SEO

Make Your Website Quicker for Rankings

Page speed is becoming an important ranking factor.

By Ben Hook

Matt Cutts’ recent announcement that page speed is likely to become a factor seems to have built up a lot of hype around the subject and is now likely to play an increasingly important point on every SEOs checklist.

Google wants your website to be quicker, because a quicker website is better for users. In this day and age it seems like nobody wants to spend more than 3 seconds doing anything in particular. Well, in order to speed up your website Google has provided webmasters with a new addition to the firebug tool called page speed checker. The tool can be found here. The tool will look at you website and analyse it to make recommendations on how you can speed up your website. It’s all broken down easily to help you see what factors you will be able to adjust and what you will need to pass on to your webmaster. Although it is quite specific and goes into details such as javascript compression and browser caching, some of the suggestions are well worth following and will a few tweaks you can often easily reduce your page size by half, which can make a big difference.

Another useful tool to look at is one that was mentioned by Matt Cutts when he spoke at PubCon in 2009 about the state of the index. Have a look at www.webpagetest.org and enter in your URL to start the diagnosis.

Just enter in your details and adjust the setting and it will bring back results of your websites performance. The data is displayed in different ways, but one of the most visually useful is the waterfall chart of the site speed as is displayed below.

Waterfall view of web page test

The website will also provide an optimisation checklist for your website to help speed up the different factors. Here is an example below.

Key optimizations view of web page test

Ben Hook is a search engine marketer and owner of Navaro, a Search Engine Optimisation Company in Warwickshire helping clients to increase their online visibility.
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