Earlier this year, Google announced page speed as a new mobile ranking factor. While it was already a ranking factor for desktop searches, it is now going to be applied to mobile searches as well.
Beginning July 2018, the new algorithm for mobile search will negatively impact the “pages that deliver the slowest experience to users” and, in Google’s words, will only affect a “small percentage of queries”. But consider this: Google processes more than 3.5 billion searches per day. Therefore, “small percentage of queries” could still mean that a lot of websites will be affected.
Fortunately, you still have three months to get your website ready for the page speed update. Start with checking your site’s speed on Google Insights Tool and learning about some potential optimizations.
In this regard, here are some tips to improve your site’s speed.
Optimize Your Images
Images used in your website affect its loading speed. In fact, not compressing image files before they are uploaded is a common reason for slow loading websites. Left unchecked, this will have a negative impact on your ranking and traffic.
Fortunately, there are plenty of free image compression tools that you can use to optimize your images before you upload them. For the images already uploaded, an easy option to compress those images is using a plugin called WP Smush.
Make certain to save all your images in PNG or JPG format. Also, knowing when to use advanced JPEGs and when to choose between PNG8 or PNG24 helps a great deal. This ensures faster page speed on both, mobile and desktop.
You likely have compressed files in a zipped folder when trying to send a bunch of files to someone through email. Codes can be compressed similarly. This can save you tons of server space and increase your site’s loading speed. Therefore, you should enable Gzip compression on your web server. This one step can contribute to as much as 300% increase in page speed.
Leverage Browser Caching
Caching allows files of a website to be stored so future requests of that data can be retrieved faster. With leverage browser caching, webpages will load much faster for repeat visitors as well as other web pages that share the same resources, such as your logo. Because your webpage files are stored in the browser cache, when a user returns, the files in your website will have significantly reduce page load times.
Improve Server Response Time
Server response time is the time your site’s HTML document takes to load from a server. Poor server response times will cause the HTML doc to load slowly. Consequently, longer server response times can reduce your website’s loading speed. Fortunately, your Houston TX web design professional can check and improve server response time.
How to know if your website is facing server issues
• You may be experiencing some sort of system error or issues with server CPUs
• You may run into problems with your ISP connection on which your website is hosted
• There may be faults in your server network
• High traffic volume may be clogging your servers
Keep in mind, there are some JS and CSS scripts that don’t contribute to the aesthetic factor. Therefore, they unnecessarily slow down your website. Eliminating these scripts can speed up your site considerably.
These are some steps you can take to prepare your site for the upcoming Google page speed update. If you need assistance, ProEngage Local can evaluate your web development options and fixes wherever necessary.