Could it be true? Is there a way to improve your website’s search engine ranking on Google without writing another line of code or another word of content?
Yes. There are dozens of factors that help you website be ranked better by Google or Bing. However, there’s one simple overlooked technique that alone can guarantee a better rank. And that is: Site Speed.
Slow web sites that take a long time to load actually lose ranking points when Google or Bing examine them. A fast site with ok content will rank better than a really slow site with great content.
The fact is great content and good on-page optimization is useless if a web site is painful to use. So what can you do?
Here are four easy ways to make your web site faster:
1) Get off your slow web host. If you are paying $5 or less per month to host your web site it means you are are sharing a server with a lot of other web sites. One way to test this is to use Google PageSpeedInsights to see how your site’s speed is rated. Start with your homepage and then test all the pages that are popular. Upgrading your site to a faster web host (or faster tier of server) is going to instantly improve your speed ranking. BlueHost for example has three tiers: Starter, Plus and Business Pro. Business Pro is ranked as “high performance” and costs $13.95 per month and you get a bunch of extras, but the speed of the server is worth the price alone, just in search engine lift.
2) Cache it. If you use WordPress, use on page caching by installing a plug in. Two that we like are WordFence (which is also a security plug-in) and WP Super Cache. Page caching takes heavy to process pages wit a lot of code in them and turns them into light content pages that only contain text and HTML, so they load fast.
3) Compress your images: Large image files are one of the key speed bumps on a web page. Determine the right size of the image in pixels and then degrade the image with a photo editor so it is not so large. Often people will find a large image and then drop it into a web template and the template will size it for display but it does not resize the image data content, so the page it’s on will load slowly. If you want this happen automatically on a WordPress site go get a free copy of the plug-in Smush It or pay for Smush it Pro which compresses images for you on the fly and does all the site compression work automatically. You can also use this image compression web site to reduce image size.
4) Minify Code – Google recommends that you engage in a process called minifying CSS, HTML and Javascipt. All are kids of code on your web site. Minifying means taking white space out of the code so it loads faster. A white space is actually a character and is there to make something human readable. However, a computer doesn’t need white space to read code. It’s just anothger character to process. The minifying process requires technical knowhow, but a great short cut is to use a free WordPress plug-in call WP Minify.