At this month’s blog club meetup we heard from Michelle Zatlyn, co-founder and head of user experience at CloudFlare. She provided some insight on the connection between site speed and Google and other search engine page rankings. There are TONS of factors that Google considers when determining when and where your site is displayed in organic search:
- keywords (what search terms are in your content)
- links (who is linking to your site helps them determine relevance)
- social (do your visitors share your content)
- site map (how easy it is for crawlers to review your site)
However, these are just a few — Google (obviously) does not publicize its exact for how it determines search results. One of the items not listed above is site speed. You may not immediately think that your blog or forum’s speed (e.g. page load time etc.) would have any impact on your SEO rankings, but it does. Speed is important to take into consideration for a number of reasons:
- people are not patient, and as a result, slow websites drive people away (how many times have you simply given up if a website takes more than a few seconds to load?)
- slow websites also drive web crawlers away (it is more time consuming and tedious to crawl these sites)
If you are concerned about your website’s speed and how it may be impacting your SEO rankings, Michelle provided a few tips that any blogger can easily implement to speed up their site:
- Choose the right web hosting provider (one that has a technical focus rather than a marketing focus and one that can provide support if there is an issue with your site) We recommend Host.
- If you are using WordPress, implement the W3 Total Cache (W3TC) plugin or WP Super Cache plugin
- Sign-up for a service like CloudFlare that focuses on speeding up your site and increasing the security of your site
For more detail on each of these options, check out Michelle’s presentation in it’s entirety below. And let us know how you are speeding up your website on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We want to hear your tips!
Until next time…
Anna Cunningham | Social Media Manager | VigLink