Top Tips for Improving Website Performance
1) Reduce Loading Times
Loading times are important for 2 reasons; a) they affect the user experience and b) they’ve since become a Google rankings factor. There are a number of useful sites that can be used to test your website speed, including Google PageSpeed Insights. Not only does this site display your current performance levels, but it also provides detailed advice on how to improve them. Beyond making onsite improvements to reduce loading times, upgrading your hosting package or switching to a faster web hosting provider, may be necessary to ensure superior performance.
2) Keep Your Plugins Updated
Keeping your plugins updated doesn’t just ensure that you have access to the latest features, it also prevents your site from falling victim to any security flaws.
3) Fix Broken Links
Similar to loading times, broken links affect the user experience and can also potentially damage your search engine rankings if a page that had a sizeable amount of backlinks has since gone missing. To ensure that this never happens, check your site for crawl errors in Google Search Console and use any of the numerous broken link checkers online.
4) Ensure It Works On All Browsers
Don’t miss out on potential customers, simply because one of your site’s features isn’t compatible with a particular browser. Instead, test your site on all of the most popular browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer to ensure that everything functions as it should on each platform.
5) Ensure it Works on All Devices
With more than half of all global internet usage now being attributed to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, it’s more important than ever that you have a website design that is fully functional on both desktop and mobile. Thankfully, all of the most popular content management systems (CMS) are responsive by default, meaning they are able to automatically detect the device that a user is accessing your site from and display a version of the website that is optimised for their display.
To be certain that your site is fully compatible with mobile devices, use the ‘Mobile-Friendly Test’ tool in Google Search Console. In March of 2018, Google introduced their ‘mobile first’ indexing policy, meaning that all web pages are now ranked according to how they perform and display on a mobile device. Any site that isn’t ‘mobile friendly’ is penalised by Google, damaging rankings and causing a subsequent drop in web traffic.
6) Create High-Quality Content On a Regular Basis
Creating high-quality content on a frequent basis has a long list of benefits for your website:
It creates a sense of professionalism and establishes trust in the eyes of visitors, increasing the chances of them doing business with you
It allows your site to rank for additional search terms, increasing traffic to your site and along with it, potential business
New content enables you to boost the exposure and value of existing content, through internal links
Every new content piece, such as a blog post, can be published onto your social media pages, giving you further business exposure and heightened chances of leads and sales
Beyond, written content, it’s important that all visual media is also of a suitably high standard, such as images and videos. All text and visual content serve to reinforce the power of your brand.
7) Ensure Your Site is Backed Up
All of your website data is stored on your web hosting provider’s servers. If these servers malfunction, then all your data can be at risk of being lost for good. All reputable web hosts make regular backups of each site stored on their servers, to avoid such scenarios, but be sure to view their policy on backups to be certain that you won’t be affected, should the worst occur.
8) Use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search Engine Optimisation is essential to ensuring the success of your website and covers an exhaustive list of techniques and strategies, from basic to advanced. One of the easiest ways to improve your website’s exposure in search engines is to optimise each page’s metadata and on-page content. That is the page title, meta description, and headings (H1, H2 etc). It is this title and description that determines the title and description of your web page, when appears in the search engine.
In order to optimise a web page, keyword research must be done. The aim is to find keywords that best match the page that you are optimising. Once you’ve determined what these are, ensure they are present within your on-page copy and in the aforementioned page title and description. This will help your page to rank better for these particular search terms.
Of course, simply including the keywords in your title, description and on your web page, doesn’t guarantee high rankings. This is merely the bare minimum. There are two factors that determine search engine rankings; a) on page content and b) the quality and quantity of backlinks to the page you are attempting to rank.
As a rule, you should look to add no less than around 500 words per page that you wish to rank for, but like everything in SEO, how much is actually required will depend on your competition’s efforts. In other words, if the top ranking page has over 1000 words, with a number of good backlinks, then you’re going to have to better this in order to rank above them.
There are a number of ways in which you can look to attract high-quality backlinks, of which there are many excellent guides available online.
If you need expert advice on improving the performance of your website, get in touch with an experienced Website Design Company.
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