In today’s fast-paced digital world, the speed of your WordPress site is not just a convenience; it’s a critical factor in SEO performance.
As a leading SEO company Brisbane, BeKonstructive Marketing understands the intricate connection between site speed and visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). Customers demand instant access to information, and even a slight delay can send them clicking away to a competitor. This understanding forms the cornerstone of many SEO services Brisbane, where experts prioritise site speed to ensure higher rankings and better user engagement.
If you are looking for practical ways to enhance your WordPress site’s speed, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you are an SEO Brisbane professional or a business owner aiming to boost your online presence, this article will provide you with valuable insights. We will explore the vital relationship between site speed and SEO, delve into popular tools like Google Lighthouse Report and Pingdom for checking performance, and shed light on the essential role that website hosting plays in site speed.
Further, we’ll introduce WordPress plugins specifically designed to help you improve site speed and provide actionable steps that anyone can follow. With guidance from an experienced SEO consultant Brisbane, such as BeKonstructive Marketing, these strategies can transform your website into a high-performing, user-friendly platform that ranks well and converts visitors into loyal customers.
Whether you’re new to the world of SEO or looking to refine your strategy, understanding the importance of site speed is key to success. Let’s dive in and explore how to make your WordPress site a swift and seamless experience for all.
The Relationship Between Website Speed and SEO Performance
Think of your website as a shop in a bustling shopping centre. Now, imagine that the door to your shop is heavy and takes a while to open. People who are in a hurry might not wait for that door to open slowly; they might move on to the next shop that’s easier to enter. Site speed is much like that heavy door, and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is like the sign outside guiding people to your shop.
When someone searches for something online, they want quick answers. If your website takes too long to load, they’ll likely move on to another site that can give them what they need faster. Google and other search engines recognise this and prioritise websites that load quickly.
In the context of SEO services Brisbane, having a fast-loading site means that more people can quickly enter your ‘online shop’ and browse what you have to offer. If your website is slow, search engines like Google might place your site lower in the search results, making it harder for people to find your ‘shop.’
So, in simple terms, a fast-loading website is like having a light, easy-to-open door that welcomes customers in, and search engines reward this by making your site easier to find. This relationship between site speed and SEO is vital for anyone wanting to attract more visitors to their website.
How to Check Your Website Speed
Understanding the speed of your website is like checking the time it takes for your favourite kettle to boil. You want it to be quick and efficient, so you can enjoy your cuppa without a long wait. Luckily, there are tools available that help you ‘time’ how fast your website ‘boils,’ or loads, for visitors.
One of the most user-friendly ways to check your website speed is through Google Lighthouse reports. It’s a bit like a handy kitchen timer, giving you a detailed look at how quickly your website loads and offering suggestions to make it faster. You don’t need to be a tech wizard to use it; simply search for ‘Google Lighthouse’ and follow the instructions to install the tool on your browser. You can then run a report on any page of your website.
Running Lighthouse will generate a report like the one below that gives your website performance a ‘score’. The score is out of 100, and is colour coded in red/amber/green to indicate how much your website speed is affecting your SEO performance.
The great thing about Google Lighthouse reports is that you can use them on any website on the internet. So you can run a test on yourself, as well as your main competitors. You can then benchmark yourself against their results to determine how good/bad your score really is.
For example, the screenshot above shows that BeKonstructive Marketing’s website scores 77/100 for performance which is categorised as ‘amber’. When we ran the report on some key competitors, we discovered that most of them have a score between 50-60. So while our website isn’t lightening fast, it is one of the fastest sites in our industry/sector.
Other helpful tools for checking your site speed include Google Search Console, which provides insights into how Google sees your site, and Pingdom, a website that helps you measure your site’s speed from different locations. Think of them as different types of timers, each with its own special features.
These tools can give you valuable insights into how to make your ‘online shop’ more welcoming by reducing waiting times. By improving the speed, you’re enhancing the experience for your visitors, making it easier and more enjoyable for them to browse and shop.
How to Improve Your WordPress Website Speed
If you’ve run a site speed test and discovered that your website is a lot slower than others within your industry, then you will need to invest some time and resources into increasing the speed.
