By Karina Nikitkin
When talking about ranking factors, it’s hard to say how many Google actually considers when determining your site’s rank. Some say there are over 200 and others believe there are much fewer. The truth is we don’t really know exactly how many ranking factors Google uses. We do know for certain there are some ranking factors that outweigh others, one of those being site speed.
Site speed is referred to as the speed at which your site loads for several sample site views. Page speed also plays a role in the amount of time it takes for your page to load. Page speed is considered the amount of time it takes on page to fully load. So, why is this important? Research has shown that Google’s site ranking algorithms consider site speed one of the most important ranking factors.
What Does This Mean For You?
Regularly checking site speed is important. Specifically, checking site speed after uploading images and videos to your site is very important. One of my favorite tools for checking site speed is GTMetrix. Here you can enter your URL and GTMetrix will check your site’s speed and display your results along with tips for improvement. Not only can you view your site speed for desktops, but you can also run a site speed check for mobile after creating a free user account.
Understanding The Results
Let’s take a look at site speed results for Amazon.
It looks like Amazon’s site speed is very good. But where do these numbers really come from? Here is a list of components that are used to determine the actual speed of a site:
- Browser Caching
- Image Size/Scale
- Gzip Compression
- Minified HTML/CSS
- Many More!
After running a speed test on your site, GTMetrix will offer recommendations for specific elements that can be fixed to improve your site speed. One common recommendation is adjusting image size or image compression. Often, users upload large images to their sites, but display the image as a smaller version. Unfortunately, that image is still taking up the same amount of space even if it looks smaller. The best way to fix this is to resize the actual image. Which in turn, would greatly increase site speed.
Simple adjustments like this will have a major effect on your site’s speed. Following the recommendations given by site speed tests can help lower your site speed and increase your site’s ranking, therefore helping you climb your way into Google’s local pack!
About the Author
Karina Nikitkin is an Account Executive at ChoiceLocal. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, trying new foods and playing video games.