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How to improve SEO by reducing your page load time

Page load time impacts the user experience

Have you ever been to a blog or website, and felt frustrated because it took ages to load? This isn’t very unfamiliar, right?

Page Load Time And SEO

Page Load Time And SEO

Such an experience can be really frustrating. And it is more than likely that you wouldn’t want to visit that blog again!

This is a clear demonstration of the fact that a high page load time adversely impacts the user experience on your blog or website.

Today, we want everything fast. We want everything right now. And with an increase in the speed of our internet connections, we want web pages to load instantly as well.

(Image source)

 

What is an acceptable page load time?

So, what does “instantly” mean? Is it 1 second, or 15 seconds? What is a good page load time?

Of course, a lot depends on the personal preference (and tolerance!) of the visitor. However, we can have a simple rule of thumb.

I would say that a page load time of about 10 seconds on a 128 Kbps internet connection should be acceptable in most cases.

 

Page load time and SEO

We know that search engines are paying a close attention to the user experience on your blog or website. Therefore, it is very important to improve the user experience of your blog in order to improve SEO.

The equation is simple:

High page load time = Frustrated visitor = Bad user experience = Bad SERP rankings = Bad SEO

As a corollary,

Low page load time = Happy visitor = Good user experience = Good SERP rankings = Good SEO

Simple, isn’t it?

 

What increases the page load time?

Reduce Page Load Time For SEO

Reduce Page Load Time For SEO

There can be many culprits that contribute to a high page load time.

You can improve on most of the factors and thus, can improve the page load time. However, there isn’t much you can do for certain other factors.

Let’s have a look at the things that affect your page load time.

(Image source)

 

1. Images on the webpage or post

Images are the biggest culprits in increasing the load time of your web pages. Both the size and number of images matter.

Here are a few tips as far as images go:

  • Try not to have too many images in a post: 1 or 2 are just fine, unless you write about photography!
  • Try not to have very large images in your posts: Larger the size of the image, the larger would be the file size. And the longer it would take to load.
  • Actually resize the image, not just through HTML attributes: If you find a large image (say 1200 * 800), and want to display it only as a small image (say 500 * 333), don’t just use the HEIGHT and WIDTH attributes of the IMG tag to reduce the display size. Reduce the image dimensions physically using an image editing tool, as that would reduce the size of the image (and therefore reduce the loading time).
  • Optimize the image for web usage: Use only properly optimized images, as they are smaller in size. At the least, try to reduce the color depth as long as it doesn’t impact the way the image looks.

 

2. External scripts

Many of us put lots of scripts on our blogs or websites. These can be visitor tracking scripts (Google analytics, Sitemeter, etc), advertising scripts (Google AdSense, Chitika, etc), or some other scripts.

Of course, these scripts serve a purpose. However, refrain from having too many of them. These scripts call some function on another server, and are therefore inherently time consuming.

The higher the number of such scripts on your blog, the longer it would take to load. So, limit the number of scripts on your blog to reduce the load time.

 

3. Badges and Widgets

Various badges and widgets also call some remote server, and therefore reduce the page load time.

Is it necessary to show a badge of ALL the networks that you participate in? Is it not enough to show just a few? Similarly, is it necessary to have a lot of widgets on your blog?

Various badges and widgets not only increase the page load time, but also distract your readers from the content. This impacts the user experience negatively. (Remember, good user experience means good SEO).

Therefore, try to have only a limited number of badges and widgets on your blog or website.

 

4. Flash and Multimedia files

Flash and multimedia files (like video and audio files) are large in size, and naturally take a long time loading.

Again, reduce the number of these files in order to improve your page load time.

 

5. HTML Size

People use different softwares to create HTML files. Most software work just fine, but some (like Microsoft Word) create HTML files that are HUGE!!

Try to avoid creating HTML files using such software, or use some tool or utility to trim the HTML code created by such a software.

This would reduce the file size, and improve the loading time of the web page.

 

6. Server Load

Another reason for a high page load time can be the load on your server – if the server is getting too many requests to service, it would slow down considerably. This happens mostly on blogs and websites using a shared server.

There is not much you can do in this case – you can either shift to a better hosting provider, or can upgrade to a dedicated server that hosts only your blog or website.

 

Conclusion

Follow these tips, and the load time of your web pages would improve drastically. This would improve the user experience on your blog, and would therefore result in better SEO.

 

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Comments

  1. Hi… how to check out Page loading speed for various connection speed?? i’m confused !!

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