Category Archives: Easy SEO

Easy SEO

Easy SEO – Load Times and Plugins

As you should have heard by now, Google is using page load times as a ranking factor.

It’s easy to think of “SEO” as things like keyword optimization and relevant back links, but we have to remember that true Search Engine Optimization means optimizing for all ranking factors. Well, at least the ones we know about and can do something about.

Luckily, page loading times are something that we do have a certain amount of control over and so we should make sure we exert that control in a positive way and not just passively do nothing.

Starting at the ground up, it has to be said that using a decent web host should be a given. Don’t risk the success of your business on a dodgy host just to save money. There are ways to do internet marketing that don’t require a web site, so if you can’t afford a decent host (no shame in that, lots of us start at the bottom) it would be better to go with using YouTube (for example) as a platform for marketing.

Optimizing WordPress

OK, so you’ve got a good web host. Now you need to make sure your WordPress isn’t working against you.

There are basically two strategies… stripping off plugins and caching.

Plugins take time to load, it’s as simple that. If it isn’t absolutely essential, delete it. If you can’t say for sure that it is putting money in your pocket, delete it.

Here’s an example of what I mean… translation plugins. Seems like a good idea. Your site will be ready for anyone!

OK, but do you really need it? Are you really marketing to non-English speakers? Do your Analytics show that you’re getting foreign visitors? Are they buying anything?

Like I said, if you don’t know for sure that it’s putting money in your pocket, dump it.

Cache As Cache Can

Of those essential plugins you must have, one of them needs to be a good caching plugin. You have to remember that WordPress is a database driven platform. What that means is that when someone visits your site, the post or page they’re looking at doesn’t exist until WordPress assembles it from the various pieces. The page structure comes from a number of different files and all the content is in a separate file and it takes time for WordPress to retrieve those files and assemble them into a page and then serve it up.

The way a caching plugin works is that it looks at the assembled page and then stores it “as is” for the next time someone calls it. That way WordPress doesn’t have to work at all, the page goes out pre-assembled. Personally, I use W3 Super Cache.

So now that you know how easy it is to help your site loading times, I would encourage you to not only take action on these steps, but to also do some research on other ways to improve your site loading times.

Onward and upward!