3 EASY tips for site speed optimization SEO and UX benefits

Transcript

How fast is your website? Well, Google have explicitly said site speed is one of the factors they use to rank websites on their search results page. Having a quick website has great benefits in terms of Google search results. But in addition to that, the main thing and the main reason you should be targeting a quick website, is to give your users a fantastic experience every time they come to your website. How can you increase the speed of your website?

Now, it can get very technical, very difficult, but I’m going to show you three very easy ways you can increase the speed of your website coming up after this.

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Darren: Hey, everyone. Darren Taylor here of Thebigmarketer.co.uk, giving you tips, insight, and opinion on all things marketing. If that’s up your street, you should consider subscribing. Today we’re looking at website speed and how that ties into SEO. What you can do to speed your website up and increase your results on terms of Google. And increase your conversion rate as well because your users will be so fantastically pleased your website is going quickly. So let’s get started.

The first thing you can do to speed your website up is to compress your images. Now, what does that mean? Compression essentially means reducing the file size of an image. So that when a user goes to your website, when they download the image onto their browser, it loads quickly and they don’t have to download huge image files, which can slow your website down. How do you compress an image file? Well, there’s a number of ways you can do it depending on what you’re using and how your website’s built.

For example, if you’ve got a WordPress website then it’s quite easy. You can download any number of plugins to help get that done for you, or Joomla!, or any other kind of CMS website builder. However, if you haven’t got any of these, don’t worry. Because you can go online, jump on Google, type in “image compression online”. All you need to do is upload your image and then it will output a smaller, compressed image file for you without compromising quality to the naked eye.

Now, imagine how quickly your website’s going to run. If you’ve got for example a big banner image of five megabytes in size and you compress that all the way down to 150 kilobytes or something like that. Then your users are going to be really exhilarated when they go on to your site and don’t have to download a huge image. Guys, it’s all about marginal gains, even small images can be compressed down. Go across your whole website, look at the images you can compress and compress them down and make sure you speed your website up.

The second thing you can do to improve the speed of your website is to minify your CSS and your JavaScript files. Now, JavaScript is a language used quite often in websites to create the cool dynamic elements you often see. For example, a slideshow or things that drop down, accordions. All those cool areas or cool effects are essentially JavaScripts or built-in variations of that.

CSS stands for cascading style sheets. Now, this file is what makes your website look pretty. Here’s an example of a website where CSS, or cascading style sheets, are applied. And here’s the same website where you take away the cascading style sheets.

You can clearly see the impact this file has on a website so it’s quite an important file. But anyway, to minify this file essentially what you’re doing is you’re removing all unnecessary commas, any spaces, or any paragraphs. Anything that makes the file bigger in terms of length, in terms of how many rows or how many lines are in the file.

By minifying the file you’re making it easier for browsers to read. When someone goes to your website, they download the information a lot easier. Quick example, here’s a CSS file I prepared earlier. And here’s a CSS file that I have minified. As you can see, it’s a lot more difficult for a user to read. But believe me, much more easy for a browser to read for a user of your website.

Now, my third and final quick tip for getting your website speedy is to leverage browser caching. Now, browser caching is essentially something that allows your site to maintain non-dynamic elements on the user’s browser.

Say, for example, I’ve got my website, the static elements of my site. My menu bar, my logo, my heading, some of the links in the top of the website, the header, the footer. All those things you don’t want your user when they go to your site to have to download that information every single time they go to different pages of your website. If they’re returning visitor or even in the same session.

Essentially what browser caching does it allows the browser, or it instructs the browser, to hold on to those files so they don’t have to reload them as another resource over and over again. By doing this you speed your website up massively for any user. Again, as I say, it’s not just about speeding your sites up for Google and for the SEO benefits, but it’s for your users.

If your users are having a fantastic time using your website, then it’s a win-win. They get a great experience and spend money on your site and you’ve provided a great service.

Again like minification, if you’re using something like WordPress or Joomla! or any other CMS kind of management tool for your website, there’s usually a number of plugins you can use to try and leverage browser caching. My favorite one personally is w3 Super Cache. Now, this tool is fantastic, it does all the caching for you. It even does your minification of your CSS and JavaScript files as well, so you can quickly speed your website up.

Now, I know that this video is very technical and it might sound technical. But in actual fact, I’ve barely even scratched the surface in terms of speeding a site up from a technical point of view. Because a lot of the elements needed to speed a website up are very techy, web developer-y things that aren’t necessarily marketing.

But it’s important for you to know to have this conversation with your web developer. Because the reason I made this video is so you guys can speak to your developer, get the conversation started, and understand the work that needs to be done to speed your website up. And of course, understand the SEO benefits as well. Again as I say, Google have explicitly said that it’s a benefit SEO-wise to have a fast website.

How do you know how quick or slow your website is? Well, that’s quite easy. Go to Google, jump on their PageSpeed Insights tool. That will scan your website, test how quickly it can download pages. And come back with a result in terms of what you need to do per page on your website to speed things up. A lot of the things I’ve mentioned on this video will probably be listed there amongst other things as well.

What are you waiting for? Get the results of your Insights, speak to your web developer, and get your website running quickly and get the benefits SEO-wise. But more importantly get the benefits for your users and their experience on your website.

Thank you so much for watching this video. If you liked this video, go ahead and leave me a like. Leave any comments below. How are you getting on with your PageSpeed? Let me know in the comments. I’ve also left some useful links within the description as well. But more importantly don’t forget to subscribe and I will see you guys next time.

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