Page speed can make or break your user experience and conversions. It’s no wonder why Google decided to use Core Web Vitals and other page experience factors into consideration when ranking websites on their search results. In this article, you’ll see the top 8 tips to optimize page speed and improve SEO.
Don’t worry, though. In this guide, we’ll go over 8 tips to optimize page speed and improve SEO so you can outrank your competitors.
1. Move to a Good WordPress Host to Optimize Page Speed
One of the main reasons people experience poor page speed is due to their web hosting company. Shared hosts tend to place more people than a server can handle to save money.
This leads to people fighting over resources, lots of downtime, slow page speeds, and even security issues.
Most of them also have outdated hardware and software. Since shared hosting is typically a high-volume business, they tend to only update to the latest PHP, Apache modules, and software when they absolutely need to, which could be a couple of years after updates have been introduced.
When choosing a WordPress theme, it’s often a good idea to choose a managed host or one that it’s known to have great speeds.
The host I like using for most of my websites is NameHero, which has LiteSpeed web servers.
2. Build Using Gutenberg Blocks
When choosing a WordPress theme and builder, people often go for drag-and-drop page builders with tons of features.
When building a website that’s optimized for page speed, it’s often better to use a Gutenberg Blocks builder like GenerateBlocks, Kadence Blocks, or Atomic Blocks.
3. Optimize Your Images to Optimize Page Speed
Images are a great way to grab your visitors’ attention and keep them engaged. However, if you normally upload images straight from your camera to WordPress, you could be sabotaging your page speed.
It’s always a good idea to optimize images before uploading them to your media library. For this, you can simply use a free online tool like TinyPNG. This will compress your images so that they end up with a small file size while retaining their quality.
If you have lots of images already in your library, you can install a plugin like ShortPixel to retroactively optimize images.
4. Sign up for a CDN
A content delivery network (CDN) will distribute your data to different servers around the globe and deliver the content from the one that’s closest to the visitor making the request.
A CDN is a good page speed optimization method for those with a global audience. If you have a local business, however, you might not need a CDN and could simply choose a data center close to your city.
For those looking to use a CDN, you could use the free version of Cloudflare.
5. Use Website Caching to Optimize Page Speed
A caching plugin can be a complete game-changer for some websites. What a caching plugin does is store copies of files in a temporary storage location so that they can be served faster the next time a visitor requests your website.
Most of these plugins also include other optimization features to take your site load even faster.
6. Vet Your Plugins
Poorly-coded and all-in-one plugins can not only add unnecessary features and bloat to your website, which can affect page speed, but also make your site more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
To keep your website loading fast, it’s advised that you only install plugins that you absolutely need, only have the features that you’re looking for, and are created by reputable developers.
This will keep your site from loading unnecessary code for features you’re not using.
7. Optimize With Mobile-First in Mind
Nowadays, most web traffic comes from mobile—especially if you use a platform like Pinterest to drive traffic. For this reason, Google has decided to introduce mobile-first indexing.
Mobile-first indexing means that Google will use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking instead of the desktop version.
8. Optimize Your Fonts to Optimize Page Speed
Fonts are something that many people take for granted, however, custom web fonts like Google Fonts can make up around 3.2% of a page’s weight.
Not only that, but they slow your site because the browser has to fetch external files from Google.
To prevent fonts from affecting your page speed, you could use system fonts instead. These fonts are already built into the operating system, so there’s nothing to load.
If you would still rather use Google Fonts, you could install a free plugin like OMFG to host them locally.
Nowadays, most people expect a website to load in under three seconds. If you keep your users waiting, chances are you’ll end up with a high bounce rate and low conversion rates.
If your website is your business and source of income, it’s probably a smart idea to apply some (or all) of these page speed optimization techniques.