Did you know that regardless of how good your website content is, Google will frown on you if your site fails to load quickly? Recent changes to Google’s algorithms now consider site speed — that is, how quickly a website responds to requests —a factor in your rankings.
Not only is speed important to website owners, but it’s important to all Internet users. Fast sites make for happy users and when a site responds slowly, visitors are likely to abandon the page. Don’t overuse links and make sure images are appropriately sized for the web. Here are a few tools that may come in handy to determine whether your site needs improvement:
- Page Speed, an open source Firefox/Firebug add-on that evaluates the performance of web pages and gives suggestions for improvement.
- YSlow, a free tool from Yahoo! that suggests ways to improve website speed.
- WebPagetest shows a waterfall view of your pages' load performance plus an optimization checklist.
- In Webmaster Tools, Labs > Site Performance shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world.
For more information on marketing your business, visit Marketing Minutes, the American Rental Association’s (ARA) online member marketing resource.