The next section of this article is going to focus on some of the key things you can do to improve the load speed of a WordPress website. Some of these are fairly quick and simple, while others – like migrating to a new website hosting provider – may require the assistance of a professional.
If you’d like help improving the speed of your website and implementing some of the below recommendations, please book a free SEO discovery session with the team at BeKonstructive Marketing.
Website Hosting and Website Speed
Imagine hosting a big family dinner. If you try to prepare all the dishes on a tiny stove with just two burners, it’s going to take a long time, and the food might not turn out as great. Website hosting is somewhat similar. It’s the ‘kitchen’ where your website is ‘cooked,’ and the quality of that kitchen can significantly affect how quickly and smoothly your website serves your guests, or visitors.
1. Choosing the Right Hosting Provider
Opting for a cheap, $10-a-month hosting provider might sound like a bargain, but it’s often like trying to cook a gourmet meal on a camp stove. You’ll likely face slow loading times, which can frustrate visitors and harm your website’s standing in search results.
Instead, investing in a premium hosting provider, especially if you’re not well-versed in website hosting, is much like upgrading to a modern, well-equipped kitchen. Providers like WPEngine, tailored specifically for WordPress websites, offer robust support and smooth performance, akin to having professional chefs’ tools at your disposal. Just as you would enjoy a special treat at a favourite restaurant, your website visitors will appreciate the speedy and reliable experience.
The pricing difference between a ‘cheap’ hosting provider like Crazy Domains or Go Daddy, and a premium hosting provider like WPEngine is usually only around $20 a month – but the potential impact it can have on your website’s performance in Google is significant.
2. Why Cheap Hosting Can Be Bad for SEO
Imagine if that family dinner was delayed because of that tiny stove, and the guests left hungry and disappointed. Cheap hosting can create a similar scenario online, where slow loading times send visitors away unhappy. Search engines like Google notice this, and your site could be harder to find in search results, like hiding your home address from those dinner guests.
3. The Benefits of Dedicated WordPress Hosting
If your website uses WordPress, providers like WPEngine are like specialised kitchen gadgets designed specifically for your favourite recipes. They understand exactly what your WordPress site needs to run at its best, ensuring a delightful experience for your visitors.
Hosting providers who ONLY host WordPress websites have optimised their servers and hosting environments specifically for the requirements of WordPress websites. This means that they run the WordPress software more efficiently, resulting in a faster loading website for you.
4. Using Hosting Settings to Improve Speed
Some hosting settings can act like adding an extra oven or a more efficient fridge to your kitchen. CDN (Content Delivery Network) integration is one such feature, and it helps distribute your website’s content to various locations, ensuring that it reaches your visitors more quickly. Majority of premium hosting providers will include access to CDN networks as a standard inclusion, while your cheaper hosting providers will consider this service an ‘add-on’ and charge you additional for it.
In conclusion, selecting the right hosting for your website is like choosing the perfect kitchen to prepare a memorable meal. Investing in premium hosting with specific features ensures that your website is served promptly and deliciously to every guest. Just as you wouldn’t compromise on quality ingredients for a special dinner, don’t cut corners with your hosting provider. It’s an investment that pays off in satisfied visitors and a website that shines in search results.
WordPress Plugins to Help Improve Site Speed
Imagine walking into a cluttered room where everything is scattered, making it difficult to find what you’re looking for. Now imagine that room neatly organised, with everything in its place, so you can easily find what you need. WordPress plugins work similarly for your website; they help organise and optimise things so that visitors can quickly find what they’re looking for.
We’ve listed some of our preferred / recommended plugin options below that will help speed up different areas of your website but ‘decluttering’ the code and organising things better. To add any of these to your website, navigate to the ‘plugins’ section of the WordPress dashboard and select the ‘add new’ button. Then search for the name of the plugin, or the category of plugin.
1. Caching Plugins
Caching is like setting aside a plate of freshly baked cookies so that the next person who wants one doesn’t have to wait for them to be baked again. A caching plugin stores parts of your website so that they can be quickly served to the next visitor. Plugins like ‘W3 Total Cache’ or ‘WP Super Cache’ are great tools to have in your ‘kitchen,’ ensuring that your website’s ‘cookies’ are always ready to serve.
