is rewarding better user experience. Pages with an extended amount of load time tend to have higher bounce rates and thus a lower average time on page, so why would Google recommend them?
How to make page speed faster:
- Optimise your images
- Minimise HTTP requests
What is the best way to optimise images?
Images are widely used across websites as users are far more likely to react to an engaging picture before they have even read anything on your page. Every image on your page will affect the loading time, from small icons to full screen background images. Sadly, a lot of people are implementing images onto their site pages directly from stock sites or photoshop export, without resizing or compressing them. Here at Bigger Picture we have partnered with IMGIX. Implemented into our CMS (Alfred) IMGIX has been built to deliver the most efficient way to properly use images on your website. With its smart cropping technology and compression, IMGIX is the best way to optimise images and reduce page speed. Giving you the best chance of a conversion. If you need a DIY solution, we recommend TinyPNG to reduce file sizes (after you have manually resized and cropped offline).
Minimise HTTP requests
Yahoo claim that 80% of a web page’s load time is spent downloading images, stylesheets and scripts. For each one of these elements, a HTTP request is made and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the more on-page components there are, the longer it takes for the page to load.
How do you minimise HTTP requests?
First of all, you will need to find out how many requests your site is currently making. Chrome users can take advantage of the browsers developer tools to do this. Right-click on the page that you want to examine and then click on “inspect” followed by the “network” tab. To see your HTTP requests all you have to do now is refresh the page with this panel open and watch it happen.
You’ll see something along the lines of this when you check your HTTP requests.
You want to focus on the number in the bottom left hand corner ’51 requests’. Reduce the number of files your site needs to render, this will speed up your page load time as fewer files means fewer HTTP requests. Although it may be hard for non-developers to do anything about this, as a marketer/site manager you can still do something about this. Look for any third party scripts that are not needed and get them removed. Unless your business really needs it, remove it.
3. Internal links
What is an Internal link?
Internal links are hyperlinks that go from one page to another on the same site/domain. I see a lot of websites that have sub domains in use, especially for their blog. Sub domains are NOT the same domain so if you have something like blog.domain.com setup, you may just be making on-site SEO that little bit harder. Google uses these internal links to find out the content relationship (and the value) of your site’s content. The more you link to an internal page, the more prominence you are giving it.
Often overlooked, if you do internal linking right, you’ll see SEO benefits. One of the easiest and quickest strategies is to look at each blog page you have written. When you mention a service or topic covered on another page/blog, make sure you link to it. Not only does it make it easier for Google to crawl and index, but your users will thank you too. You are making it easier for them to find more valuable content and you’ll notice lower bounce rates, more pages viewed per session, and more time on site. The result? More conversions