Starting in July 2018, the speed at which your web pages load now affects how Google ranks your site on mobile searches. That probably puts you in one of two camps — either you’re sitting pretty because you’ve made page load time a priority. Or you will probably start to see a decline in search ranking and related mobile traffic in the coming weeks.
But chances are you don’t have to do a complete overhaul of your infrastructure to improve your page load times. Here are three ways to introduce improvements in an incremental and affordable way:
Leverage Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Create mobile-friendly versions of your pages using the Google AMP open source library.
The Google AMP framework “enables the creation of websites and ads that are consistently fast, beautiful and high-performing across devices and distribution platforms.”
The downside of using AMP is that it’s necessary to create and maintain a second version of the web pages you’re optimizing. Those pages will be served out of a cache on Google and will be designated with an AMP link in search results. If someone clicks that AMP link, they’ll be taken to a page that lives on Google.com, rather than your site, which can make analytics tricky, though not impossible.
There are plugins to help with AMP implementation, but they require some hand-crafted oversight. That said, companies who implement AMP correctly do tend to see major improvements, as detailed in this Moz article.
The Google AMP route won’t be right for everyone, but it’s worth looking into more deeply. Here’s an article that may help you get started.
Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
If you’re not sold on using Google AMP, it’s still a good idea to leverage a global CDN to improve your load speeds worldwide. Azure and AWS both offer CDNs that leverage their massive network of data centers to serve up content to visitors from the nearest geographic location.
The two CDNs have pros and cons. The Azure CDN offers 100 percent uptime, integration with other Microsoft services and video analytics that can be helpful if you’re a media company. But if your primary objective is affordability, Amazon Cloudfront may be your better choice, as it offers pay-as-you-go pricing with different tiers, including a free one-year option for up to 50Gb of traffic.
Whichever route you go, incorporating a CDN is becoming a must for page load optimization, especially if you’re serving a global audience. Thanks to the interconnectivity of Azure and AWS, you can get going on a CDN without having to overhaul the rest of your infrastructure.
Increase your performance
One of the more obvious solutions to improve page load speed is to update your hosting strategy to add more CPU and memory resources for faster server response times. It’s important to note that, like adding Google AMP or a CDN, you don’t have to overhaul your entire infrastructure to achieve this — you simply have to add the resources you need.
You may be concerned about the associated cost, but it’s negligible compared to the opportunity cost of slow-loading pages.
There’s a famous statistic about how 1 second of load time delay can cost Amazon $1.6 billion in sales. Granted, you’re not Amazon, but scaling that number down for your own company’s revenue, you’ll no doubt find the losses will still dwarf the cost of boosting your servers’ performance. Keep in mind too that most of the statistics you’ll find on the effects of laggy page loading are a few years old — consumers have only become more impatient, and with Google’s new algorithm, load time has only become more important.
Want help improving site load times?
Our Codero team is not here to talk you into an all-new infrastructure. Our goal is simply to help you get the results you want with the fewest possible steps and the smallest overall impact to your resources and operations.
Let’s talk about how to get your site loading faster for customers the world over using an incremental hybrid multi-cloud strategy. Your mobile search ranking may be depending on it.
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Understanding Hybrid Multi-Cloud: Why the Future of IT Is Platform Agnostic
This ebook covers:
- What the hybrid multi-cloud approach is and how it’s changing enterprise IT
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- How hybrid multi-cloud can help IT leadership overcome resistance to change
- Use cases and industry examples