Site Speed Is Just Another SEO Ranking Factor

Did you know that one of the ranking factors Google uses to determine how to rank a website is how fast the site loads? For sites that have slow loading times, this can negatively impact their rankings and ultimately may cause them to fall off of the first page of search results. 

Luckily for us, there are some things we can do about it things that don’t require expensive web developers or a lot of time. Here are 11 tips for speeding up your site and increasing your search engine rankings!

Page Speed: SEO Mythbusting – YouTube
Key Takeaways
1. Site speed is a crucial factor in SEO rankings.
2. Fast-loading websites enhance user experience.
3. Search engines prioritize speedy sites in rankings.
4. Optimizing site speed can reduce bounce rates.
5. Mobile site speed is equally important for SEO.
6. Improved site speed can positively impact conversions.
7. Strategies like image optimization can boost speed.
8. Slow sites may lead to lower user engagement.
9. Implementing CDNs can help improve load times.
10. Consistent monitoring and optimization are essential.

1. Enable Gzip Compression

If you have a site that ranks on Google, it has probably had to deal with the negative effects of Google’s “Speed Update.” There are many ways to speed up your website and one of them is enabling gzip compression.

Gzip compression is a method of compressing data for transfer over the internet. It involves converting files into an intermediary format known as “crippled” (or “recoded”) form, which can then be decompressed by the recipient’s system into its original form. 

Gzip works best with text-based webpages because those types of pages tend to be fairly small compared to image or video files. If you have a site that ranks on Google, it has probably had to deal with the negative effects of Google’s “Speed Update.” 

There are many ways to speed up your website and one of them is enabling gzip compression. Gzip compression is a method of compressing data for transfer over the internet. 

It involves converting files into an intermediary format known as “crippled” (or “recoded”) form, which can then be decompressed by the recipient’s system into its original form. 

Gzip works best with text-based webpages because those types of pages tend to be fairly small compared to image or video files.

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2. Upgrade To HTTP/2

If you’re not already using HTTP/2, you should consider switching to it. This is the latest version of the HTTP protocol, and despite its age, it still isn’t supported by Internet Explorer (although Microsoft plans to add support in IE 11). 

If a website supports HTTP/2 and your browser doesn’t use it, your pages won’t load any faster than if they didn’t support this new protocol but that’s not going to be an issue for most people reading this article. And if your site does support HTTP/2 and other browsers don’t? 

Then those users may benefit from faster load times even though their browsers don’t take advantage of them.

HTTP/2 offers two main benefits over its predecessor: better compression (which reduces page sizes) and multiplexing (which allows parallel downloads). 

In theory, these features can both help speed up page loads; however, there are some early indications that both factors have an impact on search ranking performance when combined with other factors such as mobile optimization or SSL certification (Web Server Survey).

There are no concrete studies yet showing how much influence each one has or whether either alone would result in better rankings if implemented properly on every page across every device type used today.

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3. Use A CDN (Content Delivery Network)

A CDN is a content delivery network, and it can be an effective way to get your website’s content closer to your customers by storing it on different servers around the world. 

This means that when people visit your site, they’ll get the fastest possible load time no matter where they are located.

Using a CDN can help increase your ranking for local search queries and boost performance for any international visitors who may not have the same connection speeds as you do here in the US or other parts of Europe or Asia.

4. Reduce The Number Of Plugins On WordPress Sites

How many plugins are too many? It’s a question we get a lot, and the answer isn’t always clear-cut. First, let’s talk about how many plugins you should have on your site in general. When adding plugins to your WordPress site, there are two things to consider:

  • The type of plugin (e.g., SEO or security)
  • How frequently do you use it

If you only use one or two specific plugins that serve a specific purpose, for instance, Yoast for SEO purposes and WordFence for security then having those two installed on your website is fine. 

You don’t need any more than that because they’re designed to do specific things for very targeted purposes. 

But if you have several different kinds of plug-ins installed across several categories like social media sharing buttons and backup tools then keeping track of which ones are active/not active can be tricky (and cause issues). 

In general, less is more when it comes to managing your WordPress site’s plugins!

When it comes down to what makes sense for an individual site owner who wants their website optimized fast.

But doesn’t know where or why there might be delays in page load times due solely to code quality issues such as code bloat from third-party library dependencies from external sources like CDNs… 

All these factors add up until something “breaks” somewhere along this chain because nothing was built into place beforehand with an eye toward future growth needs.”

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5. Leverage Browser Caching

The cache is a big word, but don’t be afraid to learn it. Browser caching is good! It saves resources on your site and improves the user experience. 

A browser can cache images, scripts, and stylesheets so that they don’t have to be downloaded every time someone visits your page (which could take ages if you’re loading a lot of content).

If you want to implement browser caching on your website or blog, there are two ways: server-side and client-side. The server-side means that the files will be served from your server automatically; the client-side means that the user’s browser will do it independently.

You can test whether or not your content is being cached with Google Chrome DevTools’ Network tab this will show you what files are being loaded from each resource type (i.e., images, scripts, etc.). 

If any files aren’t being cached then this might mean they’re not set up properly for their work correctly across all devices without any issues occurring due to an insufficient amount of bandwidth available when trying to load these assets quickly enough before moving onto something else.

Instead of waiting for them firstly downloaded too slowly into memory space before rendering anything else which may cause problems during operation times like having too many people working simultaneously on one machine at once – especially when trying to get things done quickly as possible within deadlines imposed upon us!

6. Use A Cache Plugin On WordPress Sites

Cache plugins are a great way to improve the site speed, especially if you use a Content Management System such as WordPress. A cache plugin will store static page content on your server and then serve it up when someone requests it. 

This means that even if multiple people are accessing the same page at once, there’s no need for your web server to calculate all of those pages from scratch each time!

