Like other factors, website speed optimization is an advanced factor because Google is too conscious about its speed and better user experience. It has made website speed optimization an SEO ranking factor.
Your website speed needs to be user-friendly and optimized for different kinds of devices. Because if your website loads faster, it will give better user engagement, higher conversion rates, higher SEO rankings, etc.
Google will penalize your website and not give your website a ranking in its search results. If your website speed is slow, not running, server error, Error 404, and other errors like coding, server not responding, and internet connectivity issues.
Reasons that affect website speed
Your website load:
This means how many things you have on your web, how much is content or its length, how many images are there, and other things that can hurt your website speed.
Reduce the size of your image for website speed optimization:
To optimize your full page size and increase its speed, you need to optimize your image size. As images affect your website speed, so they need to resize according to your website. If your images are large, they will slow your website. To reduce your image size and make them web standard or quality images, you can use WP Smush to have your website on WordPress. With this plugin, you can automatically resize your image. You need to set the required width and height of any image in this plugin, and when you upload any image, it will smush or compressed it if it exceeds your required width and height.
If we talk about image formats, they are available in png, jpg gif, SVG. You have to use the lightweight, quality, and standard web format of the image to load on your website speedily, PNG format. Many people use SVG images for their websites as they don’t pixelate and remain scalable when you big these images.
To resize and compress your image according to your website dimensions. Your image size should be SEO friendly, and it should be up to 100kb, and its resolution should be 1920 X 1080. Seo-friendly images quickly load on your site and increase your site speed, and ultimately google will give you ranking in its search results.
If your site is not on WordPress, you can resize and optimize your image size by google photoshop and free online resize image tools such as resize.net, Tiny PNG, and Kraken. Io, JPEG mini, image optic, etc. You could also leverage TinyImage to reduce the size of your images (JPGs, JPEGs & PNGs) while keeping their quality intact. It compresses them without reducing their dimensions for best results.
Coding issue: If your coding is suitable, compatible, and according to the latest trends, it will increase your website speed.
Website Speed Optimization for mobile devices
If you know that your website has 70 to 80% of traffic from mobile from desktop, Google suggests that your website be mobile-friendly as you get traffic on your website now forms mobile than on desktop due to the fall of desktop trends. For website speed optimization on mobile, your website should be mobile-friendly and mobile responsive. Your website’s visitors can experience the same functionality and efficiency on mobile as they experience on the desktop.
So mobile-friendly means your website should load on mobile quickly.
Mobile responsiveness means the website should be load on mobile according to mobile or screen sizes because there are different mobile, tablet, and desktop screen sizes. So if your website’s design is appropriately optimized according to screen sizes, it will give a good look on the small screen. So your website should have different versions of responsive web design for different devices to have a good look and show the images properly on, i.e., mobile, called mobile responsiveness.
For website speed optimization, your website should be mobile-friendly and made according to mobile.
Implement AMP for website speed optimization on mobile:
Google gives AMP plugin to convert all your websites in AMP means accelerated mobile pages or mobile format. Google can show these websites on mobile properly and load them quickly on slow data signals.
AMP has higher performance, engagement, or loads quickly on your website and gives the option to choose design and layout in a limited way in Google AMP for your website.
Reduce the number of plugins to optimize your website speed:
Plugins are installed on your website to add specific features to your website if it runs on WordPress. But more plugins need more resources to run them, which will slow your website speed. These plugins can have security issues, as well. As website speed depends on the quality of plugins, check the speed tests of plugins that slow your website and delete these unnecessary, outdated, no longer used plugins. One should keep up to date installed the necessary plugins on one’s website for website speed optimization.
You can use GT Metrix and Pingdom Tools to check the speed of your plugins. You can use a plugin performance profiler that shows you a detailed report of the plugin’s performance within a few minutes. By evaluation, if you find any unnecessary plugins and slow your website speed, you can deactivate or delete them.
Use the CDN (content delivery network) for website speed optimization:
The content delivery network is a delivery network or a vast collection of web servers to deliver content quickly and efficiently to visitors across vast geographical locations by speeding up your page load times. These geographical networks or data centres have stored copies of your site to give your site’s users faster and more reliable access.
