Optimizing your Website’s page speed in wake of Google’s Latest Updates

by Guest Author on March 7, 2018

in Articles, Guest Posts

Google recently announced a set of changes to its ranking algorithm which are designed to downgrade search rankings of mobile pages with sluggish loading times. This is vastly different from the way Google’s conducted business in the past.

Previously, all rankings were done according to desktop sites — not based on mobile optimizations or lack thereof. The search engine giant has however made a sensible move in changing its approach to mobile optimization, as it alone drives 96 percent of mobile search traffic.

There are a couple of additional reasons Google has chosen to go this route. First, is the nearly 60 percent of searches that now occur on mobile devices, the second, is to create an overall better user experience. In this respect, Google’s update is also quite fair.

Deemed the ‘Speed Update’ after all, it will only affect pages that deliver the slowest user experience and only affect a small chunk of searches. The same standard is applied to all pages, no matter what. This means a slow-loading page has the same chances of a ranking if it provides quality and relevant content.

This move will undoubtedly force small businesses to adapt to Google’s ever-changing ranking algorithm, with one upside, marketers and small business owners have until March 2018 to prepare. With this in mind, I want to provide you with three tools and tips that will help you optimize your site for mobile users and be compliant in the eyes of Google.

Mobile Optimized Templates

The decision to build your small business website using a website builder, or to use a traditional programmer may seem like a difficult one but it’s not. In fact, I want to simplify it for you — which requires weighing a few things:

  • If there is a mobile editor
  • If the overall price will be lower
  • If the builder has mobile-optimized templates
  • If the builder will provide a seamless user experience
  • If the builder does not have mobile optimized templates
  • If there are SEO-related tools built in or available through an app/integration

If any number of the above elements are true, choosing a website builder is easily the best option for your small business. So, when choosing a website builder, you should ensure that it has mobile-optimized templates.

A mobile-optimized template alone could lead to a massive reduction in time spent building a new site, or when updating existing content. This will certainly ensure you do not have to make optimizations twice, once for desktop, and the second time for mobile.

If a template is mobile-optimized, changes made on your desktop version will automatically be mirrored on the mobile site.

Reduce Redirects

Every time a web page is redirected to another, visitors have to wait for longer periods of time. Although it may be only a few seconds, that amount of time in the digital age is priceless. It could also lead to frustration and to a potential sale wandering off to another site searching for the same product, and for faster loading times.

You might be asking yourself why someone would redirect a page or multiple pages.

Truthfully, there are a plethora of valid reasons someone would redirect a page. Your company may build a new website with a new web address, but the process of ensuring everyone who has the old address can still reach your site is quite laborious and near-impossible.

In this case, a simple redirect can make all the difference in retaining website visitors and losing traffic as a result of having a new and unfamiliar web address.

It is to your advantage to reduce or eliminate this level of complexity for site goers by totally getting rid or reducing redirects on your website. One solution is to simply run an amazing marketing campaign based on the migration of your site. Site owners can also take two helpful tips from Google:

  1. “Never link to a page that you know has a redirect on it. This happens when you have manually created a redirect, but never changed the text link in your HTML to point to the new resource location.”
  2. “Never require more than one redirect to get to any of your resources.”

Test the User Experience

Chances are, if you’re having a bad user experience, full of slow-loading mobile pages, those visiting your site are as well. For this reason, it is imperative to test the user experience using a multitude of devices, browsers, etc.

And it is important to do it often.
What it comes down to it — SEO best practices are your best friend, there’s also the element of how well your company implements SEO best practices and keeps up-to-date with Google’s fickle algorithms.

Something as simple as eliminating custom fonts and replacing them with traditional, SEO-friendly fonts, could help shave off unnecessary time potential customers spend waiting on your website to load.

Once you test the user experience enough, you’ll begin to know what users are looking for and how they want their content delivered. You can then apply SEO best practices.

Lastly, you should check the speed of your web pages on all devices using Google’s PageSpeed Tool. Google PageSpeed analyzes and gives your site a score out of 100 and offers optimization suggestions such as reducing server response time and leveraging browser caching.

Guest article written by: Marc Dane is the SEO & Content Manager at WebCreate.io – a knowledge hub for small business owners looking to build a presence online. The site offers website builder reviews and comparisons, guides for building a website and resources on related tools, platforms and more.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Neeraj March 8, 2018 at 09:37

This is perfect article for seo and ranking speed for web page

Thanks

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Marc Dane March 21, 2018 at 16:09

Thank you, Neeraj.

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Best,

Marc

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