Who goes slowly goes healthy and far? No, this famous proverb is not valid in the case of SEO.
In fact, when it comes to website indexing, speed is everything (or almost). If you remember, in the last article published on this topic we listed the factors that could influence the possibility for a website to get to the front page on Google.
Speed was the first factor we considered.
The point is this: if your site is slow you have little chance to climb the rankings and gain positions on competitors in terms of visibility.
So let’s try to understand why speed is so important for SEO and what are the factors that can make your site too slow.
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If your website is slow Speed Update will punish you
Already in 2010, Google announced that the loading speed would become a decisive factor for the SEO positioning of a web page.
Today in 2019 speed is, in fact, the first indexing factor of a website.
Why? The reason is very simple. Speed directly affects the browsing experience and obviously Google wants to guarantee the best browsing experience possible for its users.
For this reason, if your website is slow, you will surely not be able to take it on Google.
If you run an online business through an e-commerce site, for example, this can cost you a lot in terms of lost earnings.
But there’s more.
It must be considered, in fact, that most online research today takes place via mobile devices (smartphones in particular).
Last year, Google released a new algorithm specifically for indexing websites on mobile.
Do you know how he called it? Speed update…
When the algorithm was released last July, Google pointed out that the Speed Update would impact negatively on those sites and those web pages that offered users a slower than normal browsing experience.
Need we say more?
The Google AMP project, which we will discuss in more detail in the next article on the topic of SEO, goes exactly in the direction of minimizing the loading time of web pages on mobile.
In the meantime, to check if your website is slow and to know what its real speed performance is, you can use PageSpeed Insight, a completely free tool made available by Google.
It is very simple to use: just enter the URL of the web page you want to analyze and then click on the “analyze” button.
At the end of the analysis you will see a value from 0 to 100 appear indicating the performance level of the analyzed page, both for the desktop version and for the mobile version.
Below, in detail, you will find listed all the actions to be taken to increase the loading speed of your page. But to do this, we recommend contacting an SEO expert.
Factors that affect the speed of your site
Now you should be clear how important the speed parameter is and why a slow website seriously threatens extinction on search engines.
At this point it is legitimate to ask: what are the factors that have a negative impact on the speed of your site?
They are different and depending on the specific case they can influence more or less heavily on the performance of your site.
Let’s see some of them:
- Quality of the hosting service – Not all hosting is the same and usually their quality is commensurate with how much you pay for the service. So a cheap hosting can never guarantee the same services and the same services as a more expensive hosting. Furthermore in this choice you must also take into account the actual resources that your site really needs.
- Size and heaviness of the images – When they are too big and too “heavy”, the images can become a real burden that does not allow your site to “take flight”. It is the task of the SEO expert to identify the images that must be compressed and reduced in size in order to optimize the loading performance.
- Code and non-optimized databases – A website is built on two fundamental pillars: the code and the database. Without going into the technical details, it is enough to know that both these pillars must be optimized to the best in order to guarantee the maximum possible loading speed of the pages. This is part of the duties of a good programmer / web designer, obviously recommended and supported by a good SEO professional.
- WordPress theme not optimized – Nowadays a large number of sites are created with WordPress, a very powerful tool which, however, if not used properly, can make your website somewhat slow. Above all, the initial choice of the theme (or template) on which it is built is fundamental and should be optimized for SEO and above all be commensurate with your real needs. It makes no sense to choose a theme with a thousand different functions if they remain mostly unused. You will only get the effect of weighing down and therefore slowing down the entire system. So the rule is: choose a lean, essential and optimized theme.
- Useless plugins – Another feature of WordPress that can create slowness problems is the use of plugins. Plugins are useful because they allow you to expand and customize the functionality of your site, but adding code to code does nothing more than slow down its speed. Therefore a good developer knows that he must not abuse the plugins but only use those strictly necessary and functional for the construction of the site.
Those just listed are just some of the reasons that can make your website slow and inefficient and cause it to fall back in the rankings of Google and other search engines. I therefore invite you to immediately run the free speed test with PageSpeed Insight and check the real performance level of your site. You can then contact an SEO expert to make the necessary optimizations.
Deloris S Brown is a specialist in content marketing and a writer, she has a vast experience in writing different content on various topics. Currently she is associated with the leading Corporate Video Production Company in Dubai. In a meantime she also manage her own blog and reading books.