Reducing HTTP Requests – SEO Impact

What does reducing HTTP requests mean?

This essentially means to lower the amount of images and scripts on a webpage. Take a look at any example page and you will find a collection of images, CSS styles and Javascript functions. Each of these may need a HTTP request to display properly and this can slow down how fast a web page loads. The SEO best practice is to keep HTTP Requests to around or ideally below 20. This will help to ensure that the page loads fast enough to keep the users and the search engines happy. There are quite a few methods that can help to achieve this, that improve website speed along with ultimately helping to establish a higher user experience and search ranking.

How to reduce HTTP requests?

Creating light weight web pages is the most important factor that should be implemented in the design stages of the site construction. This can be accomplished by using fewer images, javascript and CSS functions on each page. Creating separate pages for content is another great way to reduce http requests.

Combining files is a really successful way to reduce requests. Let’s say a page has three javascript files, they can be combined into one file and simply updated in the HTML to call on the one combined file instead of three.

CSS image sprites also work by combining multiple files into one single file. This makes sense for the certain types, for example: the images used in the background. Images that are relevant to the content should not be combined as they are needed to improve the find-ability within the search results via the titles, ALT text, captions and file names.

Use plugins that automatically reduce HTTP requests, is another successful method that will work great on Content Management Systems (CMS) including WordPress. It’s recommended to test a CMS and it’s themes before site construction begins to ensure that control of the requests is manageable.

How will reducing HTTP request Improve SEO?

A fast loading website will equal a happy user, more traffic and improved conversions. They can also produce more efficient crawl speeds by the search engines, which can reduce the server loads and improve site indexing. To improve the search visibility and find-ability of a website, there are many factor that need to work together successfully to create a site that is user and search engine friendly. Reducing HTTP requests will certainly help to achieve this along with the many other important ranking signals explained on WEB SWIFT SEO.