Making your website faster is now one of the best ways to make Google happy. Forget about optimizing your page for keyword phrases and the like; now you need to work on load times and server-side settings. But before you go getting your pants in a knot over having to make changes through your hosting server or making a lot of HTML changes to your page, realize that you don’t necessarily need all of that to make your site faster. There are some organic ways to do it if you really want to know how.
Optimizing images before you even upload them is a good idea, too. Sure, you can “minify” your images once they’re on the page, but why make your site do double work? Keep them small whenever possible and simply add a link to the bigger version if the graphic is the main focus in the article. Otherwise, for articles that just need a simple picture for visual interest, scale them down to about 250 pixels square.
Don’t overload your blog or WordPress site with plugins. Yes, plugins are supposed to make your life easier, but if it counts against you in your search rankings, that defeats half the purpose. Determine if you really need that plugin featuring a rotating image of goodies from your aunt’s bake shop or if your site could really do without it.
For example, I was using a very common WordPress theme for one of my blogs when I noticed that, due to a “graphic slider” feature, my site was taking a few seconds longer to load. When I deactivated it, the site took a noticeably faster turn for the better. Simple fixes like this can take away the headaches that come with trying to optimize your site for Google.
The whole point in search engine optimization is not to change your entire site just because Google made a random algorithm change. The point is to design it in such a way that your site can roll with the changes more easily. Here’s the thing: for quite some time now, Google has been visitor-oriented. That’s not about to change. As long as you put the user before the search engines in the way you develop your site, you’re a lot better off in the long run. That way, when the next Panda or Penguin (or Koala or Giraffe or Kangaroo) comes along, you’re not having a coronary because Google just majorly slapped your pages.
These tips should help you make your website faster in the long run and make it more Google friendly to boot.