Tag Archives: page speed

Google Measures Server Response Time In Milliseconds, Is 200 Milliseconds The Benchmark?

We've talked about page speed here a lot, but page speed and server response time are really two different things. According to Google's documentation for their PageSpeed insights tool...

From big to small: 5 free image compression tools reviewed

Want to improve your page load times? Image optimization is a great place to start! Columnist Tom Demers reviews five free image compression tools and notes their impact on page speed. The post From big to small: 5 free image compression tools reviewed appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
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How to Improve Page Speed for More Traffic & Conversions by @jeremyknauff

Follow these tips to optimize your page speed and boost your traffic and conversions.

The post How to Improve Page Speed for More Traffic & Conversions by @jeremyknauff appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

AMP up your call conversions: 5 things you need to know

In Google’s world, site speed matters. And the search giant is pushing hard on AMP, its open source initiative to improve web page speed and performance for mobile users. But that speed comes at a cost for digital marketers. AMP eliminates scripts — including the scripts that help you track...

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
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What is HTTP/2 and how does it benefit SEO?

The HTTP/2 protocol was published in 2015 with the aim of creating a faster, more secure Internet. Adoption has been gradual and is ongoing, but there are clear benefits for marketers who make the upgrade. So what exactly is HTTP/2 and how does it affect SEO?

The variety and quantities of information transferred on the Internet have changed dramatically in the past decade. Content formats are larger and more complex, mobile usage has increased significantly, and there is a growing global population of Internet users on a daily basis.

It is within this ever-changing landscape that a group of developers built SPDY (pronounced ‘speedy’, aptly enough), to build on the syntax of the original Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

As the name suggests, SPDY was developed with the core aim of finding faster ways to transport content on the Internet that would reduce page load speeds. SPDY was primarily developed by a group of Google engineers and it provided the platform for HTTP/2, towards which Google has now shifted its support.

HTTP/2, with the aid of some of those SPDY developers at Google, is an initiative driven by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to build a more robust platform for the Internet that is in keeping with the needs of modern users. It was published in May 2015 with the aim of refreshing the HTTP protocol, which has not seen any real radical overhauls since HTTP 1.1.

Most Internet browsers support HTTP/2, as do a growing number of servers, but according to W3Tech, only 13.7% of the world’s top 10 million sites have moved to this standard, as of May 2017.

That number is on the rise, however, and marketers should be aware of the implications of this significant upgrade.

What makes HTTP/2 different?

HTTP/2 is built on top of the same syntax as HTTP 1.1, so it serves more as a refresh than a complete overhaul. That is quite a purposeful decision, as the onus is on making this a smooth transition that brings benefits for Internet browsers, servers, and end-users.

The full technical specifications of HTTP/2 are listed here, but the big differences from HTTP 1.1 are summarized on HTTP2.github as follows:

  • HTTP/2 is binary, instead of textual
  • It is fully multiplexed, instead of ordered and blocking
  • It can therefore use one connection for parallelism
  • It uses header compression to reduce overhead
  • It allows servers to “push” responses proactively into client caches.

At a conceptual level, this means that HTTP/2 reduces load times by improving the efficiency of communications between browsers and servers.

Rather than a sequence of exchanges between the server side and the client side, one connection can host multiple exchanges at once and, quite importantly, the server side can proactively make responses without waiting to be called.

Site owners can compress some of these resources to increase load speeds, but we require a fundamental change in browser-server communications to resolve these issues in the long term.

That’s exactly where HTTP/2 comes in.

On a practical level, these interactions between browsers and servers start to look as follows:

Source: Cloudflare

This simplified example serves an illustrative purpose, as we can see clearly how effective the HTTP/2 approach would be at a grander scale.

It does this by both making and receiving multiple calls simultaneously through one connection, rather than making them one at a time.

How effective is HTTP/2?

Given the stated importance of making the Internet faster for users, we can quite readily make comparisons to see how effective HTTP/2 is.

