Ways to Speed Up Website Loading Times

Website loading times have a huge impact on your ranking in search. So, it’s one of the most important issues to address for SEO. There are quite a few quick wins that will make your website faster. And a lot of them are free or incredibly cheap to implement. We’ll discuss ways to speed up website loading times including:

  1. Using image compression to reduce file sizes.
  2. Employing lazy loading to reduce the bandwidth burden.
  3. Applying minify to streamline code on your website.
  4. Using browser caching to make repeat visits faster.

Image Compression

Images are some of the most bandwidth-heavy elements on any website. So, you’ll gain a lot of benefit from making these files as small as you can without losing detail. WordPress has a host of free or cheap image compression options available. You simply install and activate the plugin, then chose the level of compression and let it run. Remember that the number of pictures you have makes a difference too, so try to group images together if you can for fewer requests. That way, it is trying to load only one large image instead of 6 small images.

Lazy Loading

Lazy loading does what it says on the tin. When you install a lazy loader, your images and text will only appear for the viewable screen. That means, if someone hasn’t started scrolling down the page, the content isn’t being retrieved. Because nothing is loading unless it’s needed, site speed goes way up. Enabling lazy load is easy for WordPress and most other platforms since it’s core to modern design. If you have an older website, it’s a great idea to check that it’s activated for better load times. Your website administrator can help you with this.

Minify

When you minify code, what you’re actually doing is getting rid of any unnecessary comments, punctuation or pointless characters within the script. Similar to lazy load and image compression, some WordPress plugins offer this with an all-in-one tool. You’ll need to minify all the code on your site including Java, CSS and HTML to see the most benefit. Once the erroneous characters are removed, your site will perform better and load faster. That’s because it’s not having to read as much data to deliver the page. In this case, less is more.

Caching

Caching is like memory. Your visitor’s browser can store all the info it needs about your website and save it for later. That way, on repeat visits, they don’t need to load everything from scratch. You can set the limits on how long you want the data stored. And best practice suggests a year is a great refresh period. If you need more info about how to implement caching, check out Google’s advice.

 

As we said before, page loading times are extremely important to your search engine ranking, so improving it is critical. We hope these tips helped and if you need more, check out our previous article on SEO.

Yes! Keywords Matter for SEO

Why Keywords Matter for SEO

Search engines don’t actually speak human language. That’s probably something you already knew. But even knowing that, I doubt you’ve put much thought into your page keywords and metadata. The sad thing is, that’s what the search engine’s robots use to ‘read’ your website. It’s those words that determine your rank on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

That doesn’t mean you should pick one keyword and run with it. First off, your website plugins like Yoast SEO will flag you for days if you do that. Secondly, the crawlers will destroy your score for keyword stuffing or overuse. What you need to do is identify the keyword groups that are relevant to your page. Start with your main keyword and then use Google Keyword Planner to identify tangential keywords.

types of keywords

Different Types of Keywords

Short Tail – Less than three words, very basic and high traffic

Long Tail – More than three words, very specific and low traffic.

Why would you ever want low traffic keywords? Well, if you choose them right, they are high conversion words. If your site specialises in kids toys for toddlers, you don’t want to rank for all kids toys. You just want traffic for people interested in toddler toys. Longtail keywords can help you get the specific traffic you need. A keyword grouping of longtail keywords for this fake brand might be something like, “colourful toys for toddler boys” “girls playset toys for toddlers” “maths learning toys for toddlers” “cheap toy gifts for toddlers” and so on. Once again, using the keyword planner will help you, but you need to think about your customer. Think about what they are likely to buy from you.

keyword tools

Tools to Help You Improve Your Keyword Usage

First, it’s a great idea to scan your website and the websites of your competitors. You can use Ubersuggest to do this. This will tell you what they are ranking for versus what you are. If your website seems way off the mark, consider changing your keyword strategy. The tool will also tell you if any of your pages are broken and how fast it’s loading. It’s a pretty useful bookmark to have.

Next, if you’re going to run ads, check out WordStream. They show you the volumes and CPC for keywords related to your site or a competitors site. And they’re pretty localised. This is pretty useful if you serve a regional area. Another great tool for locally operating companies is this one. The bulk keyword generator is also excellent at local keywords if that’s your niche.

Lastly, check out Google Trends. We ran a search for kids toys to see what related topics and search terms are associated. And you get this info:

Related Searches: top kids toys for christmas 2019, top toys for kids this christmas, kindi kids toys, best kids toys christmas 2019, top kids toys 2019

Related Topics: Irrigation sprinkler, Backyard, Climbing – Sport, Trampoline – Topic, Playground slide – Topic

You can download these results to build into a workable list. Think about writing blogs on related topics and searches to encourage people to visit your page. Maybe they’ll shop around!

Need help with any of this? Talk to our amazing team today.

Choosing Web Hosting for Remote Working Operations

Find the right type of web hosting for remote working teams

With the new normal taking shape each day, remote working looks like it is here to stay. Remote teams still need to adhere to the same rigours and legal requirements while away from the office when it comes to data security, cybersecurity and access controls. Web hosting for remote working is often not considered until it’s too late and you’re facing a crisis.

Why should your web hosting service matter, exactly? Well, it all comes down to security and traffic levels. We’ll break down the common types of web hosting and remote working implications of each to make the choice a simpler one.

Shared Web Hosting

Shared Web Hosting

Shared hosting does what it says on the tin. Several domains are hosted in the same servers and they all share RAM (Random Access Memory) and CPU (Central Processing Unit) resources. Because it’s shared, it’s cheaper. Often making websites an affordable option for sole-traders or small businesses. However, that affordability does mean that resources can become strained if your ‘server neighbours’ experience high traffic volumes.

Remote Working Verdict: Best for small operations with low traffic, high risk of vulnerability.

Virtual Private Server VPS

Virtual Private Server (VPS)

A step up from shared hosting, a VPS gives you some dedicated space on a shared server. It’s a great option for SMEs who don’t have a lot of technical expertise. It offers more storage and more security than standard shared hosting. However, it doesn’t fix the problem of traffic impacts on server stability. We only recommend them for low to medium traffic websites like a B2B service provider.

Remote Working Verdict: Good for SMEs with low to medium web traffic levels, medium risk of vulnerability.

Dedicated Server

Dedicated Server Hosting

A dedicated server is very secure and can host high levels of traffic due to a lack of shared resources. The downside is that these require a fair bit of technical know-how to maintain and operate. If you need total control and space to scale, dedicated servers make sense for the cost. They aren’t cheap though. You’ll want to look into managed hosting if you don’t have an internal IT team.

Remote Working Verdict: Good for large businesses with high traffic needs, low risk of vulnerability.

Colocation

Colocation

If you have your own servers, you don’t need to maintain a physical presence to store them. By simply renting racks and cabinets, you can run your own end to end infrastructure for a fully-remote operation and have complete control over your servers at all times. You’ll need technical expertise in the team or managed hosting services to manage and run a co-located service, however.

Remote Working Verdict: Good for medium to large businesses with no physical offices, low risk of vulnerability.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud Hosting

A cloud hosting service uses many computers working together to run programs across multiple servers without much real risk of downtime due to the scalable nature of the platform. It has increased in popularity in recent years for businesses of all sizes. The web host can activate additional resources to account for traffic spikes and prevent downtime which offers better stability.

Remote Working Verdict: Good for businesses of any size, low risk of vulnerability.

Hopefully, we’ve helped answer some of your questions about web hosting, but if you want to know more, just reach out to one of our knowledgeable team members here.