Why Having a Slow Website Is Bad for SEO
Your site’s speed impacts more than just user experience, it can negatively affect SEO. Discover the ways having a slow website can hurt your Google rankings.
Did you know that our information travels at the speed of light?
From horses, to trains, to telegraphs, our information has only gotten faster. And now, we can send it at the universe’s speed limit. Unfortunately, your slow website may feel like it’s travelling no faster than a horse.
Slow website speed isn’t just an annoyance. It could be damaging your SEO optimization. The worse your SEO optimization, the less likely new customers will visit your site.
In this guide, we’ll discuss why the speed of a website affects its SEO ranking. Then we’ll discuss some ways to improve it.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is the process by which you make your website more appealing to search engines, like Google. A website with good SEO is a website that Google will rank very highly.
Since many people use search engines, it’s an essential technique to improve your business. Fail to optimize your website, and new customers will be less likely to find it. That in turn harms your profits.
Why Does a Slow Website Harm Your SEO?
Google uses web crawlers that “crawl” the internet and index what they find. A crawler is a type of AI that assesses a few key features. A website that has high ratings for these features gets a higher ranking.
These features include everything from website security to website speed. The crawler then returns to Google and reports its findings. From there, Google ranks related websites in order from highest to lowest.
So the question is, why does slow website hosting affect your score? The answer is twofold: resource cost and user experience.
The Resource Cost of a Slow Website
A slow website is unappealing to crawlers because it takes more resources. They have to spend more time waiting for your website to load. That’s less time they could be spending elsewhere.
It’s important to understand that crawlers crawl your entire website. The average website has dozens of internal links. If your website is slow, it could take a crawler 4x as long as the next website.
Google is a business, and time is money. They can’t afford to spend a long time on slow WordPress hosting. Once they’ve finished crawling a website, they’ll give it a very low ranking.
Further, Google is an advertising platform. If they serve ads on a slow website, that means their servers have to work harder. Over hundreds of thousands of slow websites, that can add up quickly.
Finally, Google is beholden to the companies that pay for advertisements. These companies want fast websites that users have a good chance of viewing. If a website is slow, that means there is less likelihood that a customer will see its ads.
The Damage to User Experience
Google wants its users to find relevant search results. If you search with Google and don’t get what you want, there’s a chance you’ll go to a competitor. SEO is not just for your benefit, but Google’s.
Website speed is therefore extremely important for a visitor to your website. They want the pages to load in an instant. If a page takes several seconds to load, they’ll get frustrated and leave.
Slow website speed is an indication of website problems. It suggests a website running on ageing hosting, or outdated protocols. That’s a website with a higher likelihood of vulnerabilities, too.
For these reasons and many more, Google knocks slow websites further down the list of results.
How to Improve Your Website’s Speed
If you have a slow website speed, your SEO will suffer. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to improve. Let’s take a look at just a few ways you can make your website load faster.
Choose Better Website Hosting
The obvious solution is that your hosting service is insufficient. They may have weak system specs or too few servers. They may not know how to employ server virtualization and other protocols to optimize speed.
Invest in the best website hosting money can buy. They’ll help optimize your page and ensure it maintains high SEO.
Optimize Images and Ads
Your website lives or dies by the quality of its graphics. But high-quality images can be resource intensive. A website chockfull of high-resolution images in raw format will be very slow.
Make sure to compress images and serve them in the right format. Ensure there is a mobile version of your site to reduce bandwidth on smaller screens.
Limit the number of ads on your website. These can hog bandwidth, and ruin your user experience. Use a few, well-placed ads that have a fast server response time.
Use CDN Services and Caching
CDN services provide content like images and code. If your website requires a lot of services to run, then you should consider outsourcing to CDN. That takes the load off your website hosting and allows users to get lighting-fast extra content.
Caching means keeping common website resources on hand for later. If someone accesses your website, a cached version allows it to load much faster. Check if your website is doing a proper job of caching.
Find the Best Website Hosting for You
A slow website isn’t just frustrating to use. It could be harming your SEO. Poor SEO means your website performs poorly in Google search rankings, leading to fewer new customers.
If you’re suffering from a slow website, you need to check out JW Host. They offer affordable hosting options with lightning fast speeds. Not only that, but they’ll provide resources to bump up your SEO rankings.