Admitted: search engine optimisation (SEO stands for Search Engine Marketing) is a relatively complex and lengthy online marketing measure. “A little SEO optimisation done quickly” does not work. Without investing time and money, the long-term chances of success are limited. On the other hand, to reward the effort, SEO builds the most efficient and attractive online marketing channel in terms of price-performance ratio.
Search engine optimisation becomes increasingly complex. This has many reasons. The fast development of mobile Internet is an example. The search on smartphones and tablets works according to different criteria than those of PCs and notebooks. Not only technologically, but also in terms of the kind of search queries carried out by users. Another reason is the continuous improvement of Google’s search algorithms and the filter, which decide, which search results will appear at the top. We are talking about several hundred of updates per year (!).
Each of these measures has potential effects on the ranking in search results. The search results in different countries are then diversely affected, as Google itself points out.
Although search engine optimisation is complex, there are also some constants, which never change. There are measures building the solid basis of SEO. An analogy with figure-skating can be made: some SEO measures are “compulsory”. They should be taken into account. Other measures are like “freestyle”. The freestyle is built upon the compulsory section. If the latter is not well done, the former fizzles out.
The fast website: “compulsory” in SEO work
Among the compulsory measures of SEO optimisation, the programming of a fast website should be named. The loading time is one of Google’s official ranking factors.
In other words: if a website is slim and fast, it receives a higher ranking.
This is even more so in direct comparison to slower websites within the same segment (thus competitor websites). Google tries everything to offer a fast and comfortable search for the user and a satisfactory result. In this context, what counts is that the websites appearing in the search results load fast.
Research shows that users wait maximum three seconds after clicking. If the website did not load after this time, they leave the page without using the offer. In this scenario, Google misses the aim of delivering possibly good answers to the questions asked by the user.
Fast websites mean also financial advantage for the operator. Amazon ran a large-scale experiment and found a direct link between page speed and sales. For this purpose, the loading time was increased of 100 milliseconds. This delay, which should be imperceptible for humans, caused the reduction of Amazon’s sales of a full percentage point.
The measures with which the speed of a page can be increased are classified in improvements on the server side and on the client side. Among the first ones are, for example, websites caches or an optimised transfer between server and browser. On the serve side, it is possible to place some CSS data at the beginning of an HTML document or minimise resources. An enormous role is played by the size of image data. Every kilobyte slows down the loading speed of a page. The simple use of a perfect picture optimisation software can reduce the size of picture data to two figures percentage points!
The speed of a page is then not only a “nice to have”, it is also a pre-requisite for the success of a page due to a variety of reasons. Despite the necessity, to try out current online marketing trends and remain at pace with time, it should not be lost sight of the basics.