Believe it or not, speed plays a bigger part in SEO than you think. You can have optimized content on your page that wows anyone who sees it. But, if the page takes too long to load, they won’t see it at all! I think everyone has been guilty of impatiently clicking away from a site at one point. So today I’ll be going over how you can improve your site speed. Warning, it might get a little technical.
What if I Don’t Know Much About the “Tech” Stuff?
Have no fear! One of the perks of living in these modern times is having no shortage of resources and tools for private practice owners to improve their site. Working with a website designer is a great option. They will be able to make the changes necessary to fix some of the slower moving parts of your site. The only catch, they still need data!
Great, How Do I Get my Data?
Thankfully, Google has made it even easier with tools like PageSpeed Insights (PSI) to find this data. It’s one of the most used page speed measurement tools. PSI will quickly show you a score of how fast your site is based on different points of data it collects. All you have to do is click here, and enter your website to PSI. In return, it will give you different important pieces of data, opportunities to help load your page faster, and diagnostics about the performance of your site.
What Other Things Can I Do To Help Speed up My Site?
While I could get in the weeds on some of the more technical things within PSI, here are some of the biggest things you can do NOW to improve your site’s speed.
Site Speed Tip #1: Optimize Those Photos!
You might think I’m talking about alt text and photo titles, but there is actually a lot more that can go into optimizing these! First up is the type of file you use. When it comes to what type of file to use, we suggest you go for a .png for your logo and .jpeg files for the other photos on your site.
When it comes to the file size, smaller equals better. Try to keep your photos under 1MB as a good rule of thumb. When it comes to our photo optimization process, our team likes to download “medium” sized photos from Bigstock. This way the image is just the right size. Not too big, but still large enough so that you can make out everything in the image.
Site Speed Tip #2: Word Press Users: Pick Purposeful Plugins
Having plenty of plugins can help you to accomplish a lot of different things on your site. But, having too many can weigh down your site. When choosing your plugins, make sure that you know what they are doing for your site, and how they are helping you! It might also be a good idea to occasionally look at the back-end of your site, and turn off any that you aren’t currently using.
While we’re on the topic of plugins, one great suggestion is Autoptimize. It’s a WordPress plugin that will help with caching, which is another important (but technical) part of SEO.
Site Speed Tip #3: Squarespace Users: Check Settings and Fonts
For Squarespace users, there is actually a quick fix you can make right now! From the back-end of your site, you can go to Settings -> Advanced ->SSL. Turning this SSL option on will make sure your site is delivered more quickly to Google, and turning on the “HSTS Secure” option can also help as well!
Another quick win is making sure your fonts will play nicely with Google. Squarespace has I lovely library of web fonts, but some can make your site run slower than others. Check to make sure you are using a web safe typeface. Furthermore, it also helps to only use one or two fonts on your site at a time. The more fonts the page has to load, the longer it will take to pop up for a potential client.
Site Speed Tip #4: External Scripts Can Slow Down Your Website
External scripts like a Facebook share button or a “schedule here” icon that goes to your personal calendar can be super helpful for things from a client-facing perspective. But, these scripts can also negatively impact the speed of your site. It’s important to think about the function of these scripts, and if they’re really worth the potential decrease in speed.
Begin Optimizing Your Website With Simplified SEO Consulting
Our trained SEO specialists would love to help you improve all aspects of your site. We feel strongly about providing the best service possible. If you are rank higher on Google, follow the simple steps below to get started:
- Book a free consultation,
- Speak to one of our SEO specialists to find what service is the best fit for your private practice,
- Start ranking better on Google and get more clients!
Other SEO Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting
Simplified SEO Consulting offers a variety of SEO services designed to meet your needs. For practice owners, we offer Done for You SEO Services. We also offer alumni packages and al la carte SEO services. Our team provides several learning opportunities with our SEO training packages including our “Top of Google” online course and 12 weeks of online video training and SEO Strategy package if you’re interested in learning how to optimize your website on your own.
About The Author
Sterling Humburg-Cage is a member of the 2020 graduating class from the University of Missouri. He is intent on using his B.A. in Psychology to help provide the best results as an SEO specialist.