Make your web faster (Please!)
By Jorge Alonso on
Alright, assuming this I am going to explain you guys now may be not new for the majority of SEOs, I do believe and hope it will be useful to better understand how extremely necessary is to connect the SEO work with the developers and IT work.
Now, have a look at this:
Does this page sound familiar to you at first sight?. Great!, half of the way already walked.
For the case that you are not lucky enough to recognize it yet, open your browser (and mind) and go (pleeeasee) to
And, in order to follow my example, “analyze” the URL www.yahoo.com
(I know, I am not too original).
A world of errors and not-right-things which are occurring to your web is revealed, even if you are a big brand and you perform a great PageSpeed Score of 90 (out of 100).
But do not panic, there is only room to improve thanks to this astonishing and relatively new Google tool.
Once upon a time (till few months ago), this tool offered information on how important was each issue to be optimized, dividing priorities by high, medium and low.
This option suddenly disappeared for some reason that it is beyond my comprehension, but still you can find a lovable menu (and I can say that more or less sorted by importance) including all the key points to fix.
As you can see in the image above (it looks too small to read, but it becomes huge if you click on it, hehe, smiling face), you not only get all the points that are pending, but also find very specific problems, how to solve them and even how much space you will save by accomplishing them. Furthermore, and here it comes the “gamificated” part, an “Already done!” encouraging button. Yahoo, cheer up!, you must be so proud here!
I will not enter into details for each of the categories, because my intention is to write a readable article that make you increase your interest on this subject and let you discover the rest by yourself, but it is a need to at least slow down about a couple of things that worth consideration:
If your business is very visual, depends on pictures a lot and images are very important for the conversion process, (hotels rooms?, some ecommerce maybe?), you are definitely in need to properly scale images and/or make thumbnails and actual images resize through markups.
Scale images so that they match the largest size that the page requires and include width and height in CSS. You will avoid to send more information than necessary.
- Compressing .js
- Expiration time in cache
Ok, tons of files on your static pages are static and there is a very small chance that that changes. Then, please, save work to Google and let him (yes, “him”, it is too alive to be “it”) have them in cache for longer time (at least a week).
Depending on how big is your website and how much stuff is on the Already done! side, you may find yourself on a non-ending time-consuming spiral. That is why it is so important to check your PageSpeed Score and this your Critical Path Explorer view to see “your” speed evolving:
That way, you will notice what is really helping your site become Flash and what seems to not to have too much impact on it and does not worth the time you are investing.
In case your website has too big room to improve in this sense but you cannot find a way to manually check, optimize and review, there is an alternative (there is always an alternative!) thanks to Apache and its mod_pagespeed module, that will allow you to automate Web Performance Optimization, or if you are cool-trendy enough, WPO (little rounded yellow face showing its tongue here).
Of course, you need first to feel highly comfortable by “playing” with your web server and read this guide before taking a decision.
At this point, I know, I know, I did not say anything about the SEO – Developers connection yet. But the fact is that I only have a couple of comments apart from what Google himself already states, and I quote:
“Faster web pages create a better user experience, which leads to increased traffic and reduced bounce rates. “
This phrase hides the Google best kept secret but it is incomplete, because they never assured that best bounce rates directly affect SERPs, but, come on, it is in the air!, you and me know it!.
I myself would add:
Faster web pages create a better user experience, which leads to increased traffic and reduced bounce rates…which leads to be better and better considered for rankings in Google SERPs which leads, altogether, to brutally boost your Click Through Rate, which leads to accomplish your ultimate goal: Conversion an ROI and benefits and money, money, money.
So…where were we?. Oh, yes, to summarize, to the question:
-Does page speed affect SEO?
-The answer is:
WPO = SEO work + Developers work = Conversion
*Translation: Faster web pages = money, money, money