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Website Speed, UE, & Rankings: 2 Common Culprits that are slowing you down

Great Content. Pro website. Meta Titles. Rich Snippets. Link Building. Social Signals. Community. Paid ads. The list could go on. While the aforementioned are grouped with the usual suspects when it comes to discussing online marketing and ‘classic’ optimization strategies, one very overlooked factor (and something that affects nearly all of the above) is your website’s speed. There have been hundreds of studies done to suggest that a slow website is bad for just about everyone – most significantly your users. And, as always, what’s bad for users tends to be bad for search engines, conversion rates, and your bottom line. Everyone wants the web faster. In this clip, Dave discusses the two most common culprits of a slow loading website.

Video Transcription –

Hi there! Dave Forster with Adster Creative and in this video we are going to talk about your website speed and its search engine ranking. So, we’ve covered at great length how things like great content and optimized Meta titles and snippets and all kinds of technical factors affect your search engine rankings. However, one thing that Google is looking very extensively at at the moment is user experience when it comes to ranking your website. Users these days want things fast. They want it right now, and your website has to be able to deliver in that way. So, when we talk about the speed of your website, there are really two fundamental things, fundamental factors that are going to effect the speed of your website.

The first of which is the hosting environment. Your website has to be physically located on a computer referred to as a webhost. We want to make sure that this hosting environment is high tech and quick. Ideally, we want to have your website on a dedicated server, not a shared server that is shared by thousands and thousands of other websites that could be slowing your site down.

Number two is the physical location of this server. Ideally, if you’re located in Alberta, you want a website server that is located in Canada, and not at the other end of the world. This is going to help improve speed a little bit. Number three is the specifications of this server computer. How fast is this server computer itself, and how fast can it deliver requests and deliver your website to your visitors?

The second area of website speed really revolves around the coding of your website itself. A lot of websites these days are built on content management systems. CMS’s like Word Press and Joomla and Drupal and of course, FlexCMS. The way that a content management system works is database and dynamic driven. CMS’s pull information together from a number of different resources to build your website every time somebody requests it. So, the efficiency of how well these content management systems pull together all of the different parts of your website and show it to a visitor can have a very important impact on speed.

Second, in terms of coding efficiency is the semantic level of mark up. Getting into a little bit of geek-speak here, but essentially when we’re talking about a website, there’s the visual end of your website that people see, and then there’s the coding and kind of the back door stuff that is powering the website, and this is referred to as semantic website design. But, we keep content separate from presentation. And the more semantically your website is marked up, the faster it is going to be. Number three is something that is overlooked by a lot of people, and that is optimizing your images. You want to make sure that pictures and images on your websites are compressed and optimized. We don’t have a giant 8,000 pixel image that’s squished down into a little tiny thumbnail. This is going to slow down your website for your users, and it really provides no value whatsoever.

So, those are the two big factors that are involved with website speed. And if you have questions about speeding up your website, our door is always open. We’ll see you back here soon.