The Anvil SEO team is back to answer more of the internet’s burning questions about the world of Search Engine Optimization. Check out the first SEO Q&A as well as our Local SEO FAQ on the Anvil Media Blog. In this week’s article we will cover the importance of page speed in SEO, the typical timeline for SEO optimization, and learn about the mysterious SERP.
How Important is Page Speed for SEO?
The fast answer is…very important.
The long answer is that page speed has and will continue to play a major role in how your website ranks in search results. The truth of the matter is Google wants to serve as many results to their users as fast as possible. That is how they make their money. Google’s goal is to provide accurate information for a user query, but they make their money off the ads which are usually shown at the top of search results. Google loves a fast website because it means the user can find their answer and move on to the next search quicker. In a quote from 2018, Google highlighted the importance of page speed for both desktop and mobile searches:
Users want to find answers to their questions quickly and data shows that people really care about how quickly their pages load. The Search team announced speed would be a ranking signal for desktop searches in 2010 and as of this month (July 2018), page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches too.
Since 2018, page speed has continued to increase in importance. In the last year Google introduced a set of metrics called Core Web Vitals, which are strongly tied to page speed and user experience. In the end that is what matters: user experience. Much like a store or restaurant, slow service from a website can sour a user on that website for a long time. Even if a user waits for a slow website to load in they are far more likely to leave without interacting with the website. Google’s focus on page speed is not a trend in SEO, any good site should consider page speed in it’s ongoing SEO efforts. Google’s Page Speed Insights is a great resource for information as well as an actual page speed test for your URLs. The insights and opportunities outlined in this report can help your site gain the advantage it needs to speed past your competitors.
How Long does SEO take to Work?
One of the most commonly asked questions in the world of SEO is “How long will it take for our SEO efforts to work?” The hard truth is that there is no one size fits all answer. SEO is not a quick overnight strategy. SEO takes time, and the amount of time it can take varies based on your website’s size, age, brand recognition, level of pre-existing optimization and more. Your SEO time table is also highly dependent on your goals. Are you looking to improve your rankings, sell a certain amount of product, increase overall users, or (more likely) all of the above? Based on how efficient your SEO and development resources are, a website could see some SEO improvements as soon as two to three months. Far more often building an SEO strategy, implementing optimizations, creating content, and improving your ranking takes at least 6 months of dedicated work. This timeline includes phases of research, planning, technical and onsite optimization, content creation, link building, and promotion.
Anvil knows building a SEO strategy is time consuming, let us help your organization optimize your website’s search presence and streamline your timeline to SEO success.
What is SERP in SEO?
The term “SERP” is an acronym for Search Engine Results Page. This is the page that is returned by a search engine after a user submits their search query. In SEO, the name of the game is securing as much space in the SERP as high up on the page as possible. This can be accomplished in several ways including but not limited to:
- Technical website optimization: Ensuring your code, sitemaps, and website design are both functional and fast.
- Content Optimization: The copy on your website should be written and laid out in a clear and concise manner which will allow users on your site to find the answer to the query that led them to your site. Your sites content should be around primary and secondary keywords that are directly related to your niche or area of expertise.
- Structured Data: Using Structured data (also called structured markup) is a great way to inform Google and other search engines about the subject(s) of your pages or the features which live on the page. The goal is to provide as much information to search engines, in a format they can easily understand. The better the search engine understands your page, the better it can serve your result to relevant searches.
- External Optimization: External elements which can help your site to rank higher in a SERP include links pointing to your website, social media presence, content syndication, and citation listings.