More and more, you hear about web performance as a criterion of positioning on the search engines. This factor gathers several indicators that allow Google’s robots to judge if your site is fast and to associate it with other factors to determine the positions of your pages.
There are several factors that impact site performance. We will deal here with the 3 main ones: the images, the cache and the Content Delivery Network (CDN).
Why is loading time important?
To optimize resources, Google crawlers spend a limited time on each page, it is called a budget crawl. The more optimized the pages, the faster they are loaded and the better Google will crawl them. One of the keys to ensuring that pages on your site are indexed and visited by Google is to present them as quickly as possible to Google crawlers.
The images represent the first factor influencing the loading time of the websites. Many sites neglect this essential aspect of SEO and are content to insert images without any optimization. It is not uncommon to see people load photos directly from their digital cameras on their sites, even if they weigh several megabytes. Yet, there are simple tricks to remedy.
How to optimize images?
There are several tools and methods that allow you to optimize the images. The first trick is to “save images for the Web” when you create visuals with Photoshop. This allows them to optimize automatically and adapt them to the Web. There are also tools online tinypng.com, for example, to remove all unnecessary data that weights the weight of images.
Just by doing that, you’re reducing your loading time significantly.
Setting the cache
What is the cache?
You can store the static elements of your pages on the client side. For example the logo. This reduces the number of server requests to display your pages. The principle is simple: on the first visit of the page, the static files are stored on the computer of the surfer. On the next visit, the page is displayed almost instantaneously because there are fewer requests to be made on the server. It is a powerful way to optimize the loading time.
How to set up the browser cache system?
If your site works with a CMS like WordPress, there are several extensions to create a cache system: W3 Total Cache for example. If your site was created with a home language.
Using a CDN
The CDN: Content Delivery Network (like cloudflare) is another important parameter that is not sufficiently used by sites. The operation of the CDN is as follows: Instead of loading all the elements of a page from a single server, one goes through a network of servers located in many data centers around the world. Why ? The longer the user is away from the server, the longer the loading time. Through several servers, the CDN allows to deliver the pages cached from the server (s) closest to each visitor. Your static content is, therefore, available for a maximum of place around the world. The CDN: Content Delivery Network is another important parameter that is not sufficiently used by sites.
The operation of the CDN is as follows: Instead of loading all the elements of a page from a single server, one goes through a network of servers located in many data centers around the world. Why ? The longer the user is away from the server, the longer the download time. Through several servers, the CDN allows to deliver the pages cached from the server (s) closest to each visitor. Your static content is, therefore, available on a maximum of place around the world.
With these three tips, you are sure to optimize the performance of your site. Other techniques can be put in place to go further in optimization: server cache, CSS sprites, etc. But if you put in place the ones we’ve covered in this article, you’ve already done the bulk of the work.