So what could be slowing down your website? Unoptimised pages, large images and a slow web host are the most common culprits.
While identifying website speed issues is fairly straightforward, fixing them is not as simple. The first and most obvious step is to choose a professional web hosting provider. If you're using WordPress, the next step is to install a WordPress plugin to increase page performance. This will help with large images and unoptimised pages. And finally, it's worth thinking about using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to increase page load times. A CDN basically takes a copy of your website and delivers it from a closer location to the visitor.
On-site SEO should always be top of mind. As your website grows, remember that good on-site (or technical) SEO is the foundation for any successful SEO strategy.
What should you be checking when it comes to SEO?
There are a number of tools (free and paid) that can help you spot any issues with your on-site SEO. Start with the free Hubspot Website Grader: it scans your website looking for issues related to SEO, and offers solutions. For ongoing help, SEMRush and Moz Site Crawl are paid-for SaaS (Software as a Service) tools that can run regular audits on your website, looking for SEO issues. It's a good plan to make on-site SEO a monthly check that you run on your website.
Do you know which pages people visit most often on your site, what they do once they arrive and how long they stay? Analytics are essential when figuring out which content and products are popular, and how well your marketing campaigns are running.
While we often think of Google Analytics as 'set-and-forget', checking that you've set up your analytics correctly is important so that you get the most accurate representation of visitor activity. To check your analytics, look at the most recent report and see if there are any sharp spikes or dips in key metrics, like sessions (visits) or bounce rate. Use a free tool like Google Tag assist, to test that your Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager installations are working correctly, and make any necessary adjustments.
We all know the future (and the present) is mobile, so having a responsive website is essential. In 2019, 80% of users used a mobile device to search the internet. 80%! If your site isn't easy to browse on a mobile device, you are without a doubt losing visitors. And Google won't rank you as well. Because mobile devices and resolutions change with such speed, it's important to check your website's mobile performance regularly. What worked previously, might not work now.
So how do you test your site's responsiveness?
In 2020, your site should be using a number of security measures. The first and most obvious one is an SSL security certificate (https). This is both for ranking and so that customers have confidence in your website's security. If your website gets hacked, it will have a big impact on your brand: maintaining good website security is a must.
There are a few ways to ensure your site is secure:
A regular website health check is essential to ensure your site is performing at its best - and to help you identify problems before they become a real issue. If you've found this website health check useful, you may even want to do it once a month. Constant small improvements are the most direct path to a high-performing website.