One of the signals Google uses to rank your website pages is page speed. Page speed can refer to the time it takes fully display the content on a specific page but it can also be the time it takes for a browser to receive the first byte of information from the server. If page speed is slow, Google crawls fewer pages and this can affect how you are indexed.
If a page loads too slowly, you also lose viewers. With an increase in your bounce rate and visitors not staying on your website, not only your rankings but your revenue will go down.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a tool you can use to evaluate your page speed. Many different factors can affect the speed and here are some of the ways you can improve it.
1. Improve your server response time
Your hosting solution, the amount of traffic you receive, resources your pages use, and the software your server uses all affect your server response time. You need to eliminate bottlenecks, such as a lack of adequate memory, slow routing or slow database queries.
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2. Use browser caching
You need to make sure browser caching is enabled to reduce the number of files that need to be downloaded during a browsing session.
3. Enable compression
4. Optimize images
Images can significantly slow down page speed. You need to make sure they aren’t larger than they need to be. If an image is displayed at 600 pixels wide on your website, using a 1400 pixels wide image has no benefit.
Make sure images are in the right format too. For instance, JPG is perfect for photographs, whereas PNG and GIF are better for images with large areas of solid color.
Compressing images can make them load much faster and it is easy to find plugins to compress them without sacrificing quality. WWW Image Optimizer is a free WordPress plugin.
5. Reduce HTTP requests
6. Eliminate unnecessary plugins
When you have too many plugins running, your page speed will be slow. Assess whether you really need a plugin before installing it. Once you’ve installed a plugin, run a test to see how it affects page speed and whether it is worth keeping. You may be able to find an alternative plugin that affects page speed less.