Max CDN and Cloud flare, and keycd are the best options for CDN. Max CDN focuses just on improving load times by providing CDN services by its more data centres. Cloudflare offers extra services of security and optimization features besides CDN service.
You can implement an optimal plugin as CDN for your website’s images on WordPress.
Impact of broken URL or 404 errors on website speed optimization:
Every asset or page of your website has an address or URL if you have deleted or change any page, but it has not been deleted in Google database or index. When the user goes to that page, it gives a 404, or the server cannot show that page because it has changed or deleted. This shows that there is no URL on this server, and the user will leave your website. A broken URL affects your SEO, and this will ultimately affect your website speed.
A broken URL affects your SEO in three ways:
- A broken URL negatively affects your SEO
- Broken links turn users away.
- Google frowns upon dead links.
Broken URL can be identified by:
When you search and find out that this page does not exist by seeing 404 errors. You may not know about the broken URL that your website has, or you had deleted your page, and Google has indexed your page before you delete this page. In this case, this page will exist/remain in the Google database, and when a user lands on this page, it shows a 404 error that shows that this page does not exist now.
Changing URL of the live page, i.e., if you write an article or do changes in topic or an article, it will change URL, so you have not deleted this page makes some changes or changes its name. In this case, the user cannot go to the old URL that Google has indexed because you have changed or deleted this page, showing 404 errors.
Tools to find a broken URL
- You can use the W3C Live Checklist tool to find a broken URL.
- You can use the “Google webmaster tool to find a broken URL by registering your website. This tool is the best way to identify your broken URL by Google itself.
Besides this, you can use Xenu’s link sleuth and 404 redirects plugin for WordPress. Fix broken URL by 301 redirects for website speed optimization:
If you migrate your website or page, you have a new website/page in place of the old one and if these broken links bring traffic, give this page or website 301 redirection command. If these pages do not bring any visits and serve an essential purpose, then eliminate these broken links or pages.
In this redirect command, you give an old URL a new address. When Google/user goes to an old URL, the browser will show a new URL, and in this way, Google/user will land on a new page without knowing that it’s a new page.
When Google index this page that does not exist but has 301 redirections, then Google understands that this page has a new address now, and the old address has been deleted, so in the Google database, the new address will be indexed.
Reduce redirects: Try to reduce or keep redirects minimum on your website as these redirects create additional HTTP requests that slow your website speed. So to identify redirects on your website, you can use “Screaming Frog.”
Move your website to a better server (Hosting) for website speed optimization.
This means whether you’re hosting is good or bad, i.e., if you open your website in Pakistan, but its server is in the USA, it will take time to load because of a long call that goes to the USA server and back again.
Besides this, you can have good hosting but not a good hosting package that when its limit expires, your website speed gets down.
Check out: Importance of images and how to do image optimization for SEO
Shared hosting in which you share server space with other companies can affect your website speed due to many people using the same server. But the Shared hosting package has low fees to get your site online in a short time. So dedicate server, and the virtual private server are the best options for your website speed optimization.
Dedicated hosting is the expensive and best package in which only you get control and access to a server, and it is a much faster server. When you have a dedicated server, you have to pay server rent and hire a system administrator to maintain it. AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, or other public cloud providers are some options to rent a dedicated server.
A virtual private server is a much faster server like a dedicated server. Although you also share your server with other websites, you have your part of the virtual server that protects your website from everyone else on your server without any cost, unlike a dedicated server. VPS will be an optimal solution for your website to increase your website speed, preferably if you have an e-commerce website.
Pick a lightweight theme
Your theme is the base of your website and has a significant effect on increasing your website speed. So it would help if you used lightweight themes for your website speed optimization that offers you a high amount of flexibility to design your website. So you can use these options for lightweight themes such as Neve, Generatepress, Astra, oceanwp.
Reduce the use of web fonts
As web fonts are used in website design, add additional HTTP requests and slow your website. To reduce the web font size, choose only the styles you need, keep character to a minimum according to your site, and use modern formats such as WOFF2, etc.
Tools to test your website speed
You can use an uptime monitoring service to get instant notifications when your website speed slows, such as uptrends, a free online tool that gives that facility.
So if your website speed is slow after checking its speed, you should implement these above website speed optimization techniques and tools to increase your website’s speed.