A HTTP Watch study compared different versions of the same page, in particular drawing a comparison between standard HTTPS and HTTP/2.

‘Raw’ HTTPS

What is HTTP/2 and how does it benefit SEO?

HTTP/2

What is HTTP/2 and how does it benefit SEO?

This waterfall chart shows the difference from a technical standpoint, and also the assumed benefits for a user.

The page loads 22% faster, providing a significant improvement to the end-user’s experience.

The comparison was made on quite a simple page, so the benefits can be extrapolated out to a wider data set containing more complex assets.

What does it mean for SEO?

As with so many website improvements nowadays, the SEO impact will be felt indirectly. Google does not factor HTTP/2 readiness into its algorithms, but it does reward sites that provide a slick user experience. That includes page load speed, so it is fair to say that moving to HTTP/2 will have a positive effect on a site’s SEO performance.

Mobile has been the focal point of efforts to increase speed recently and undoubtedly, mobile performance will be improved by the shift to HTTP/2.

Nonetheless, it is worth considering that a move to HTTP/2 has benefits across all devices and all digital channels, whereas new coding languages like AMP HTML have limited applications. The two can work very effectively in tandem, of course, but the benefits of HTTP/2 are particularly widespread and long-term.

What is HTTP/2 and how does it benefit SEO?

As such, we should view HTTP/2 as a platform for faster, more secure digital connections, which can only be a positive for SEO.

What do marketers need to do to upgrade to HTTP/2?

First and foremost, your website will need to be on HTTPS. In fact, this is the most laborious part of moving to HTTP/2, as once your site is secured the process is really rather simple. There are hints at the importance of this move, as HTTP/2 is often referred to as a “faster, more secure” protocol for the modern Internet.

If your website is already secured, you may only have to update your server software to the latest version.

In fact, you may already be on HTTP/2 without necessarily knowing the switch has happened as part of a server update. You can use SPDYCheck to verify this.

There is a list of known HTTP/2 implementations on Github too, which is pretty exhaustive and is updated regularly.

Look at your analytics data to see where your visitors come from, but they most likely come from HTTP/2 friendly sources such as Google Chrome, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge. Most browsers already support the new protocol, so the onus is on websites to make the switch.

It is also worth noting that if a site is on HTTP/2 and makes a connection with a resource that is still on HTTP 1.1, they will simply communicate in the latter language.

As such, there are no significant drawbacks to making this upgrade for site owners, but the rewards are long-lasting and will provide a better user experience. The SEO impact may be indirect, but it will still be felt as Google makes on-site engagement signals an increasingly important part of its ranking algorithms.

The non-developer’s guide to reducing WordPress load times up to 2 seconds (with data)

Wondering where to start with page speed improvements? Columnist Tom Demers shares how he tackled page speed improvements on several WordPress sites without (much) input from a developer. The post The non-developer’s guide to reducing WordPress load times up to 2 seconds (with data) appeared first...

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
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What may be slowing your site down (and how to fix it)

A slow site is a slow death for a brand. Whether you have a blog, an online storefront or anything else, your viewers need to able to form a positive impression fast. You have to be able to load a page quickly to pull that off.

Back in 2012, there was a study that found it takes under 3 seconds for people to decide whether or not your site is worth staying on. It’s that quick; they click the link and they form an opinion.

That study focused more on website design, which is certainly a crucial element to consider. But if in that time your site hasn’t properly loaded or doesn’t allow the user to begin interacting with content or features, you have probably lost a customer.

KissMetrics found that users were more than 40% more likely to abandon a page if it took more than ten seconds to load. Their patience was a little higher for mobile sites as they expected to have a longer load time through their phone than their desktop. But the average abandonment time was still 6 – 10 seconds.

User expectations are higher than ever. If you don’t meet them, there are plenty of competitors out there who are more than happy to take their cash.

But don’t worry, your site isn’t doomed. Here are the most common reasons that websites slow down, and each has a fix.

