Website Speed – Google’s Latest Announcement
For quite some time, you’ve been hearing about page loading and how important it is for your website to be available to visitors quickly upon arriving at your page. In fact, page loading is part of the ranking criteria, and it has been for several years. However, this factor has been in the news of late, and you may be wondering what the big deal is.
Google’s algorithm includes over two hundred factors that impact how your site is ranked in the search engines. However, some ranking signals matter more than others. Page speed has been included for a number of years, but it wasn’t a big deal. However, Google’s latest announcement indicates that page loading speed is more important now than ever before.If you want to rank highly with the search engines, your pages must load quickly.
Prior to this, you could make your own determination on whether you wanted to fix a page’s speed. Your website would be ranked regardless. However, that has all changed. You don’t want to spend a significant amount of time on your website, only for it to be rendered virtually unusable because the pages will not load!
What do you need to do to ensure that your pages load quickly?
Well, first you must make sure that they adhere to Google’s definition of a fast-loading page. Google states that your page must be accessible within three seconds. If it is not, it does not meet the criteria for a fast-loading page.
If your site loads slower than that, you probably will not maintain your current ranking and will drop down lower. Google said that mobile devices are a part of this. Keep in mind that Google is transitioning to a “mobile-first index.” They’ve stated that the Mobile Index will be primary starting in July of 2018, but there is really no telling whether that date is firm or not. History tells us that Google is probably already working on the update and is likely releasing it in phases. Updating all in one day does not seem as realistic, particularly given what happened in 2015.
What Should You Do?
Don’t wait. Start working on your website’s load speed right now to ensure that you meet the criteria of a fast-loading page. Doing so means that you won’t lose your rankings. Beyond that, though, it makes it easier for your customers to interact with your website. Google usually doesn’t talk much abut organic traffic, which means it is something you should look into on your own.
Before you do anything, though, you need to know how you stack up right now. Navigate over to gtmetrix.com and pay attention to the ‘Page Speed Score’ as well as ‘Fully Loading Time’. It used to be okay to have a B grade in these areas. However, with the changes, you need to move that grade up to an A in order to do well going forward.
If it takes longer than three seconds to load your pages, talk to us about how we can help you. We will ensure that you get an “A” grade and then you can rest easy knowing that your ranking is secured.
Take It Seriously
Do you have a WordPress site? You may think that downloading a plugin to help with page speed is the answer to all your problems. However, that is a step you should not take!
There are plugins that help with page speed. For example, some can deal with huge images that may be slowing down your site. However, there is no plugin that can deal with every issue that you might have. In addition, sometimes plugins cause more harm than good. If you put several on your site, it becomes weaker and doesn’t work as well.
Inadequate hosting resources may be another issue that can slow down your website or cause crashed. We personally use and recommend Docsapiens Web Solutions for domains, hosting, security, etc. to all our clients.
Don’t look for a quick fix. Instead, manually address the issue. A plugin will definitely makes things more difficult for you in the long run. If working on the site is beyond your capabilities, look to a search engine optimization professional to help you going forward.