What your teacher didn’t tell you about optimizing site speed
Site speed impacts your search engine ranks, so how can you make improvements? Columnist Brian Harnish details a few ways to decrease page load time for your top-performing pages.
Despite site speed being a ranking factor in Google search results, fast websites aren’t the norm. Your site likely has room to improve. By observing minor details, it is possible to significantly decrease web page load time — and consequently increase SERP performance.
Let’s take a look at some of the less common methods to decrease page load time for better performance in the SERPs.
Assess your current load time performance with Google Analytics
If you have Google Analytics set up on your website, finding out how your pages perform should be a relatively easy chore. Simply navigate to Behavior > Site Speed and review the various reports contained therein.
The Page Timings and Speed Suggestions reports will show your top pages, along with their performance stats, plus suggestions for improving page speed. These reports will help determine the pages you want to prioritize.
Once you have assessed your current page load times with Google Analytics, you will want to analyze the factors of your site that are causing issues. Are non-optimized images the primary culprit? Perhaps it’s overly bloated code? A bad server? Or all three factors at once?
Attacking each of these issues in phases, as budget and priorities allow, will help you assess exactly how much each factor impacts your site’s page speed — and how much fixing it improves your site’s performance in the SERPs.