As of 2010 Google is starting to apply a fair amount of weight to page load time. Google is making this a factor for a simple reason, if your page takes forever to load people aren’t going to wait and ultimately will close your site and move on to the next one.

Here are some things you can do to speed up your site:

-Combine all external Javascript (this may not be possible for some, but combine as much as possible).

-Specify image dimensions on all images. This way the browser doesn’t have to figure it out.

-Validate your website so crawlers don’t get confused with css/html errors.

-Don’t make references to external files/images

-Download the Firebug Firefox extension and install the Page Speed app. This will tell you everything you need to know about how to make your pages load faster.

I would recommend starting with the home page and then working your way back to your most important pages (use Google Analytics and look at the top content report. Work your way down from there).

While optimizing your pages load time won’t be responsible for getting you on the first page, it’s one of many things that will help. It’s also great for your users who are on slower connections.

Search Engine Optimization or SEO isn’t just doing one thing right, it’s doing a bunch of things right that makes the difference. Incorporating a beautiful website design and a good SEO campaign will take your website to the next level.

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