An often overlooked, yet important factor of SEO is a websites speed. What that means is that from the time someone first lands on one of your sites pages, or they type your domain name into their browser bar, it needs to load quickly otherwise there is a chance the visitor will click the back button and never see your site. There are guidelines posted on Googles Webmaster blog that state this very fact.
In general, here are some quick guidelines to follow when optimizing a website for speed.
- Optimizing caching — keeping your application’s data and logic off the network altogether
- Minimizing round-trip times — reducing the number of serial request-response cycles
- Minimizing request overhead — reducing upload size
- Minimizing payload size — reducing the size of responses, downloads, and cached pages
- Optimizing browser rendering — improving the browser’s layout of a page
- Optimizing for mobileNew! — tuning a site for the characteristics of mobile networks and mobile devices
In normal fashion, Google gives you some tools in order to benchmark your websites speed.
- Page Speed, an open source Firefox/Firebug add-on that evaluates the performance of web pages and gives suggestions for improvement.
- YSlow, a free tool from Yahoo! that suggests ways to improve website speed.
- WebPagetest shows a waterfall view of your pages’ load performance plus an optimization checklist.
- In Webmaster Tools, Labs > Site Performance shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world as in the chart below. We’ve also blogged about site performance.
Anyway, that should be a comprehensive list of resources for people who are looking to boost their sites performance in the speed category. As always, if you need help in any of these area’s, you can contact us to do it for you.