Hot on the heels of the commentary in our last newsletter regarding the importance of your website's geophysical location for search engine listings ("Location, location, location") comes news that Google now includes your website's load time as a factor influencing your Google Ranking. Load time? What? Well, what this means is that Google will consider your website to be less important if it loads slowly. If you can click on a link to your company website then go and make a cup of coffee before the frontpage loads, you should be worried.
Here's Matt Cutts from Google explaining why:
So how can you speed up your website and get back in Google's good books?
Here are some quick tips:
Make sure your server admin has tuned your web server for speed. A simple tweak like enabling HTTP compression on the server can speed up your site's load time by a huge degree.
Make sure your site is well-designed at the code level. Clean efficient code makes for a faster-loading website. If you wouldn't know a well-coded site from a badly-coded one, talk to someone who would!
If you have a database-driven site, consider implementing a software solution to enable your site to be presented as static pages. Every millisecond that your site has to talk to its database now counts against you.
Optimise your site's images. Image files like GIFs, JPGs, and PNGs each have advantages and disadvantages. If you don't know why you should choose one over the other, you may be slowing your site down unnecessarily.
When Google announced this change to its ranking policy, we made several "speedup" tweaks to one of our testing sites and saw improvements immediately. If your website is crucial to your business and you need someone to translate the search-engine technojargon into plain English, talk to us today about Search Engine Optimisation.