Using a cache plugin is like having an assistant in your corner that does all the heavy lifting for you allowing you to focus on writing great content for visitors instead of worrying about how quickly it loads.

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7. Minify Your JavaScript, CSS, And HTML Files

While this may not seem like a big deal, it actually can be. If you’re going to be using JavaScript and CSS on your site, you want to make sure that all of these files are minified and compressed as much as possible. 

This means that any unnecessary characters and spaces have been removed from the code to save space something important when dealing with large bundles of code.

Google recommends using YUI Compressor for this job; however, there are other tools available on the market too, such as Google Page Speed Insights or WP Rocket which will do this job for you automatically (after some configuration). 

You should also consider compressing your HTML code because it can help speed up page load times by reducing its size by stripping out unnecessary tags and comments (like “this is a paragraph”).

8. Optimize Your Images With Alt Tags, Image Compression, And File Size Reduction

Finally, we come to something that you might have heard about before: optimizing your images. Optimizing your images is a good way to tell search engines what your images are about, which will help them show your content in more relevant ways. 

This means that if you were to upload an image of a puppy and give it an alt tag of “cute puppy” or “adorable puppy” and then someone searched for cute puppies online, the results would include yours!

Image compression can reduce the size of your images by shrinking their file sizes without reducing the quality of their visual appearance too much. File size reduction does pretty much the same thing but with less compression (so not as drastic). 

Both can help make sure that users see all or most of what’s on each page when they load it as fast as possible!

9. Use External Javascript And CSS Files

There are two main ways you can do this:

Use a content delivery network (CDN) to host your external files. A CDN is a large network of servers that deliver static assets (like JavaScript, CSS, and images) from the closest possible server to your users. 

This reduces the amount of time it takes for these files to load on their devices. In Google’s words, “they’re considered high-priority user assets because they have such a dramatic impact on page speed.”

Use a cache plugin for your external scripts/stylesheets. A cache plugin will save copies of all your site’s CSS files in one place so that only when changes need to be made does it grab them from the server again, saving time and reducing unnecessary calls back up there.

10. Defer Javascript Loading

Deferring JavaScript loading is a good practice that’s been around for quite some time. Google recommends deferring JavaScript loading as a way to improve site speed and user experience.

So why is it just now becoming an SEO ranking factor?

The answer lies in the way search engines crawl and index sites. A long time ago, search engines would only run their crawlers against the visible parts of a website the HTML elements that were visible in your browser window when you loaded the page. 

These days, crawlers can see into hidden parts of pages without having to open them first! This means that if your invisible JavaScript code contains important information about what you’re trying to say as it relates to your content (like keywords), then search engines can find this information and use it during ranking calculations.

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11. Keep The Number Of Posts In Rss Feeds Limited To 10 Or Fewer Posts Per Feed

RSS feeds are a great way to update your site’s readers with the latest news and information, but you don’t want to inundate them with too many posts. If you have too many posts in an RSS feed, it can be much harder for Google to crawl and index all of your content.

So, how do you know if you have too many posts? The answer is simple: just look at search results for similar keywords that rank well. 

If most of the top-ranking pages only have one or two pages of content per RSS feed, then this is a good indication that having more than 10-12 pieces of content on each feed isn’t necessary. 

However, if these popular results contain hundreds or even thousands of pages per feed that’s probably not going to work out well for anyone involved (and it might even cause some legal trouble).

12. Reduce The Number Of Redirects On Your Site From One URL To Another

Redirects are an important part of the web, but they can also be problematic for SEO. When a site redirects from one URL to another, it can mean lost traffic, revenue, and rankings. 

If you want to make sure you stay on top of your SEO game, it’s important to keep track of how many redirects your site has and where they’re going.

Redirects are easy enough to spot: just check out the source code of any given page on your website. If it contains any lines that look like this:


There’s no denying that we all want our websites to load fast. I mean, why wouldn’t you? And if your website loads fast, then your visitors will stay longer on the site and Google will reward you for it. 

But if your website is slow and cumbersome, then users will leave immediately for another option. This can hurt your business or brand.

So what does this mean for SEO? It means that site speed is just another ranking factor that should be considered when creating content for search engines to rank highly on the results pages (SERPs). 

The faster a page loads, the more likely someone is going from one page to another within your site instead of leaving altogether because they’re impatient with how long it takes them to see their results (or whatever else may be causing them frustration).

Further Reading

Website Speed as an SEO Ranking Factor: Learn more about the impact of website speed on SEO and how it influences your search engine rankings.

The Importance of Site Speed: Discover why site speed matters for user experience and conversions, and how it contributes to the success of your online business.

Understanding the Impact of Site Speed on SEO: Dive into data-driven insights on how site speed directly affects your Google SEO ranking and what you can do to optimize it.

And here’s the “FAQs” section with questions and answers:


How does site speed affect SEO rankings?

Site speed plays a significant role in SEO rankings by influencing factors like user experience, bounce rates, and search engine crawlers’ ability to index your content efficiently.

What are some effective strategies to improve website speed?

Optimizing image sizes, minimizing server response times, utilizing browser caching, and employing content delivery networks (CDNs) are effective strategies to enhance website speed.

Does site speed impact mobile SEO?

Yes, site speed is crucial for mobile SEO. Mobile users expect fast-loading pages, and search engines prioritize mobile-friendly and speedy websites in their mobile search results.

Can slow site speed lead to higher bounce rates?

Absolutely, slow-loading websites often lead to higher bounce rates. Users are more likely to abandon a page that takes too long to load, negatively impacting user engagement and SEO.

Is there a correlation between site speed and conversion rates?

Yes, there is a strong correlation between site speed and conversion rates. Faster websites provide a better user experience, increasing the likelihood of visitors converting into customers or taking desired actions.