In 2020, the loading speed of a website became a ranking factor on Google. A Google Ranking Factor may be a little tricky to get your head around so let’s explore this further.
What is a Google ranking factor?
Google uses an algorithm made up of many factors to decide where to put websites in its results when someone searches for a specific search term. For Example, if someone searches “Google Ads Agency Hastings” Google will list the websites it feels are the best fit for that search term. And to work out which it thinks is best it uses lots of different ranking factors.
What Helps you to Rank?
There are several key ranking factors Google uses although in total, they use over 200 (and these change almost daily!)
Good quality, relevant content is essential, followed by being a trusted company (Google reviews and backlinks). Loading speed is also another critical indicator but is often overlooked.
What is Loading Speed?
As you can probably guess, loading speed is the amount of time it takes for your website to load. The quicker, the better because it shows Google that your website is well-built, and is unlikely to leave visitors frustrated waiting for the site to load.
How Can I Check my Performance?
A really easy way to see how well your website is performing when it comes to loading speed is by visiting gtmetrix.com. This is a free website that’s super easy to use. All you have to do is input your website URL, and it will generate a performance report within seconds! Ideally, you want all the facts and figures in green with a grade A rating, but it’s doubtful that those are the results you’ll see. Anything above a D grade is okay, but it definitely could be doing better!
How Can I Improve my Speed?
You can use several tools, both on your website and off it, to improve loading speed. GT Metrix will give some pointers about what is causing your website to be slow, but we have put the main ones below.
Ensure all images are a suitable size for how they are displayed. If you have uploaded original photos, they may be taking a while to load and slowing down your website. We would also suggest (if using WordPress) installing a caching plugin to cache pages as static pages (or go to is WP Rocket)
Use good quality hosting. All of our hosting at our sister company Llama Host, is UK-based and uses the latest server hardware. Try and avoid shared hosting, which has thousands of other sites on it. We limit our shared hosting to 50 websites per server and only for MJS Media clients so that we can be sure your website speed is not affected by someone elses website using up all of the resources.
You could also consider a CDN.
CDN stands for content delivery network and will mirror your site’s files across servers worldwide. This means visitors will get served a version of your website closest to them. It can also help reduce the load on your server, which can help server your website to more people in the case of lots of traffic.
Improving your load speed without breaking your site can be tricky, especially if you are delving into the world of caching and CDNs. You will need some technical knowledge. Get in touch with us if you want to boost your loading speed, but don’t want to get your hands dirty doing it! We’ll do everything we can to reduce your loading time, and if we can’t make a significant difference, we guarantee your money back! Get ranked higher on Google by contacting us today.