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Search Engine Optimisation – Important factors NOT relating to content

Search Engine Optimisation – Important factors NOT relating to content

Search / Magnifying GlassThere are some really important factors that can also affect your search engine ranking that are not necessarily related to content; one of which is how fast your website loads. Google does indeed take this into consideration and if your website takes a long time to load, it may be a weighing factor that Google’s algorithm takes into account with regards to your website’s search engine rankings.

Site speed and performance.

Making sure your website loads reasonably fast is a very important factor. Every little detail helps – optimising your CSS stylesheets and JavaScript files – in fact, you can compress your CSS stylesheets using free online tools; these tools often remove unnecessary whitespace and tabs which can dramatically reduce the size of your CSS stylesheets. It can definitely save you bandwidth if your website receives a high amount of traffic.

If you have a WordPress blog, you can install a plugin called WP Super Cache, that caches certain code that would otherwise be dynamically generated, which can be an indirect help towards ensuring your website is as fast as possible because it would save the server having to process unnecessary things every time the page is loaded. This is definitely beneficial if you have a high-traffic blog. The areas in which the plugin caches are the areas that you would not update often, such as the right sidebar. You can clear the cache at any time if you have updated the sidebar, but it will clear cache at a specified interval any way.

If you make use of images, use compression software and online tools to compress the image sizes without affecting image quality. On the Mac, there’s ImageOptim, which is a very useful compression utility (which is also completely free) and compresses a variety of file formats, including PNG and JPG. It will compress images without reducing the visible quality of the image. You’d may be surprised at the results. On Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, you can use a software utility called Trimage. On Ubuntu, it is available in the Software Centre.

Country where your website is hosted in.

The country in which your website is hosted in is also a contributing factor to search engine result listings. While you will likely be listed in worldwide result listings, Google will take greater algorithmic importance to websites hosted in the UK for searches on the Google UK search engine. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need web hosting in your own country, but web hosting that is specific to your target audience; whether they are in the UK, US or another part of the world. If most of your visitors are from the UK or you are targeting UK visitors (perhaps as a business;), then your website should be hosted in the UK. While a lot of people do not take into consideration the country in which their website is hosted in, it is something that Google takes into consideration and it is materialistically obvious as well – make a quick Google search on Google UK and Google US – you’ll find slightly different results.

Ben Stones

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