The speed your site loads at affects your SEO in two main ways:
- user experience – people staying on your site longer which in turn sends a message to Google; and
- directly – Google takes it into account.
Getting your site running really fast is actually pretty tricky, but there are some basic things you can do:
- ensure you’re using a high quality website host;
- don’t run unnecessary plugins or scripts on your site just for the sake of it;
- make sure you optimise your images (you can do this with Photoshop, before uploading them to your site. That means:
- dimensions – get them as close to final dimensions as possible; and
- file size – you can strip out a lot of information from your images and the vast majority of people won’t even notice.
There are lots of fancy things you can do of course, but if you have these covered then you’re a good way there. Head over to tools.pingdom.com if you want to check how a particular page is running. Make sure you run the test 3 times from the SAME location, as that will ensure that the site is cached and you’re getting a realistic result. If you’re getting over 50 then you’re probably doing fine.