Quick Tricks to Increase Site Speed for SEO (Plus Infographic)

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Site speed can improve both the visitor experience and increase the chances that the visitors will find you in the first place. Site speed is now more closely tied to SEO rankings than ever before, and will only continue to be more and more important. But how do you increase site speed? How do you improve page load times? Here some quick steps you can to take increase site speed, improve reader experience and get better rankings in search engines.

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Quick Tricks to Increase Site Speed for SEO (Plus Infographic)

  1. 1. Quick Tricks to Increase Site Speed for SEO(Plus Infographic)By: Eugene Farber of ContentStrategyHub.comSite speed and page load time are becomingmore and more important for severalreasons. It improves both the visitorexperience and makes it more likely thatthe visitor will find you in the first place.Needless to say, improving your site speedshould get at least a little bit of attentionfrom you.In terms of reader/visitor experience, a faster website is obviously better. Each second that anew visitor has to wait for your site to load is a second that they might leave. People haveinsanely short attention spans.Google knows this. And they have been incorporating page load times into their rankingalgorithm for quite some time now. That means that every marginal improvement in sitespeed that you make is a chance for better rankings (and a better chance that your contentwill be discovered in the first place).Given all this, I know that this blog is way to slow!Below you will find an infographic that illustrates the relationship between site speed andSEO. But first, I want to give you some actionable tips that you can use to increase sitespeed.Note: I use WordPress, and approximately a quarter of all new websites launched todaydo to, so some of these tips will be focused in speeding up WordPress. However, if youdont use WordPress just focus on the function of the tool/plugin I mention and see if youcan replicate it on whatever platform you use.Lets begin by actually measure your site speed now
  2. 2. TOOLS TO MEASURE YOU R SITE SPEEDBefore you begin to try to increase your site speed you should analyze it to see where youmight be facing potential problems. Without this step you are basically trying to heal adisease without diagnosing it first. Always start with a plan of action...no matter what youdo.Google Webmaster Tools If you havent hooked up your site to Google Webmaster Toolsyou should do so. Among other things, you can monitor the general health of your website.Sometimes you will spot problems that can greatly affect your site speed. Ive stated beforethat I have a love/hate relationship with Google. And this tool is part of the reason I love it.Google Site Speed This is a free extension that you can install to your browser that willhelp analyze your site speed. As usual, its available for Chrome and Firefox. Unfortunatelyit seems that IE Explorer is left behind again.Pingdom If you dont want to install anything, Pingdom offers a great free tool to test andanalyze your site speed. Just visit the link, enter your URL, and the tool will do the rest.If for some reason you dont like any of these tools, a simple search should yield you plentyof other tools that you can take advantage of. Ive always found these to be enough however.Now lets talk about speeding up WordPress...WORDPRESS PLUGINS TO INCREASE SITE SPEEDMost of these plugins made the list of "Top WordPress Plugins" that I previously puttogether. The only new comer would be WP Smush.it (which I discovered after the fact).If you are running your site or blog on WordPress, you have to install these plugins. Theywill do wonders for increasing your site speed.WP Smush.it This is a plugin that automatically optimizes your images, compresses them,and strips them of any unnecessary data that can eventually really add up and take a toll onyour site performance.
  3. 3. Lazy Load This is another image-related plugin. This plugin hold off on loading imagesbelow the fold until the visitor actually scrolls down to view them. This way the images dontautomatically load, and the visitor can see the initial content faster.Revision Control WordPress automatically stores a revision history for pages and posts.But its likely that you dont need 10 copies of the same, slightly-revised content. This pluginallows you to set a limit on how many revisions of each page or post you will save.W3 Total Cache This plugin caches your site or blog so that visitors dont have to load theentire thing from scratch every time they visit. It also gives you the option to clear the cache;something you should use when you make major changes to the site.WP Optimize This plugin optimizes your WordPress database and clears it