Issue #1 – You have a bad host

Hey, we get it, sometimes you have to shop for a bargain. Hosting services can get expensive, especially as your site grows and visitors increase. But saving too much on a host could be costing you customers in the long run.

Cheap hosting services can be tempting with their $5 – $10 per month packages that promises big things. The problem is – if they don’t deliver, you can’t really complain… you get what you pay for, right?

So how can you choose the best hosting service for your needs?

An easy fix: Do your homework. Your website is an investment, make sure you monitor your site performance and research a hosting company before signing up. Switching a host can turn into a nightmare!

  • Check your hosting Uptime stats
  • Search for reviews. Try searching Twitter for [hosting-name :(]

Issue #2 – You have local network problems

Your website doesn’t just go from point A to point B when you load your site. It has multiple little hops between server points, which can be interrupted by problems in your local network.

An easy fix: Pingdom is the tool I use to monitor my site performance. To save time, I use Cyfe to monitor all of them from the single page. Just hook up Cyfe with your Pingdom account and watch all your sites from one handy page, including:

  • Status Overview
  • Performance Overview
  • Response Time
  • Uptime
  • Downtime
  • Outage Log
  • Alert Log
  • Test Result Log

What may be slowing your site down (and how to fix it)

For bigger websites, monitoring performance and security service is always a great idea, because it can isolate more complicated problems that you can’t diagnose or troubleshoot on your own unless you have more experience with it.

I personally like Incapsula’s CDN, which has a number of performance-enhancing features. They have a free plan for basic websites and blogs, though if you are a professional site it is worth paying for their more advanced service.

What may be slowing your site down (and how to fix it)

What you are paying for is not just the performance tools, but also for basic security against DDoS attacks and other problems that can throw a serious wrench in your week. It’ss better to plan for the worst than deal with it when it comes.

If none of these appeal, there are dozens of alternatives, so you aren’t starved for choice.

Issue #3 – Too much junk

It’s unbelievable how many well-known brands with huge digital marketing budgets still maintain slow, cluttered websites.

Some common culprits for website slow downs related to design are:

  1. Images that are too big. I don’t mean in dimensions here, but in file size. Your images should be compressed to be as small as possible while retaining high quality resolution.
  2. Third party media. Alright, so that video you found on YouTube is really funny and related to your business. If you didn’t make it, don’t include it. At least not on a primary page. External videos, slideshows and other media is notorious for slowing a website down because it has an extra step in loading. Use your own media and host it on your own site.
  3. Running Flash. If you have Flash on your site it is probably going to be causing issues. First, no one likes to watch a loading screen, period. Second, it isn’t optimized for mobile use and will probably double or triple the load time on smartphones and tablets.

An easy fix: If you are on WordPress, the easiest route is to switch to a faster WordPress theme. Here’s a good list.

For others, there are plenty of tools that will show you which page elements slow your page down. The easiest and free one is Page Speed: Just copy-paste your landing page URL and scroll down to identify the culprit.

What may be slowing your site down (and how to fix it)

For more details, try SE Ranking page load optimization feature that will help you identify what slows your page down and give you exact steps to resolve the issue:

What may be slowing your site down (and how to fix it)

So get started troubleshooting the issue, and start fixing it! Before you know it you will see your retention increase.

Accelerated Mobile Pages: Is faster better?

Google has doubled down on Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), its open source initiative designed to improve web page speed and performance for mobile users. More than 2 billion AMP pages have been published from over 900,000 domains, and many online publishers report significant gains in both traffic...

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): IS faster better?

Google has doubled down on Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), its open source initiative designed to improve web page speed and performance for mobile users. More than 2 billion AMP pages have been published from over 900,000 domains, and many online publishers report significant gains in both traffic...

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
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Google Updates ‘Test My Site’ to Show How Many Visitors You’re Losing by @MattGSouthern

Google updated its Test My Site tool to show how many visitors you may be losing due to page speed.

The post Google Updates ‘Test My Site’ to Show How Many Visitors You’re Losing by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.