Issues Affecting Website Performance (and how to fix them)
Increase your site’s speed to improve performance
We all know too well that one of the main issues that can hinder a site’s performance is the page load speed. Page speed has become a ranking factor used by Google for both mobile and desktop searches. Slow loading pages have a high bounce rate and increasing your site speed is one of the best ways to improve the overall site performance.
This article is based on a research done by SEMrush on factors that affect website performance. The study featured 150,000 random websites which were analyzed to determine how well they performed. One of the shocking outcomes of the study is how most of the analyzed sites (precisely 82%) were found to have serious performance issues. However, a majority of those issues that hindered the site’s performance could be fixed using very simple site optimization and server configuration techniques.
Major issues found on analyzed websites
There are several issues that were found to have a negative impact on site performance. They include:
• Slow loading web pages
• Uncompressed pages
• Large HTML page size
• Too many redirects
Addressing common bsite performance issues
One of the issues that was very common on analyzed websites is redirect chains and loops. Do not test your user’s patience by having so many redirects on your website. Avoid redirect chains which could also confuse search engine crawlers. With each redirect, your page loses its original rank and because search engines have a limited crawling budget, this will ultimately undermine the page’s ranking.
Keeping your website structure clean gets harder and harder when your site grows. It’s easy for you to have so many redirects when your site is migrated to HTTPS or renamed. Just try and implement redirects only when it’s necessary. Remember that with each redirect, you create an unnecessary delay before the user gets to the destination page.
Put your page on a diet
Sounds cheesy, doesn’t it? But if you want to optimize your page performance try and avoid having heavy pages on your site or large JS and CSS files. In fact, your entire site shouldn’t be larger than 2MB. Anything larger than that is considered heavy and will hinder the site load speed. Don’t crowd your pages with too many visuals (images and videos). These two will take up the largest part of your site, therefore, try and get rid of anything unnecessary. Remember, less is more.
Minify your JS and CSS
This can simply be done by getting rid of any unnecessary lines, comments from source code among other stuff. When you reduce the size of these files, you’ll enhance the site load speed, give users a better experience and improve your search rankings.
Fix server issues
One factor that could significantly affect site load speed is its server. If the web server is not efficient, the web pages will take time to load. This means you need to ensure that your hosting service is top notch. You may have the best SEO Toronto but if you maintain the same inefficient hosting provider, your rankings will not improve. You may also get your own dedicated server if you can afford it.
Mobile websites need a very reliable server because most of their users are on the go and need a site that doesn’t take too long to load. In fact, by taking steps to improve your site load speed, you could increase your revenue. You may also want to check issues such as slow database queries that could be slowing down your server response time.
Understand Your KPI & Evaluate Data to Drive Performance
Toronto SEO Services
Before acquiring Toronto SEO services, it’s important to have your goals outlined, both in the short-term and long-term. That way, the company you work with will be able to help you determine your key performance indicators for measuring success.
What are key point indicators?
KPIs are business metrics used to determine and evaluate factors that are essential to the success of a business. These indicators differ from one organization to the next. Examples of business KPIs include customer loyalty metrics, net revenue, click-through rates, conversion rates, etc…
The data you gather from the indicators will help you determine whether your current strategy is working or not. Having this information enables you to make better decisions for your company that are relative to your goals.
What types of KPIs are typical in business?
– Lagging indicator: this tells you how the organization has performed in the past regarding revenue, margin, cost, etc. This type of KPI is typically related to finances.
– Leading indicator: this is a performance indicator that can be used to evaluate current performance and to predict likely future performance scenarios, involving market shares, number of returns, etc.
How do KPIs relate to SEO?
The idea behind search engine optimization is to drive qualified traffic to your site for the purpose of purchasing products or paying for services. It’s also a great way to build your brand. The data that measures the key performance attributes includes visits, conversions, and revenue.
What if there is an issue?
When there is a problem with any of the aforementioned SEO performance attributes, you must identify the exact issue and fix it. For example, if your goal is to meet or exceed 20% organic search revenue growth each month, and the KPIs show that your goal has been met every single month except for the very last one, then something must have happened right before or during the last month.
In order to identify the issue, the following questions should be answered:
– Is the organic traffic down?
– Do the keywords I’ve been using have lower rankings now?
– Is the revenue decrease limited to organic search, or are other marketing channels impacted similarly as well?
– Is the performance problem specific to a particular set of landing pages?
– Has there been a change with my back-links? Do the sites linking back to me have lower credibility?
– Could any of the content, platform, or technical changes I’ve made in the past month be causing the problem?
– Has there been any algorithm updates from Google or Bing in the past month?
You should consider traffic and compare it to conversion rates. If traffic has been the same, or even higher, yet the conversion rate has decreased, then the problem lies somewhere between the visitation and conversion. Consider the changes you have made and whether or not they could be affecting the conversion.
Now, if traffic rates and conversion rates are both down, then it’s reasonable to conclude that the decreased conversions are caused by the decrease in traffic. You then must identify the cause of the decreased traffic, whether it’s related to keywords, search trends, PPC rates, etc.
It’s ideal that you work with a reputable Toronto SEO services provider so that they can help you identify and measure your key point indicators. Understanding the data will help increase performance in your business.