June 16, 2020 by Diana Bocco

On-Site SEO Basics: How to Increase Website Page Speed

Page speed and site speed are two similar, but ultimately different, concepts.

On-Site SEO Basics: How to Increase Website Page Speed

Page speed deals with the loading time of a specific page on your website, while site speed deals with the overall loading speed of your entire website, — or, in other words, your website’s performance.

It’s important that you tackle the problem of performance from a page-centric standpoint in order to identify the bottlenecks on each and every page, and then resolve them one by one in order to improve the overall performance of your website.

Luckily, there are many ways you can achieve this. Your website’s pages will have their fair share of errors and problems, but some pages might even be hindering the performance of your entire website. With that in mind, here are the crucial steps you need to take in order to improve page speed, and ultimately your SEO score.

Use software to compress files

Nowadays, there is a software tool for everything. Well, almost. But when it comes to file compression, you can definitely take advantage of many an intuitive tool out there to compress all files on specific pages that are larger than 150 bytes. Focus on CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files, of course, but don’t use these tools to alter the size of your images.

You should compress images in an external program such as Photoshop, in order to preserve the quality of the photo, and we’ll touch on that a bit later on. You can minify the aforementioned file types by reducing all extraneous characters and elements that might be taking up space. These include commas, spaces, unnecessary characters, etc. Don’t forget to erase any unused code, formatting, or comments in the process to boost the effect.

Reduce the number of page redirects

Page redirects equal to sluggish website performance as a whole, simply due to the number of page redirect requests that the visitor has to go through in order to load a single page of content. This unnecessarily long loading cycle running back and forth will add precious seconds to your page’s loading time, challenge the visitor’s patience, and ultimately drive them away.

If nothing else, long page redirect will result in poor customer experience, which also equates to poor SEO performance.

To eliminate this problem, you can choose a variety of proprietary software and plugins to locate, sort and organize, and differentiate between your site’s 301 and 404 errors. Use the data to weed out the 301 redirects and fix them in order to alleviate the pressure off the server and allow it to load the correct page faster. This will also help improve your SEO score by telling the search engine crawlers that your website’s links are neat and organized.

Fix all broken links on your site

While we’re on the subject of links and how they can damage your entire website’s SEO performance, 404 broken links represent another problem that can slow down your load times, diminish your SEO score, and just make for a bad user experience overall. Your site might have many of these errors hidden within the messy code, tucked away under piles of redesigns, which is why it’s important to run a thorough SEO audit.

This is a problem that has taken such a toll in fast-developing business hubs of the world, such as Singapore, that local SEO experts have mastered the art of fixing broken links.

For example, marketers specializing in SEO will first run a thorough inspection of the website to find broken links in order to reduce bounce rate, improve loading time, and tell the website crawlers that, again, the specific page is optimized for performance and user experience – two metrics that the search engines prioritize.

Follow the same mindset to either find broken links yourself, or find SEO specialists that know how to inspect your website so that no link is left unturned.

Use browser caching to your advantage

Browsers store all kinds of information about your website in order to improve loading times. They do this by caching specific areas of your page, making it easier to load because it doesn’t have to reload the entire thing from the ground up. This saves precious milliseconds that can determine whether a visitor will stay or migrate to another site.

Simply set the Expire headers on your caches to a longer time period, such as a year if you’re not redesigning your website often, to allow the cached information to stick around longer and make it easier to load your pages. It’s a nifty trick that can make a big difference.

Optimize your images

And finally, don’t forget to optimize your images, making sure you’re using the right size and file extension to fit the image type. For instance, you should use PNG files for graphics that have fewer than 16 colors. As for photographs, though, JPEG files are better as they are smaller in size but preserve the quality of the photograph in terms of resolution and sharpness, as well as color distribution and saturation.

In conclusion

Page speed is a concept every business owner and marketer should take seriously nowadays, as optimizing the SEO performance of every individual page will have a much higher impact on site performance that just trying to implement a one-size-fits-all solution. Use these tips to locate the problems on every page of your website and fix them quickly so that you can improve your most relevant KPIs.

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