How Your Blog’s Load Time, Site Speed Impacts Your SEO

[This is part of the The Blogger’s Essential Guide to Search Engine Optimization Series.]

One of the things that has begun to impact SEO more and more is the speed of your site, or in this case your blog. Don’t take this lightly (or slowly), at all!

Google, announcing last year specifically, now includes this in part of their signals for ranking:

You may have heard that here at Google we’re obsessed with speed, in our products and on the web. As part of that effort, today we’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests. tweet

And it’s only gotten more important since that original report.

Now, I’ve already spent some time in more than a few posts talking about speed, caching, content delivery networks, and more that all impact your blog’s performance and speed and unless you’ve been completely missing my point it’s still the same: You need as fast as a blog as possible! Here some of them are for a quick review:

You see, ultimately a combination of your hosting provider (make sure it’s awesome and that it doesn’t completely suck), the number of WordPress plugins (here are my thoughts on how many you should have), the right WordPress Theme (I use Standard Theme), and ultimately the right design and usability (in tandem with the theme, of course) will make your blog super fast which will, in turn, increase your search engine ranking.

That’s right, it’s quite simple: The faster your blog is the better your search engine ranking.

Easy, right?

Making it Super Fast:

It’s quite possible to go completely overboard with your tweaking and customization in the search for the perfect there are definitely some things that you can start with.

For sure you should check out the above listed posts on tweaking your caching, CDN, and general performancing, as well as WordPress specific tweaking that I’ve covered in my WordPress Series like permalinks, slugs, image compression, and more.

But a great place to start if you want even more tweaking is checking out some of the sites that test your blog’s performance and making changes based on their recommendations – the first two, YSlow! and PageSpeed are probably your best bets!

Then I’d also check out Google’s Speed Tutorials and walk through those as much as you can. I may spend some more time at some point walking you through my specific steps but those should give you a great head start!

Finally, as I mentioned before, choosing a hosting provider that seriously kicks butt and tweaking it (here are my WordPress blog architecture) for maximum performance will always help as well.

Good luck, and godspeed. Be fast, very fast!

[This is part of the The Blogger’s Essential Guide to Search Engine Optimization Series.]

  • Kevin

    I was reading about this the other day, Matt Cutts has a pretty good article about it, As for site speed…I’m mildly obsessed with it. If I spent as much time writing as I do testing and tweaking, I’d have a massive blog. :)

  • John

    Will using Standard Theme put me ahead on this?

    • John Saddington

      it should help!

  • Chrs

    Good stuff John,

    I have been obsessed with page speed lately. It’s all I think about.

    I just set up Amazon CloudFrount on two of my sites, and in conjunction with CloudFlare and W3 Total Cache, they are noticeably faster. I got a 95 out of 100 on Google’s page speed tester, and I’m ballin’ on Pingdom too. Gotta love the speed man!

    I highly recommend Amazon CloudFront for an inexpensive, flexible, and easy to set up CDN. W3TC is a no brainer too!

  • Jean

    I’ve always wondered though at what rates I should be worried about. I mean if you ever login to Webmaster Tools on Google, they have a section dedicated to showing your page load times… for me it says the following:

    “On average, pages in your site take 2.8 seconds to load (updated on Sep 17, 2011).”

    Now to me, 2.8 seconds seems fairly fast! But according to the chart, anything above 1.5 seconds is in the ‘slow’ category, so I dont know if I should be worried or not…


    • John Saddington

      less than 3 is great.

  • Charles Specht

    Faster is better. Quicker, better, faster…in search of the world’s next best mouse trap. Or blog-trap.

    • John Saddington

      for sure! i like speed!

  • Ron

    Hey John,
    This is great man, the site I have right now is loading way to slow. I just made my first webpage and now I know how important the upload speed of the page is for google ranking. The faster the better.

    • John Saddington

      awesome! go for it!

  • Gregor

    Thanks for great advice. Was wondering about Theme speed. How do you recommend testing Theme speed? What comes to mind is to run speed tests with different themes, and then compare. Other ideas? Thanks!

    • John Saddington

      it depends on your setup. test out different themes on your system!