Basic tips to improve your SERP (Speed it up)
Optimize for Speed
Why speed is important to SEO
Swimmers and cyclists shave their body to reduce drag, Race cars are stripped of anything non-essential before a race, and coders…We minify!
The point is… streamline = speed, and the faster you can serve your website, the better users are served. Google thinks this is so important that they do NOT reward people for fast website because they EXPECT your website to be fast, and instead, they penalize sites for being slow.
What does it mean to minify your code?
Minification of your css and js files is that act of removing unnecessary or redundant data.
What happens when minifying your css and JS:
Remove code comments
Clean up formatting
Remove unused code
Use shorter variable & function names
By minifying your code you reduce load times and bandwidth usage, thereby speeding up your load times.
Note: once you have minified your code - It would be extremely difficult to work with. Make sure you have completed all your edits prior to minification.
How to minify your code:
A quick search online finds many online websites that can handle the process for you.
Google developer pages Recommends
The google developer website recommends the following options.
Optimize your images
Images are a huge contributor to web speed lag.
If you’re not a web designer by trade, chances are you have, at some point, loaded an oversized image into your website. Don’t sweat it. This is extremely common and, with a little bit of work, you can quickly master optimizing images and speed up your site.
First you need the software!
Adobe photoshop is the most popular product on the market for this particular process, however, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives.
GIMP | Available for LINUX, WIN, & MACOS
How to properly optimize images
There is a whole blog that could be written on the importance of image optimization and choosing the right file compression but let me just say this… If you change a bunch of 600KB photos to 100KB or less, you are killing it.
What to do
Make sure your images are the right dimensions. Don’t use a wallpaper when a thumbnail would work. Using the above programs you can size images more appropriately.
Use the right file compression:
Great for photos, complex images/patterns, lots of color, & gradients
Large color palette to work with.
You can also play with quality scale that allows you to reduce the image to lowest resolution needed to meet quality standard.
NOTE: Does not support transparency
PNG - The biggest benefit of PNG is that they handle transparency. Popular for Logos or images that require less of a color palette. PNG’s are typically much larger than jpgs and should never be used when a JPG would work in it’s place
GIFS - Less common with the invent of the PNG format. Today, Gifs are commonly used with simple animations. GIFS are highly restricted in color options. NEVER use gifs for product photos.
Author’s Note: I’m not covering SVG in this tutorial
Additional tools for image optimization
These tools provide a quick and easy way to reduce files size without losing any image quality.
Image Compression Apps/Services
I hope this helped. These are just a couple of tips that you can use to dramatically speed up your website. Remember - Google expects you to be fast. This simple task can really help you to improve your overall web speed and thereby improve your SEO.