Almost everyone needs a website to make a mark in this digital age. But what a lot of people don’t know is that their page’s ranking on Google is also governed by something called the “website speed”. Website speed refers to the time it takes for a particular website to load, time to download anything from the website and the time it takes to retrieve answers to any query asked on the website.
Factors that affect speed
The server you use
It majorly decides the speed of your website. Ideally your server should be up almost all the time – this ensures your page is retrieved quickly. If your server is slow, the responses will always be slow no matter how much you try to optimise the website.
The type of content on your website and its size also matters. When your files are larger in size, your site becomes slower and you don’t want this. Always look at compressing images and texts so your website remains fast.
Another factor that affects website speed is the browser that the users use. You can always optimize your website to perform best with a particular browser like Chrome or Firefox or anything else.
The traffic that comes to your website
When too many people come to your page, excess bandwidth is needed and this would slow down the whole website experience for all users. The ideal solution is to adjust your bandwidth settings to vary with the traffic to your website.
Note: Avoid using softwares and plug-ins that are slow and take time to load for example Flash.
There are several reasons why this website speed is important and how it affects the ranking of your webpage. There is always a direct correlation between the time taken to load a webpage and the page’s ranking. This holds true for Google searches with short keywords and also longer ones. Google does not openly accept that page load time is a factor in their ranking but we know that website speed is definitely a factor.
Which website speed is used?
There are several different ways in which website speed is calculated by different companies. One of the most common measures is the time taken for the first byte to load and this is called TTFB. Most search engines use TTFB as a metric for their ranking. The reason that Google uses TTFB is that it is the easiest to measure. The reason that website time is important for page rankings is because it is an integral part of the user experience.
Apart from TTFB, there are other important parameters like Code to text ratio, site responsiveness, image content etc. Let us see what each one of those terms mean:
Text to code (HTML) ratio.
Most websites are written in a language called HTML that has code and text. The text refers to the content that is displayed on the website and the backend code isn’t displayed. The ratio of text to code should ideally be 50 to 70%. Most high ranking websites have more text and less code. Why is this ideal?
• It shows that the website is built for people and not for robots and crawlers.
• This ratio ensures a better user experience.
• Having less code makes the website speed faster and this is very important for the page’s ranking.
When the user clicks on a link on the page or enters any data, the site takes some time to respond to the user. This speed is called the site responsiveness. It is closely related to the website speed and hence is important for ranking. Make sure your site is very responsive and that will ensure a better ranking.
Images take more time to load than text. If your webpage has a lot of images, it could reduce the website speed and this is not good for your rankings. You can employ professionals to take care of this, reduce image size by compressing them and use appropriate formats like JPEG.
Now that you know what website speed is and how essential it is to the ranking of your page on Google or any other search engine, think about ways that you can optimise your website speed. You should check your HTML code for errors, remove extra lines of codes, check your content, reduce the number of images, remove the excess of space that is displayed, avoid tables on your website, use CSS for the style and formatting of the website and keep your page’s size as small as possible.
By following our useful tips, you can ensure that your website is fast and the page’s ranking is right on top of all your competitors.