Yes, you read the title right. Speed does matter in ranking a blog/website better in the search engine results page. The prime factors gauged by Google (as a matter of fact, any search engine) is whether or not your blog is satisfactory to the visitor (searcher) in terms of content, search reliability and user experience.
The load time of your blog pertains to the third facet mentioned – user experience. So if you want to search engine optimize your blog in every way possible, you just cannot miss on checking the loading seed of your blog.
Most of your blog’s traffic bounce rate is a direct contribution by your blog’s sluggish load time. It is believed that a search engine visitor opts to leave a webpage if it fails to load the complete landing page content within 7 seconds. That’s the time you got to grab their attention with your blog’s sleek design and creative writing. But how far does this happen if half of it does not load at all before the visitor makes his/her mind to move on?
But don’t worry; optimizing your blog’s load time is not as difficult a task as the rest of the SEO aspects like link building and stuff. You just need to follow these straight forward tips to increase the speed of your blog:
1. Dump the useless
If you are using a CMS (content management system) like Joomla, Drupal, WordPress or others akin to these, then chances are that you’ve installed and tried your hands on numerous plugins, and more than half of them were not satisfactory and are hence just not active. In such cases, make it a point to uninstall and discard the plugins. They are of no use; and instead gulp your server space causing more of a load time.
2. Code syntactically
The way a webpage is coded determines the speed of loading that page. Try being more syntactical in coding CSS, HTML and JS even though being syntactical does not affect the end result. It does effect how quick the visitor’s browser reads the code, thus having an impact on the page’s load time.
Also, keep CSS and HTML apart. Let each one do its destined work as expected. The look and feel of the blog is expected to be taken care of by the CSS not the HTML. So avoid using tags like bold and Italic redundantly; rather code all of that in CSS letting HTML form the basic content alone.
3. Check you images
HTML allows us to resize an image in the markup itself with the height and width attributes of the img tag. However, it is not a good idea to deploy those attributes. Instead, better upload the image after cropping it and resizing it manually using a photo editor. This way, the browser can save time in rendering your page, as it does not have to 1st load a huge image and then resize it before presenting.
4. Use Content Delivery Networks
Content delivery networks aka CDN plays best role in increasing loading time of a blog by serving a user requested on a web page instantly which means if a user in Malaysia visit your website and your server located on US means it may take some time to load webpage, this is where CDN loads the certain file from its local servers to get the request instantly to load the web page ever faster, CDN is used by hundreds of thousands of webmasters and bloggers worldwide to increase and the speed up your blog.
Another good thing to do with regards to images is using an apt image format. The ideal image format for the web is – png. Consider compressing heavy images with a reliable compressor (they are many good ones. Just Google it) which does not diminish the quality of the image.
Bonus Tips to optimize the load speed of your blog
Use a caching plugin that caches your content in a browser, not making the blog necessarily load from the server every time.
Save your blog’s images in the same server as your blog. If you are hosting in blogger, host the images in blogger itself instead of hosting them elsewhere like in Instagram of Picassa. The same applies to other platforms like WordPress and Joomla as well.
Once you have applied one or more of these tips, you can check the before-after change in the blog’s load time through this handy tool called WebPageTest.
About The Author: Tim Wilson works as content manager for HostPapa, a web hosting Canada company serving over 100,000 customers. Since launching in 2006, HostPapa has offered reliable, budget-friendly, easy-to-use Canadian web hosting solutions for small to medium-sized businesses.
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