2. Image Compression Plugins
Large, heavy photos can slow down a website, like trying to flip through a photo album with oversized pictures. Image compression plugins such as ‘Smush’ or ‘EWWW Image Optimizer’ resize those pictures without losing quality. It’s like having a photo album with perfectly sized pictures that you can easily browse through.
3. Plugins to Minimise CSS Files
CSS files are the decorative touches to your website, like the curtains, cushions, and paint in your living room. Having too many can slow things down. Plugins like ‘Autoptimize’ help you streamline these decorations, keeping your site looking beautiful without unnecessary delays. It’s akin to a well-decorated room that’s neither too plain nor too cluttered.
4. Other Helpful Plugins
There are other plugins that can further enhance your site’s speed. ‘WP Rocket’ is an all-in-one solution that incorporates caching, file optimisation, and more. It’s like having a personal organiser to keep your entire home tidy and efficient.
In conclusion, using WordPress plugins for site speed is like having handy helpers in your home, each with a specific task to make life easier. From preparing cookies in advance to neatly organising photographs and decorations, these plugins help ensure that visitors to your ‘online home’ have a pleasant and swift experience.
Remember, you don’t need to be a tech expert to use these tools. Many have user-friendly interfaces and guides to help you along the way. Just like cooking with a new recipe, it may take a little practice, but the end result is well worth the effort.
Practical Steps to Improve Site Speed
Improving the speed of your website doesn’t have to feel like trying to assemble a complex piece of furniture without instructions. With some simple and practical steps, you can make your site more welcoming and efficient for visitors. Here’s a summary of actions that feel more like tidying up a room than embarking on a home renovation:
1. Move to a Better, Faster Hosting Provider
If you find your website slow and sluggish, it might be time to move to a new ‘home.’ Think of it as upgrading from a cramped apartment to a spacious house. Selecting a premium hosting provider gives your website the room it needs to perform at its best.
2. Install Plugins to Optimise Speed
Plugins are like household gadgets that make everyday tasks easier. Whether it’s caching to store ‘freshly baked cookies’ or compressing images to fit your ‘photo album,’ plugins like ‘W3 Total Cache’ and ‘Smush’ can be your helpful assistants.
3. Reduce File Size and Choose the Right File Type
Sometimes, even a simple task like choosing the right picture frame can make a difference. Opting for JPG files over PNG, where possible, and reducing the size of images can be like hanging pictures that fit just right on your walls, without overpowering the space.
4. Avoid Hosting Heavy Assets Like Videos
Hosting large videos on your site is akin to placing a grand piano in a small living room. While it might look impressive, it can make the room feel crowded. Instead, you can use platforms like YouTube to ‘store’ these videos and then ‘display’ or embed them on your site without adding unnecessary weight.
5. Regularly Monitor and Maintain Your Site
Like tending to a garden, regular check-ups and maintenance keep everything growing beautifully. Use tools like Google Lighthouse reports to ‘water and prune’ your site, ensuring that everything is working as it should.
In conclusion, improving your site speed doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these practical steps, it’s more like a pleasant afternoon spent organising and beautifying your home. These actions can lead to a faster, more enjoyable experience for your visitors, turning your ‘online home’ into a place where people love to gather and explore.
Professional Help to Improve Your WordPress Website Speed for SEO
Improving your WordPress site speed isn’t just about pleasing your visitors; it’s also about performing better in Google, ensuring that more people can find and enjoy what you have to offer.
From choosing the right hosting provider, to selecting the best WordPress plugins, there are many ways to cultivate a website that thrives.
However, if you feel like you’d benefit from professional assistance, BeKonstructive Marketing is here to help. As a leading SEO company Brisbane trusts, we offer services that range from SEO copywriting to comprehensive SEO services in Brisbane, tailored to meet your unique needs.
Whether you’re looking for an SEO consultant in Brisbane to guide you or full-fledged SEO Brisbane services to transform your online presence, we invite you to contact us for a free SEO discovery session. Together, we can create a vibrant online presence that not only looks beautiful but also draws in visitors.
At BeKonstructive Marketing, we believe that your website deserves to shine, and we’re here to help it do just that. Feel free to reach out and let’s take the next step in your digital journey together.