Liz Pratt is the Marketing Communications Manager at SearchPro Systems.
Google’s recent announcement regarding site speed wasn’t a surprise for many in the video SEO community. It has been common sense that a website should be fast and efficient, but now Google will be taking website speed into account when ranking websites in Universal Search. The faster the site speed, the better the site responds to requests. This change to the algorithm also benefits Google, as faster sites will be easier for them to index.
If your website takes a long time to load, you may find that your site begins to slip down the rankings. Although Google claims that less than 1% will be affected by the change, now is a great time to make sure that your website is as efficient as possible in order to maintain the efficiency your VSEO campaign. Google recommends the following tools to measure your site speed.
• Page Speed, which is a Firefox add-on that allows users to get free advice on how to improve the Web site loading time.
• YSlow, a free tool from Yahoo! that suggests ideas for making your Web site faster.
• WebPagetest, which offers data on site load performance.
• Webmaster Tools, which shows your site’s speed performance data.
The major factors in Google’s algorithm remain relevancy of content to the query, the number and relevance of in-bound links, reputation, and unique, valuable content. These factors still carry more weight in the algorithm than site speed, so the core of your video SEO strategy remains intact. However, it is always a good idea to make things as easy for your viewers as possible, as any delay could cause someone to move on to another site.
Take a look at whether you post or host your VSEO content. Are you doing it in a way that best serves your target audience? Which option will be faster and more efficient for you? Should you embed on your own page, or post it elsewhere? Other factors to consider include your host, your publishing platform, the quality of images on your site, plug-ins or flash animations, or any other feature that would slow your initial load time (and ultimately affect your Universal Search ranking.)
If you do find that your Web site loads slowly, you should work to resolve the problems. Here are some points to consider when analyzing your website:
• Minimize HTTP requests & DNS lookups
• Maximize Parallel Downloads
• Combine Stylesheets to under 3 if possible – remove excessive CSS coding
• Ensure that your images have dimensions labeled
• Compress images
The important thing to remember is that site speed is one small part of your overall VSEO strategy. If you have strong content and have developed a positive reputation, you’re on your way to getting to the top of that Universal Search page. Why let something as small as site speed slow you down?
SearchPro Systems is a leading New England based national digital marketing firm offering complete end to end Universal Search Marketing solutions, specializing in Video SEO.