SEO – Our top 5 tips to rank higher in 2017
We want to focus this SEO article on how to increase your websites overall speed and what impacts your search results. so here we go, the top 5 things we recommend to help increase your website speed, and in turn, allow you to rank higher in search engine results.
Minification of your web pages can remove the unused and irrelevant code from your website, removing the need for these to be parsed by your browser, increasing website loading speeds. Google states that “Minification refers to the process of removing unnecessary or redundant data without affecting how the resource is processed by the browser – e.g. code comments and formatting, removing unused code, using shorter variable and function names, and so on.”
If you use WordPress you can do this with multiple plugins, although some may actually alter the way your site looks and can have worse effects. It is important to use a plugin that works with your website and that can be customised to ensure your website displays correctly.
2. Above the fold
Above the fold content is put simply, the first parts of the website that loads on your screen. Having scripts, CSS or other files load prior to this that are not required slow down the loading of the initial part of the website and can significantly reduce website load speed. Using plugins such as “Above the fold optimisation” to defer loading of these scripts can ensure that your website loads significantly faster. Please be aware that deferring loading of some scripts can result in your website not displaying correctly. Make sure you know what you are doing prior to using these types of plugins.
Probably one of the most, if not the most important things to do with your website. Using a premium caching plugin ensures your website loads extremely fast. Caching basically means that people who load your website stores part of your website on their computer for a period of time, if they visit it again within that period, then they will use those file. Also the caching process can create more streamlined versions of your files to be accessed by visitors.
We use WP-Rocket, which is the most recommended WP Caching plugin on the market, unfortunately not free.
WP-Rocket is not expensive and is, in our opinion, much better than the competition with much more customisable options.
4. Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Content delivery networks are nothing new and have been becoming more and more prominent in recent years, especially with free options such as CloudFlare. It uses servers from around the world to deliver content to the person accessing your website, using the closest server to do so, in turn, increasing your overall website load time for the person accessing your website. It has been shown to highly impact a user’s decision on whether to stay on your website if it takes too much time to load, which can impact your business significantly.
The downside to this is that the majority of CDNs you have to pay for, although there are free options, these are often overused and in some cases can even slow down your website. It is worthwhile to analyse your business based on its key demographic and where you want to focus your area of business, if it is a global business with high traffic, a CDN is definitely for you!
Image size seems to be one of the biggest reasons your websites speed can be questionable at best and in turn reduces your overall SEO. Using an image compressor that also doesn’t distort, stretch or reduce image quality is a must when ensuring your high-quality images remain just that, but at a more manageable size. Among others, we use Imagify to optimise our images immediately on upload and revert changes if necessary. When you sign up, you do receive a free size limit to reduce images and further space can be purchased either on an ad hoc or regular basis, it is quick and we would highly recommend using this. Alternatively, there are many desktop applications which you can use to reduce file size.