How Page Speed Affects Your Site Ranking

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Google uses an abundance of factors to determine how to rank search engine results. These factors usually include content on the web page itself and the number and quality of inbound links. However, starting in July 2018, Google will start including page speed as a ranking factor in its mobile-first index. Google initially included page speed as a ranking factor starting in 2010. But mobile search was not as popular as it is in today’s world where it now makes up for 57% of Google searches. With the new announcement, site speed becomes a ranking factor in mobile search across the entirety of Google search.

What Can You Do?

The first step to speeding up your mobile site involves checking on the Google PageSpeed Insights tool for suggestions of what you should do. Second, examine the size of your pages and try shaving off as much as possible by compressing code, loading fewer external ads and scripts and optimizing your images.

What Affects Page Speed?

Here are other things you should also work on increase your page speed.

Use AMP for Your Pages

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project is a Google initiative for giving the web a speed boost. Implementing it is not too hard, and it will help make your mobile site that much faster. However, Google says that AMP is not one of the ranking factors, but it is easy to predict that it will become one in the future.

Use PHP7

With over 27% of all global websites running on WordPress, getting all the webmasters to use PHP7 is a huge deal. There are already efforts geared towards moving websites from unsafe, unsupported PHP versions like 5.2 and 5.3. Once you move your site to PHP7, you will give your WordPress powered site a speed boost, while keeping it secure and making it future proof at the same time.

Optimize Critical Rendering Path

The critical rendering path (CRP) is a series of steps that a browser takes while receiving HTML objects like CSS and JavaScript before showing the content on the screen. You can run a PageSpeed Insights analysis to find out what elements are blocking your page from rendering fast. It’s important that you keep CRP free of obstacles for a page to render quickly.

Use HTTP/2

Hypertext Transfer Protocol version 2 (HTTP/2) is one of the newest series of tubes that is ushering the internet into a new age. Since its approval in February 2015, HTTP/2 has come in to solve most shortcomings and inflexibility issues on HTTP/1.1. Major current browsers already support the protocol, and it is designed to make your site run even faster than before.

Enable Compression

It’s time you start using file compression software like Gzip to reduce the size of files larger than 150 bytes like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. However, do not use Gzip on your image files; instead, use tools like Photoshop that allow you to retain control over the overall quality.

Use Browser Caching

Today’s browsers are capable of caching lots of information like images, JavaScript, and style sheets files, so anytime a visitor goes back to your site, the browser doesn’t need to reload the entire page. All you need to do is set an expiration date for the cache files. In a majority of cases, unless your site undergoes frequent design changes, a year is a reasonable expiration date for your cache files.

Keep Improving Your Page Speed

However, your work is never done because your mobile site can never be too fast and visitors will not flock to you just because you shed off a little from your loading time. Keep working on it. You can enlist the help of professionals at WebTech to optimize images, reduce requests and implement the latest server technologies to ensure optimum site speeds.


WT Digital Agency is an Atlanta marketing agency specializing in brand development, content marketing, social media marketing, website design, SEO, and more. To learn more about what we do, click here.