Why is Optimizing Website Speed Essential for SEO in 2021?

Because of the expected slowdown in economic activity in 2020, e-commerce has exploded and digital transformation has accelerated. Many businesses have attempted, some for the first time, to replicate their in-person sales in digital stores.

But what makes a website work for your needs? Of course, you need authentic and engaging content as well as a social media presence. Above all, you need a website that is functional, fast, and secure. For starters, a fast and trustworthy website provides a positive user experience, which increases traffic to your site. Second, it boosts your chances of achieving a good SEO ranking, which means that potential clients will be able to find your website more easily. And your hosting provider can help you with all that.

If you run an agency, your hosting requirements will differ slightly from those of users who manage a single website. That is why choosing a fast and secure hosting service that provides you with powerful tools and support for optimizing and managing multiple websites is crucial for your agency’s success.

Why Is Website Speed Important to SEO?

The short answer is that a faster website provides a better user experience, leads to more traffic and conversions, all of which contribute to improved SEO and ranking. If you want to help your clients succeed, read on:

Google Considers Speed to be a Ranking Factor

In an effort to improve user experience on the web, Google has included page speed in their SEO ranking analysis since 2010. In 2020, Google announced that three new user experience metrics known as Core Web Vitals would be included as a ranking factor as part of the Google Page Experience. Google bots perform tests on a website based on those metrics, among others, to determine website speed. 

Speed Affects Your Conversion Rate

Consider this: how many times have you left a webpage because it was loading slowly? According to studies, the first five seconds of page-load time have the greatest impact on conversion rates, and each additional second reduces conversion rates by an average of 4.42%. Considering site speed from the start of an online project can have a significant impact on your success rate. 

Speed Impacts Your Bounce Rate

Slow site speed has a substantial impact on bounce rates. A page loading for 7 seconds is likely to have a 32.3% bounce rate. In comparison, a page that loads for 2 seconds can have around a 9.61% bounce rate. This correlation makes it clear why businesses need fast websites. Of course, the website’s content and design should excite visitors, but it should also be optimized to be light and fast while providing a fantastic user experience. 

How to Choose a Hosting Provider

When it comes to creating a business website, one of the most crucial expenses is web hosting. When it comes to creating multiple websites, well, you need to be extra careful to check if the hosting provider offers the right tools for you. Here is a breakdown of some of the essential reasons why web hosting is so important:

Web Hosting Speed

As we established in the beginning, people hate waiting and Google doesn’t like it when you make people wait. Putting things into context, 40% of visitors leave a website if it doesn’t load in as little as 3 seconds. So, if you want to improve website SEO rankings, the one thing you absolutely must have is a fast website. Make sure your hosting provider scores high on server speed. 

Web Hosting Security

If a website is not safe and well-maintained, it is at risk of getting hacked. If this happens, Google will begin not to “trust” that website, perhaps lowering its SEO ranks. An excellent hosting provider ensures that every part of your website runs smoothly. Ensure that your hosting company provides excellent server-side protection as well as tools to assist you in protecting your website.

Web Hosting Reliability

Other than a fast website, you want a website that is up and running. Choose a hosting provider that offers a great uptime for its clients.

Website Management

If you want to provide a great digital experience to your clients, you’ll need a reliable hosting provider with a user-friendly website management system that includes powerful features to simplify the complexities of running multiple websites. 

On that note, SiteGround provides ultrafast hosting services powered by Google Cloud, cutting-edge technologies, and in-house-built interfaces for top speed, security, reliability, and ease of use. Some of their latest integrations include a faster MySQL setup, one-of-a-kind UltraFast PHP which makes your page load 30% faster on average, a unique caching tool available on all hosting plans, and more.

With SiteGround you’ll also find agency-specific functionalities. Their easy to navigate Client Area is designed to make the work of freelancers and web agencies easier by simplifying every step of creating and managing websites, like:

  • Easily manage multiple websites from a single dashboard
  • Add multiple members of your team as collaborators with delegated access
  • Transfer ownership to clients with just a few clicks

How to Improve Website Speed

Starting with your hosting provider, here is a list of the best practices for improving website performance: 

Choose a Fast and Reliable Web Hosting Provider

A reliable hosting provider enables your brand to provide high-quality services. With advantages ranging from better performance and security, your web host should provide you with an easy way to manage multiple websites without having to install hundreds of plugins. Are you still wondering how website hosting affects the success of your site? Well, everything connected to web hosting that is mentioned above like security, speed, reliability, and so on, are all elements for search engines and have a direct impact on SEO. And that’s why you should choose your hosting provider wisely. 

Of course, once you’ve made your choice of a trusted hosting provider, there are a couple of actions and settings that are up to you to fine-tune:

Optimize Media

Some good media optimization practices include compressing images without sacrificing quality, serving images in next-generation formats such as WebP, and lazy loading of static content.

Enable Compression

Using file compression applications such as Gzip and Brotli will reduce the size of your CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files. This means that the browser will be able to load such files much faster, allowing you to increase your site speed and, as a result, SEO score.

Enable Full-page Caching

Full-page caching means that the pages of your website are saved as HTML files on the server after the first time they are loaded. The whole page content from the database will be shown only on the first visit to your site. All of the others will obtain the page output directly from the server’s memory, which will make your site substantially faster, and improve your SEO score.

Optimize Front-end

Reduce the actual size of your website page and improve loading time by using various front-end optimizations such as minifying CSS and JS files, optimizing fonts, and more.

Use a CDN

Use a content delivery network (CDN) to reduce the time it takes for all of your visitors to load. The CDN will cache your content across a global network of servers and load your website from the closest one to the visitor, improving their experience with your page.

Optimizing website speed is an ongoing process that requires maintenance and following certain rules. It will become second nature once you get the gist of it. Creating beautiful websites, with authentic content that is fast and reliable will bring the online success of your business.

Find detailed step-by-step information on how to create a high-performing website in SiteGround’s WordPress Speed Optimization ebook.

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