Perhaps one of the least talked about reasons for poor SEO and a dwindling page rank is the speed of the website. With with famous Google Panda update and the updates since, speed of the site has become more important than before. Additionally, if you are a marketer, it is important that you site load fast, all the time and make the user experience as easy as possible. Delay in loads can cause some of the biggest issues when it comes to conversions.
Here are a few free tools that help you figure the speed of the site, identify what the issues are hopefully make changes. I highly Recommend using more than one tool.
- Page Speed Online
This is the best place to start, because it allows you to see specifically what Google sees. They have a great performance based system that also reveals information about their own Best Practices recommendations.
- Performance Test by Browser Mob
Great Tool by Browser Mob, a company that offers monitoring services. What is best about this is that it also pings it from a bunch of other locations so you can see how your site is performing all over the net. If you find that some places consistently don’t show good results why others do, maybe its time for a new hosting provider.
- Which Loads Faster
While I used to determine that my site loads over 200% faster than ClickZ, it’s a great tool for A/B testing of sites and seeing which one does better. I can see it being used also to help determine which offer to take from a network.
- Webpage Test
Great tool to make sure that your site works in the three most popular browsers, Chrome, Firefox and IE. The Optimization checklist that it comes with is very useful, but a little on the intense site.
Here’s Google’s Official Stance on speed:
Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. But faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings. We use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites.
We encourage you to start looking at your site’s speed (the tools above provide a great starting point) — not only to improve your ranking in search engines, but also to improve everyone’s experience on the Internet.