Talha Abbas

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) for SEO

  • SEO
  • May 18, 2021


One of the most difficult tasks an SEO professional has is telling your company or client their site is slow and clunky – and worse, that the content they spent so much time and money on is the problem. This is where a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can help. If you’re investing in creating high-quality content, you should probably also reconsider how you manage your digital assets and invest in a CDN. In this column, you’ll learn what to look for in a CDN, how much using a CDN may cost, and common implementation issues to watch out for.

What Can a CDN Do for Your Business?

The way images and video are integrated (or not) into the ecosystem of the website can make or break its performance. That goes for stock photography, shot and styled photos, video, HTML/JavaScript/CSS files, product and e-commerce photo libraries, audio-only files, and carefully crafted graphic designs alike. Think of CDNs like an EZ-Pass. CDNs essentially act as a multiple-path traffic intersection where different internet providers and servers can connect and provide each other with access to the website traffic coming from each source.

How CDNs Support Organizational SEO Goals?

CDNs have become an industry standard (particularly in enterprise SEO) and are only becoming more valuable as content marketing investments increase. Any SEO professional worth their salt can tell you that speed is an incredibly important factor in both improving website rankings and overall page and user experience. It’s not exactly a secret that Google places great value on-page experience. As an organization, it has taken great efforts to incentivize efficient web rendering and cause minimal user disruptions. Nearly every (publicly discussed, anyway) Google algorithm update in the last several years has included elements for improving page experience, speed, and content delivery.

How Much Does Using a CDN Cost?

Like all marketing solutions, there is a lot of variability in cost. The bigger the ask in terms of content load, the more expensive the solution. This is why CDNs may not make sense for super small websites; it’s easier to manually optimize each image or asset and save the cost. However, for medium to enterprise-level sites, content generation and sprawl quickly make manual optimization and curation an inefficient way to manage and deliver content across web properties. Though it may be more costly in actual dollars than doing it yourself, the work A) actually gets done and B) doesn’t cost you sales and leads due to slow server response time and a frustrating user experience.