ofany unnecessary, old and redundant data. I run this every once in a while to delete thingslike spam comments, for example. Its annoying enough to be bombarded with spam on aregular basis. Its even more annoying to have those spam comments take up vital resourcesand slow down the load time of the blog.Remember that Less is More! Im certainly guilty of this sometimes. I like toexperiment and test things out. And that includes playing around with WordPress plugins.However, the more plugins you install the more strain you are putting on your site (whichslows down load times).Delete unused plugins and themes. And try to keep the plugins you use to only the ones youdeem necessary to the functionality of your site or blog.A COUPLE OF NINJA TRICKS TO INCREASE SITESPEEDU S E E X T E R NA L ST O RA GEThis is something that I really started doing recently. Ive always known that media eats upa lot of storage resources but never paid much attention to it because I dont post too muchvideo or audio, and usually post a single image per post.However, these things really add up over time; especially when you start sharinginfographics.
  4. 4. A lot of bloggers and site owners recommend Amazon s3 storage for media. There isabsolutely nothing wrong with that. Its a great service. But I prefer to take the free optionwhenever possible.So far Ive used these services:Dropbox: Ive tried other cloud storage services but none are as easy to use as Dropbox interms of actually embedding or sharing the content. All you have to do is load up whatevermedia you want to use and share to your Dropbox account, copy the "public" link it providesyou, and embed or email it out.This is what I use for some of my video storage (i.e. webcasts) and product delivery.Kiwi6: This is a great service for free mp3 storage. If you run a podcast on your blog/site orjust host a lot of audio, this might be a great option. This service also makes it easy to embedthe audio by providing you a direct hotlinking address.WordPress.com: Yes, the free version of WordPress has plenty of advantages too.Namely, its free and its still WordPress. I created a free account to store large images likethe infographic you will see below. Then I just hotlink to them and display them (like yousee in this post).That way I still have the image in my WordPress account, but its not being stored under myhosting account.Hotlinking like this doesnt work in all instances however. If you go to this blogs homepageyou will see thumbnails of featured images for many of the blog posts. The featuredimage must be in your self-hosted media library.Speaking of hotlinking...P R E V E N T IN G H OT L IN KI N GWhile I am in favor of hotlinking out to other sites (especially my own free Wordpressaccount) I dont particularly want people hotlinking to images I am hosting.It slows me down.
  5. 5. While the solution I present here may not prevent 100% of people trying to hotlink to myimages, it will give me some free promotion from those who do decide to hotlink my images.I insert this code into my .htaccess file which automatically replaces any hotlinking attemptsto an image with an image of my choosing. And the image of my choosing looks like this:When someone tries to hotlink to an image I am hosting, this is the image they will getinstead. It used to lead directly to the sales page of my Strategic Content Launch Pad book.But now it redirects to the Marketing Toolbox Signup Page.Below is the .htaccess code that I use to accomplish this (I have other code in the file, butthis is the one that directly applies to this hotlinking feature).RewriteEngine onRewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www.)?contentstrategyhub.com/.*$ [NC]RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www.)?linkedin.com/.*$ [NC]RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http://(www.)?onlineincomeschool.com/.*$ [NC]RewriteRule .(gif|jpg)$ http://www.contentstrategyhub.com/hotlinking.jpg [R,L]
  6. 6. Feel free to copy-and-paste this and insert it into your own .htaccess file. You will noticethat I have a few websites listed that are exempted from this "rewrite" rule. One of them isLinkedIn.When I created this file it seemed that LinkedIn was the only social network that rewriterule actually affected, and it wouldnt load the thumbnails I wanted it to when sharing mycontent. Thats a serious problem for me because I do a lot of my promotion on LinkedIn(and get much better results than I normally do with Facebook).SITE SPEED AND SEO INFOGRAPHICFinally, on the page following this one is an infographic from QuickSprout dipsplaying howimportant it is to increase site speed to improve SEO.Enjoy :). Click here to get free access to “The Marketing Toolbox” – a huge collection of the best tools to make online marketing quick, efficient and effective: Get Access Here

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