The most important reason for optimizing your website’s page speed is simply because Google will reward you with higher rankings and visibility but if that’s not reason enough or if you are not entirely convinced that it will boost your rankings, there are a number of other benefits that directly impact the profitability of your company. In this article, I will mention why PageSpeed has become such an important optimization factor for post Panda SEO and beyond.
Google Page Speed Algorithms
As mentioned on Google’s performance best practices, “At Google, we’ve found that faster sites make for a better user experience.” and in case you haven’t noticed Google recently added new metrics in Google Analytics to help measure your site’s load time and performance. But if you are still in doubt, they made it clear when they announced that they do in fact use site speed as a new signal in Google search ranking algorithms so unless you want to experience Google’s page speed penalization, head these warnings. Test your site’s page speed here or you can download and install the Firefox extension.
So why does Google care about page speed so much? A study conducted by Compuware found that two thirds (67%) of web users say they come across slow websites at least weekly while, over a third (37%) say it makes them less likely to return to the site and 27% say it makes them more likely to visit a competitor’s site. Another study conducted by MIT technology review shows that 49% of online visitors will bounce from your website or just checkout your competition if they experience performance issues. Below is the info graphic they produced or you can download the full PDF version here.
Other Benefits of Optimizing Page Speed
Not only can you get better rankings and more traffic but faster sites are cheaper to host because they require less load on your server(s). A more efficiently served site uses less bandwidth therefore, lowering your monthly hosting fees. This might not be a big deal for some of you but most of the sites I work on spend anywhere from $7,000 to $25,000 per month on bandwidth alone. In addition, you may be able to save even more money by being able to downgrade your server’s hardware requirements.
How can I Make My Site Faster?
Google’s mod_pagespeed Tool
mod_pagespeed is an open-source Apache module that you can install on your server that will add the Google repository so it can automatically sync with Google and update. You will need to use the sudo touch command /etc/default/mod-pagespeed before installing the module.
Run the following command as root to install on Debian/Ubuntu platforms…
dpkg -i mod-pagespeed-*.deb
apt-get -f install
And to install on CentOS/Fedora run this command as root also…
yum install at (if you do not already have ‘at’ installed)
rpm -U mod-pagespeed-*.rpm
If you want to mess around with it, download the mod_pagespeed SDK here.
Page Speed SEO Consultation
Please feel free to contact me if you would like a free consultation on your site and as always I look forward to answering your questions and concerns below in the comments.