FAST LOADING WEB PAGESThe first big factor in SEO is speed. Fast loading web pages are preferred over their slower competitors by both search engines and human website visitors. There are many components that can affect a web page’s loading time, and some are more technical than others. Of the many components that could be slowing down your site, the two most probable are:
- The image file sizes on your website are too big.
- Your video file delivery methods are inefficient.
Simple Fix #1 – Image File Sizes Are Too LargeThe first and easiest website optimization fix that can be made to speed up a web page is shrinking the file size of the images on that page. The easiest and most inexpensive way to accomplish this is by using a website optimization tool called www.tinypng.com. By visiting the website and simply dragging your image files (.png or .jpg/ .jpeg) where the website directs you to do so, the website will compress those image files while saving the image quality. The tool then returns those images to you for download almost immediately. This process usually shaves off between 30-80% of the image’s original file size. Now that your image is smaller, you can place it on your website without all the extra space and time needed to load the page.
Simple Fix #2 – Delivering Video FilesThe next type of content to address is any video that may be on the web page. Videos are typically the largest in terms of file size, which requires a slower loading time and a longer streaming or downloading time. The best way to quickly and efficiently deliver a video to visitors is to upload your video to YouTube and then embed that YouTube video link on your web page. Other sites like Vimeo are also great for hosting video. Hosting a video directly from your own site can be tricky. Here are some reasons why:
- The video will not be part of a larger Content Delivery Network (CDN) like YouTube and Vimeo are. A CDN makes high quality media more accessible by making multiple copies and having multiple hosts around the world.
- After uploading, the video is automatically converted and optimized for any platform, device, and streaming quality. This would have to be done manually if deciding to host the video on your own site. This is not an easy task.
IMPORTANT OPTIMZATION TOOLS TO HAVEThe first thing to remember when it comes to website optimization tools, whether purchased or free, is that no single tool is the Holy Grail for SEO. Different tools will tell you things about your website, but no single tool has the capability to provide you with all of the changes and fixes that your website may require. Treat website optimization tools as you would a doctor’s or mechanic’s recommendations. Get multiple opinions on your site through multiple optimization tools. After using different tools and seeing what they have to say about your site, you can then proceed with making the necessary changes and fixes to fully enhance your website. With that being said, here are a few tools that I would recommend to use when performing website optimization checks.
- Google PageSpeed Insights (Free)
- GTMetrix (Free)
- Pingdom Website Speed Test (Free)
- WooRank (Free 14 day Trial)