Having spent a lot of time and money getting your new website live, the last thing that you want to find out is that it’s potentially struggling in the search results because it’s too slow or there’s important information missing – the website optimisation may not have been done.
Websites are complicated projects and in the haste to get new ones live, it’s easy to overlook some of the smaller details (website optimisation) that can make a huge difference to the success of your site.
The easiest way of checking your website is to use some of Google’s website optimization tools such as Page Speed Insights. These tools will give your site a ‘score’ out of 100 and suggestions of how best to fix problems.
We can pretty much guarantee that you’ll find the following issues:
This basically means that your site has to load additional resources before the browser can render the page. This means it takes longer to load the page.
Your images will be too big. They are always too big. It’s important to bear in mind here that Google renders the page at around 800px wide, so if you’ve large images in place for larger browsers, it will trigger this alert.
Another common alert – your server took too long to respond. Shared and cheap hosting accounts will always have this problem as the load on the servers is high.
Your site is using scripts or other stuff that the visitors’ browser cannot cache (store locally to load quicker on the next visit). There’s not much you can do about this one. Do you use Google Analytics? That script can’t be cached and it’s Googles own!
Not all servers will deliver compressed files to the visitors’ browser – in some cases, this needs to be switched on for your website.
Does your site serve up minified versions of your HTML and CSS? Minification basically means the removal of all blank spaces in your files making them one long string of text. One space equals one byte and 1024 bytes equals 1k. This means that 2000 ‘spaces’ in your code bulk your file size by 2 kilobytes.
Boring, but when your best trick to jump in the search is site speed, these things make a difference.
So Google is great at telling you what’s wrong with your site, but it’s not so great at telling you how to fix things.
Depending on how your site is built, there are easy fixes and more complicated ones.
WordPress sites have the option of using plugins to fix problems, but they need to be used sparingly and with care.
You’ll often find that whilst it’s easy to compress and minify your code, it can break your site – website optimisation is rarely sorted in a few simple clicks.
The good news is that many of Google’s alerts can be fixed relatively easily. Image sizes, for example, can just be a case of removing images that are too large and replacing them with smaller ones.
There are tools for minification and compression, and server response times can easily be rectified by moving your site to a better host.
We use Googles tools, as well as several other ‘paid for’ website analysis tools to do a full scan of your site.
This gives us (and you) an objective report on what needs sorting.
From here we can decide what we’re going to do, the best website optimisation approach and what you can do yourself (saving money on our fees).
We’ll examine your site build, theme and plugins (if you’re on WordPress) and suggest the best route of action together with a fixed cost to correct everything.
The web moves quickly. Things change fast and what was ok yesterday is no longer ok today.
If you’ve got admin access to your site, you (or your team) may also have made changes that adversely affect the site (it’s not always the agencies fault).
It’s important to remember that your site is subject to ever-changing Google algorithms and technology – a website project is not something you can set-and-forget – you’ve got to continually improve it and keep an eye on it.
Our website optimization services will take care of all the complicated stuff for you – and the best thing is that you can check the results for yourself – simply be running your site through the same free optimisation tests and seeing the results.
We also offer weekly monitoring of your websites ‘health’ and can send you an automated report every week so you can address and stay on top of any problems.
Just like your car, your website needs an annual service and regular check-ups to make sure it’s functioning properly.
Given how competitive placement in the search has now become, don’t spend any money on SEO before you get your site fully optimised – you could be throwing money away without website performance optimization.