Four Tips to Optimise Your Website
If you are an online seller or website owner optimising your website is very important. If you don’t, you will lose potential customers and rank lower on search engines. An un-optimised website is generally slow to load and to respond which is a huge detractor. Also, websites that are well optimised rank higher on Google due to their algorithms (SEO).
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a collection of methods for configuring your website to be more visible to search engines. If a website is structured and configured to be more visible to search engines the higher up the website will rank on searches.
1) Have a mobile friendly website
A mobile friendly website refers to a website that is optimised to display well on all devices. A good example of this is having images which are different sizes depending on the screen size, a menu that is easy to read on desktop & then converts to an accordion when on mobile is another example. What not to do is have a pop-up that covers the entire screen on a mobile restricting the users view of the actual content. A number of search engines also have transitioned to mobile first indexing meaning that search engines primarily use the mobile version of a website for ranking & indexing preferences.
2) Speed it up
Website speed is vital to gain visitors and improve user engagement. According to Neilpatel 47% of visitors expect websites to load within 2 seconds. Another site says… ‘the average time it takes to fully load a mobile landing page is 22 seconds, but 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load.’ Basically, the faster the website, the happier the user. A fast website also reduces the bounce rate. Here are some trick to speed up your website:
- Choose the right host – cheaper hosts often share servers which means when other website on your shared host are busy your website will slow down considerably.
- Optimise your photos – large photos slow down your website significantly as they take a long time to load. Reduce your file size and the dimensions of the images to suit their location. This results in the images not having to resize every time they are viewed.
- Enable browser caching – browser caching is when the users browser stores the website information so that it doesn’t have to load every time.
- Use an external host for larger files (videos, image, audio ) that take up space on your host. If you store files such as these externally using services like Vimeo, Podbean, YouTube, etc you will save on load time.
- Use a content delivery network (CDN) – These services cache copies of your website on servers all over the world. Users are directed to the closest CDN server which reduces load times.
- Minimise HTTP requests and minify/combine files.
3) Optimise for Search Engines
These days there are many tools that can be used for technical SEO, but some easy things you can do are:
- Have a mobile-friendly website.
- Fix broken links!
- Fix duplicate title tags and meta descriptions.
- Check traffic stats in Google Analytics for your website content. Improve or delete underperforming content. Keep your website up to date.
- Correct and status code errors.
- Check if your site is indexing via Google Search Console. Fix any issues discovered.
- Submit your XML sitemap to Google via Google Search Console.
4) Know what your end user wants