What Is a CDN and How Can It Help Improve Website Speed?

Website speed affects every metric that is relevant to your online business. Whether you’re looking at bounce rate, conversions, or search engine rankings, it’s crucial that your site loads as quickly as possible. Content Delivery Networks can help you do that.

Does Speed Really Affect Rankings?

The answer is a resounding yes. Speed is an important ranking factor.

Google in particular cares about site speed. In April 2010 the search engine giant made an official announcement declaring site load time as a new metric for site rankings. So why is speed so important to Google?

Neil Patel at Quicksprout sums it up perfectly. “(Google) saw a trend, in which when they ranked slow websites, you would use Google less”. In other words, Google will not rank your site if it’s slow to load as it will affect their bottom line.

Now that you’re convinced (you should be), you’re probably asking yourself how you can improve load times easily and without heavy investment. The answer is a CDN.

What Is a CDN?

Content Delivery Networks are, simply speaking, networks of servers that are dotted around the globe. They can be used to serve your website’s content, images and videos according to the location of your visitor.

How does this help your site speed?

The basic idea is that the further away a server is from a user, the slower the site will load. If you run your site on a single server, there is a chance that a large proportion of site visitors will notice a slight lag.

Content Deliver Networks solve this problem by ensuring your visitor is served from the closest server to their location. This ensures that each individual user is given the best possible load times.

There are countless CDN companies out there that will allow you to set up an account in minutes. They are not too expensive either. If you run a content management system, there are companies that specialize in running WordPress for example.

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