Tallon - 1:26 pm on May 21, 2011 (gmt 0)
I reduced the load time as much as I could on the server side of things and then went after the "bling" on my site such as:
--reduced image sizes where there were large pics above the fold
--reduced amount of images per page
What happened? My bounce rate increased and time on site and page views/visitor decreased! lol! In my niche, they like lotsa pics and want them big & glossy I guess.
Then, I swore I'd never do it, but after panda 2.0 I slathered my site in facebook like codes and twitter codes and have their respective counts displayed. Talk about chewing up page load times! And the last thing I want to do is promote facebook but I now wish I had started at least a year ago. Twitter is iffy, I might pull it because it just doesn't seem to do much and my target market really doesn't seem to be there (though companies and bloggers and webmasters after that same market are definitely piled high in twitter).
Bottom line for me is I'm in high gear atm building as many baskets of eggs AWAY from google as possible and doing whatever I can to increase visitor retention rates. Even if that means my page load time takes a hit, even if that slow page speed translates into another google algo hit. It's no matter, diversify traffic like crazy while I can and bling up the place as much as my visitors respond to.
What's now happening:
--My new subscriber rate has doubled (I was doing 4 digits a month before).
--Facebook is now in the top 10 for referrals (still don't have a fan page).
--Healthy jump in visitor time on site and page views/visitor
--My page load speed is now at an all time high (8 seconds the last time I checked in webmaster tools)
No matter, test and watch, test and watch. It's what my visitors want and how they respond that matters. I'm focused on building a brand and a following btw, not a google landing page so ymvw.