Boost Your SEO Ranking and WordPress Website Speed

March 22, 2024

Why Speed is the King of the Web Jungle

Let’s cut to the chase: nobody likes to wait. Whether it’s for a braai to get going or a web page to load, time is a luxury we can’t afford to waste. And when it comes to websites, speed is everything. A snappy site keeps users engaged, happy, and ready to act, while a sluggish one sends them packing faster than you can say “howzit”. But hey, it’s not just about keeping your visitors from bouncing. It’s also about charming those search engine bots. Yep, Google and its pals love a speedy site as much as we love a good Braai. So, if you want to climb up those SEO rankings, better make sure your website’s loading time is on point.

So, what’s the solution? It’s time to optimize your website’s loading time like a pro! By doing so, you not only enhance user experience but also skyrocket your SEO ranking. Double win, right? Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of web performance optimization.

8 Steps to Increase Website Speeds for SEO Ranking

1. Streamline Your Code:

Think of your website’s code as a cluttered closet. The more unnecessary stuff you have in there, the longer it takes to find what you need. Opt for clean, concise code that reduces excess baggage and speeds up load times. You can do this by downloading a caching plugin like LiteSpeed. Head over to Page Optimisation and look for HTML Settings. Hit the minify HTML button to On and then purge all pages. I recommend purging all website pages after changing any settings like this as it could damage the website. But, do not worry as the problem can be fixed by simply changing the setting back to Off.

2. Optimize Images:

Ah, images – they can make or break your website’s loading speed. Be sure to compress those hefty image files without compromising quality. Use formats like JPEG or PNG and consider lazy loading to prioritize content above the fold. To enable lazy loading on our LiteSpeed plugin, stay in the page optimisation page and turn lazy loading images on. To compress images, you can head over to a nifty site called tinypng.com. Images need to be less than 5MB in size to minify but it always does the job well compared to the rest I have tried.

3. Minify CSS and JavaScript:

Ever heard of decluttering your website’s style and functionality? That’s exactly what minifying CSS and JavaScript does. It removes unnecessary characters and spaces, making your files leaner and meaner for faster loading. To enable this in our WordPress plugin, stay in the Page Optimisation settings and look for CSS Setting and JS Settings. Head into each of them and turn on the minify setting. Remember to purge all and test the website out.

4. Leverage Browser Caching:

Why fetch the same resources over and over again when you can cache them for later? Browser caching stores static files locally, allowing returning visitors to load your site in the blink of an eye. In WordPress, this can only be done through a plugin. You could also look at a hosting company that provides server-side caching services. This can help website speeds for new site visitors. This can be a bit more expensive than your usual starter hosting plans but it can be worth it in the end. Think of it as a lost sale because your site was too slow – how many sales could you lose before an upgraded hosting package is on the table?

5. Upgrade Your Hosting:

Picture this: Your website is a race car, and your hosting provider is the track. Opt for high-performance hosting that can handle the need for speed. Look for providers with servers located in South Africa for localized optimization. Also, what I have recently found out, is to find a hosting company that is using LiteSpeed servers. This is the new and upcoming global speed servers for websites. According to a study, only 4% of South Africans are using the new LiteSpeed Web Servers at the moment with over 90% using the older Nginx and Apache. LiteSpeed servers could dramatically increase the speed of your WordPress website.

6. Implement Content Delivery Networks (CDNs):

If you have an international audience base, consider a CDN. CDNs are like the express lanes of the internet. By distributing your content across multiple servers worldwide, they ensure speedy delivery to users, no matter where they are. CDNs work by storing website files in different servers across the globe so that if someone requests your website in America or China, your website won’t take a minute to load.

7. Mobile Optimization:

With more users browsing on their smartphones, mobile optimization is non-negotiable. Ensure your website is responsive and mobile-friendly for seamless performance on all devices. As soon as your website is not mobile-friendly, it can harm the amount of time a user spends on your website. It could also impact them browsing further into your site. All this could result in Google ranking you lower as people don’t like using your website.

8. Monitor and Analyse Website Performance:

It’s not a one-and-done deal. Regularly monitor your website’s performance using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix. If you are in South Africa, you can check out webpagetest (find the advanced configuration and select Cape Town. Analyse the data and make necessary tweaks to keep your site running like a well-oiled machine. These tools can help you by checking your page speed index, if your website is SEO optimised and whether it is mobile friendly. Beware though, if you are in South Africa, Google PageSpeed Insights runs its tests from either European or American servers. This could show that your site is a lot slower than it is for local users.

Conclusion

By optimizing your website’s loading time, you’re not just providing a better user experience – you’re also sending all the right signals to search engines which could help increase your SEO ranking. Remember, Google loves fast websites, and so do your users!

So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the world of web performance optimization and watch your SEO ranking soar to new heights. Your website – and your audience – will thank you for it! Check out our SEO Services.

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