It is very important for webmasters to keep watch on their site’s speed because this is one of the things major search engines like Google consider when ranking websites in search results pages. They give this factor a great weight in order to keep users happy. They rank fast websites higher so that when users click on them, they won’t be turned off by the long wait for the site to load.
If search engines find your site and 3 million others all with equal other factors – backlinks, social signals, age, PR, domain authority, etc. – for a certain search term, page load time could be the only thing that will give your site advantage over the rest of the other 3 million.
So even the slightest improvement of page load time on your site could mean thousands of dollars in additional revenues for your site due directly to improved SEO. You get what I mean – improved site speed = improved SEO = better search engine rankings = more traffic = more money!
How to know your site’s load time
You need to have some idea about this first before thinking of improving your site’s speed and lowering page load time. There are lots of tools available online for you to get this info for your site but the simplest and easiest that I found is in Google Analytics.
If you aren’t using Google Analytics yet to monitor your website and gather stats, I recommend you start so. It’s free to signup and use the service, and you’ll get tons of valuable info about your site and your visitors that you’d otherwise have no idea about. Then you can use these info to decide on which parts of your site you have to improve. And one of the important info you’ll get here is the load time of pages on your site.
If you already have GA installed on your site, you can login to your GA account and go to the Reporting section for your website. Under Standard Reports, open Content >> Site Speed.
If you have just installed the Google Analytics code on your site, you might not have data shown here yet. It takes a few days before you will see stats on this page. When you do, on this tab you will find page load time data for the pages on your site that have been tested by Google. Give particular attention to the Page Timings part.
And if you go to Speed Suggestions, you can click the links in the column Page Speed Suggestions to find out more information on how you can improve load time for pages on your website.
You can also manually get page speed info one by one for each of the pages on your site by going directly to Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Using this tool, you will get a list of things you can do to improve your site’s load time. But I have to admit, this list will not be of much help to you if you have no idea how to implement them.
Speed up your website the easier way
Good thing Google is introducing their new service – PageSpeed. It takes a great load off of webmasters in speed optimization for their websites. It enables even beginner site owners to improve their website’s performance without having to learn a lot of technical stuff.
Right now they are still offering it for free, on an invite-only basis. It says on its signup page that it only has a limited free trial but they haven’t actually announced yet the pricing for this service or when they are going to start charging people for this.
If you’d like to try this for your website, you can signup and submit your website for approval. You will have to wait at least a day for their reply after submitting your request to try it out. When they approve your request, you will receive an email from email@example.com containing your invitation link to use the service.
After getting approved, the first step to using it is adding your website domain to the service. Simple.
After that, the next steps involve adding a new CNAME record to the DNS file for your domain. Now the exact steps on how to do this, varies from registry to registry or hosting provider. You should be able to get the exact procedure on doing this from your domain registrar or hosting provider.
As of now, they only support websites using the full domain, with the “www”. If you are currently using the bare domain (ex:
http://yoursite.com) as the main/preferred address to your site and its inner pages, you will have to change that. You will have to implement a 301 redirect to your full domain url with the www, as in:
http://www.yoursite.com. Don’t worry, below I’ve included Google’s video instructions on doing this. Your hosting provider or registrar should also have instructions for this.
How it works
This way, you won’t have to do all the minification of scripts, compressions, scaling of images and all that dizzying stuff yourself. Plus, these content will be served from their content delivery network (CDN) of servers around the world. The server that is closest to the user accessing your site will be the one that will deliver these parts of your site to the user. This will take a great load off of your actual server, so it will be a lot faster compared to serving it straight from your own – especially when you’re still on a budget and using a shared hosting service.
If you’re not yet using a CDN for your website or a similar service like this one, I encourage you to give it a try. There’s nothing to loose, the service is still free right now and there’s not a lot of changes you need to do in order to get this implemented, nor will there be should you choose to stop using it. It will just be a matter of removing that CNAME that you add to your DNS file as described above.
You can leave your feedback in the comments below.. or if you have any questions you want to ask, you can also shoot them as comments below.