Page Speed SEO And How To Improve Website Performance For Better Rankings

Everyone loves a fast website. As a web developer turned technical SEO, it’s part of my job to make sure a website is fast for both users and the bots that crawl it.

The last thing you want is giving Googlebot a slow website to crawl. If a website is slow for Googlebot, then it’s most likely going to be slow for other users.

Google doesn’t like to show search results that result in slow page loads. If a website is slow to load, it usually results in the user clicking the back button, returning to the search results and clicking another URL. This is also a signal to Google that the site is either slow or irrelevant to that specific search query.

In order to rank higher in the search results, your site must be fast.

How To Make Your Website Fast

There are a few things to focus on to make sure your website is fast for Googlebot and other crawlers as well as your website visitors.

Server Architecture

First, you must have a good server architecture to have a fast website. If your server does not have an adequate amount of CPU or RAM, then you could possibly be serving up a slow website.

Are you using shared hosting from companies like SiteGround or NameCheap? If so, your website is on the same server as hundreds of other users. That means you are all fighting for a share of the server resources (CPU and RAM).

You should have a VPS to allow for better use of resources on the server. With most VPS’s, you have full root access, which means you can control pretty much all aspects of the server and it’s configuration. This gives you an opportunity to fine tune your web server configuration for optimal performance.

Hosting

I recommend getting a VPS with Digital Ocean, this is where I host all my sites using the latest version of Ubuntu as the operating system. The servers are fast, cheap and come with a lot of prebuilt packages to install.

You can use my link to get $100 in free Digital Ocean credits – https://m.do.co/c/c3a35aa907f8

PageSpeed Module

Whether you are using Apache or NGINX, I recommend installing the PageSpeed Module to optimize your site automatically for faster speeds. You can use the built in filters to optimize images, remove white space, combine CSS files, minify JavaScript, trim URLs and more.

Test Your Page Speed

There are many tools you can use to test your Page Speed, one of the most popular being WebPageTest. Another really good testing tool is the PageSpeed Insights Testing Tool created by Google, which uses the Lighthouse framework to do the testing.

The downside to using the Google PageSpeed Insights Testing Tool is the inability to track your progress. That’s why I came up with a new tool to help during this process.

I created SpeedMonitor.io to automate your website’s page speed testing. It logs the website page speed performance of your website nightly using Lighthouse and CrUX reports from Google to present the data to you on beautiful charts. You can then see your website’s speed performance and other metrics over time.

My tool also has the ability to set alerts based on scoring thresholds. For example, you can set alerts to notify you if your website page speed score goes below 50 or above 60. This is a great feature so you don’t have to manually check your scores and you can focus on other aspects of your business.

This is a good way to watch your website speed performance during site migrations and other website enhancements. When you install new plugins using WordPress, you can see if that plugin affects the page speed of your website when your nightly report runs.

Conclusion

I hope this helped you understand your website’s page speed and why it’s important to make sure your site is fast for Googlebot as well as your website visitors.

If you have any questions about page speed or website performance, please leave a comment below.

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