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SEO Best Practices: Are These Loading Errors Hurting Your Site?

posted by Michael Epps Utley Michael Epps Utley
Dodgeballseo best practices page load speed

Nobody wants to stay on a broken website, and that includes your customers and potential leads. Keeping sites loading correctly and quickly is the cornerstone of successful SEO.

Slow site performance makes a poor first impression, and Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings will suffer because of it. Lucky for you and your team, many easy site fixes will significantly improve website SEO and user experience.

Why Is My Site Not Loading?

Some of the most common problems when it comes to site loading errors include:

  • Huge Images: The bigger your image files, the longer your site takes to load.
  • Broken or Outdated Third-Party Tools: When your plugins are unreliable, your site is, too.
  • Hosting Issues: Hosting platforms aren’t always optimized for your Content Management System (CMS), and that can cause load speed issues.
  • Coding and Site Architecture: Too much code makes for clunky site architecture and slower websites.

Why Does Load Speed Matter for SEO Optimization?

An eye-opening Yoast report makes it clear why load speed matters:

“Google’s latest research shows that the chance of a bounce increases 32% when the page load time goes from 1s to 3s. 1s to 5s increases the chance to 90%, and if your site takes up to 10s to load, the chance of a bounce increases to 123%.”

Google ranks sites according to what their users want. And users want page speed, or they’ll bounce. So if you’re doing SEO, you must optimize for speed to optimize for search.

How Can I Increase Site Speed?

You don’t have to be an SEO expert to improve your load speed and rankings. There are changes you can make in your approach right now. Here’s what works for us and our clients:

  1. Use SEO tools like Google Page Speed Tool to score desktop and mobile versions of your site. Don’t assume one version is fast because the other has a good score.
  2. Clear your cache to see how things load. This is a fresh start for your site.
  3. Use your site. Click around your main pages to check for problems. Make a note of what’s slow, what’s fast, and where there are issues with pictures, videos, or plugins.
  4. Follow your analytics. What specific page loading errors are you getting? Your analytics can point you toward what is causing them.
  5. Fix any broken links or images on your site. Remove what’s irrelevant or damaged and replace it with something that works.
  6. Use SEO tools to measure site uptime and downtime. This data will help you pinpoint strengths and opportunities for improvement.
  7. Check site dashboards frequently for pages that aren’t loading.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but these SEO best practices will lay a strong foundation for faster webpages and better SEO performance.

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