I will in this blog post share technical ways you can improving your website performance, mobile responsiveness, security, and SEO. This will NOT cover the marketing effectiveness of your website, e.g. stickiness, bounce-rate. Use the below as a checklist for improving your website performance, SEO, mobile responsiveness, and security.
- Test your current site speed - e.g https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
- Consider best practices for site speed optimization, e.g. image optimization (resize images, use the correct file format, usage image compression, etc), code optimization (remove any unnecessary spaces, line breaks, and indentation in your code to speed up load times), plugin optimization (while plugins allow you to expand the functionality of your site, they can also expand the complexity that happens behind the scenes with your page load time), browser caching (delivering cached copies of requested content to a site visitors' browser rather than rendering it for every single request), content delivery networks (CDN) (this is an extension of cache optimization that stores content closer to a user's geographic location).
#2: Mobile Readiness
It’s important to optimize your website for mobile to ensure you aren't missing out on valuable traffic, leads, and revenue. Here are our recommended steps:
- Responsive design - Ensure your website has responsive design to provide a consistent experience to your website visitors, while simultaneously optimizing your site for search engine discovery.
- Get expert help - Or at the very least, talk to a designer about the best page design and font types (make sure it is large enough and easy to read)
- Use mobile friendly navigation & Calls-to-Action - use a minimum size of 7mm x 7mm for primary tap targets, and leave a minimum of 5mm of space between tap targets
- Keep code simple - Google recommends compressing or “minifying” your site’s code wherever possible and reorganizing your CSS if it is causing slowdowns.
- Don’t serve unnecessarily large images - always size content to the viewport and ensure you’re serving the proper image sizes for every device.
- Make sure videos can play - when embedding video from YouTube, Vimeo, or another video hosting service, avoid using <object> embeds on pages that you’re optimizing for mobile. Use <iframe> embeds instead, as these will allow for compatibility with a broader ranger of mobile devices/browsers.
- Keep HTTP requests to a minimum - to help keep your pages loading quickly, cut back on on-page elements (like embedded applications) that drive additional HTTP requests
- Keep forms short - To ensure you’re delivering a great mobile experience, keep landing page forms short
Your site has to be easy to discover. Optimize your content for web visitors, then Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will follow. Below is your SEO checklist:
- Focus on 1–2 long-tail keywords per page and include these 1–2 keywords in the title, URL, metadata description, and content.
- Optimize the meta description - The meta description gives searchers information they need to determine whether or not your content is what they're looking for, and ultimately helps them decide if they'll click or not when using a search engine.
- Optimize your images - search engines don't just look for images, but they look for images with alt text. Name your images using descriptive using descriptive words related to the content of the image. Because Google and other search engines have a difficult time understanding the images, use the alt text to describe it in a way that humans would read and understand, similar to how you would choose the filename.
- Use URL structures that help your visitors - Search engines favor web page URLs that make it easier for them and website visitors to understand the content on the page
- Link internally when possible - inbound links to your content help show search engines the validity or relevancy of your content.
SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browser remain private. Using an SSL certificate protects your website from attacks and provides your visitors with the confidence that your site is authentic, which means they might feel safer when entering their contact details. If you have it, your site will receive a higher grading.