How Does Website Speed Affect SEO Rankings?

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) and local search engine optimization (LSEO) are crucial for every business that has an online presence to promote. As you probably know, SEO determines how high a company scores in Google search results: If you’re not on page one (and preferably in the first few hits) you might as well not be online at all.

For example, an eCommerce site that sells gourmet dog food has certain key words and phrases that potential customers will be Googling, such as “gourmet dog food” or “dog treats gourmet.” A site that caters to a particular geographical area, such as a music school in Tampa, has key words such as “Tampa music schools.”

You can find your best key words and phrases yourself by searching your competition’s site or using Google AdWords Keyword finder tool, which draws up a list of what most people are searching for, given your existing words of choice.

But there’s more to SEO than keywords and phrases. “Best practices” are always changing and evolving, and Google’s algorithm is notoriously secretive at best. However, speed does play an undeniably big role because it’s all about giving the people what they want.

Quality counts

It’s easy to get caught up in the keyword game of SEO and LSEO, but the real purpose of the algorithm is to identify the highest quality websites that match what people are looking for. Speed can make or break the SEO of your online presence.

For example, say you’re a coffee shop in Seattle. Obviously, there are a lot of coffee shops in Seattle, so how does your online presence (whether website, blog, or social media) stand out from the others?

Google’s SEO algorithms can instantly identify whether users are more likely to appreciate your page and get what they need from you as opposed to somewhere else. If your website is faster, it will convey information to users in a better way and they’re less likely to click back (and thereby reduce your “bounceback” rate, which factors into your SEO).

Unfortunately, many businesses don’t even realize that they’re “slow.”

How to speed things up

Speed Things Up

A number of factors can have an impact on your website’s speed, and many of them are in your hands. For example, having the right website hosting is crucial, and some offer better packages than others.

The actual design of your site is also a consideration. Pop-ups are SEO poison and responsive design is critical so users can see and navigate your site easily on any platform.

SEO is paramount for every online business, but speed is too often overlooked as an essential element. No turtles are going to win this race, so you need to speed things up and improve your ranking.

To make the most of your SEO approach, however, it’s best to work with a company or SEO professional who stays on top of the latest updates, knows how to put the “optimize” in SEO, and can walk you through the murky waters of getting and keeping a top ranking.

Just remember that nobody (no matter how good he is) can guarantee you Google’s top spot for your key words, but getting on page one should certainly be attainable.

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