Month: February 2016

Why You Should Care About Page-Speed

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The loading speed of your website is one of the most important factors Google considers while ranking. Although this wasn’t so a couple years ago, the significance of site speed (how quickly your website loads in your browser or mobile device) has been growing rapidly with time. A slow website would mean slower crawling rate and hence the speed at which Google will index the pages of your site will also be slow. Research shows that people don’t like to read on slow sites or even buy from them. It is a faster website that enhances the user experience. Therefore, if you want to boost traffic to your website in an organic way and reach higher rankings, you will have to increase the speed of your pages load on your website. A fast site is a user friendly site.

Site Speed Tools

First thing you need to do before you increase the speed of your site is check its speed using one of the site speed tools below. Checking from different locations might give you different results, which is why all speed tools may not give you identical results. Therefore, it is better to try out a couple of the tools given below, without relying on just one of them.

Google Page Speed Insights

This tool helps you to measure the performance of your website on desktop devices as well as mobile devices. A PageSpeed score of 85 or more should tell you that your page has been performing extremely well. Since network connection affects the site speed, this tool tests only those aspects of your page that are network-independent namely the server configuration, JavaScript, CSS and the HTML structure of your page. If you have a low scoring site it will show up in red. To get in the orange color.

Pingdom Tools

Apart from providing you with the load time of your website, Pingdom also gives you a performance grade that it calculates based on various factors. It monitors your website continuously, checking its speed, uptime and performance at a nominal charge per month.

Yslow

This is a free tool that you can use to find out the performance grade of any website that you may visit. It has about twenty performance grades that it uses to rate websites. Also, you can even take advantage of some free advice on how to improve the performance and speed of your website. You will love the way this tool breaks down the details.

WebPageTest

WebPagetest gives you the load time of your website and also grades it based on its performance. There are about six different performance grades it gives based on a variety of factors. It also gives you a few suggested changes that you can work on in order to improve the speed of your website. The option to select the country from which you want to run your test makes it easier to find out how your website performs in different places of the world.

Once you test your websites on all these tools, you will be able to get a complete overview of the way in which your site performs.

Plugins for site Speed

One more way to speed up your site is to install a caching plugin. A few good ones below include:

WP Super Cache

This is an excellent plugin which does exactly what it is supposed to do – cache your site.

WP Rocket

This provides a solution to increase the speed of your site minus risks and hassles. Although this is a better plugin, you have to pay for this as against WP Super Cache that comes absolutely free.

W3 Total Cache

This is also a good plugin to cache your site and increase its speed. However, it may not work for everyone. This is the top of the line tool and has may options. To many for the less experienced but once nicely tuned in will make your site load very quickly. It is capable of improving a score from 50 a 80 or more.

Suggestions to improve Site Speed

Apart from using a site speed tool and installing a caching plugin, there are many other things that you can do to increase the speed of your website. These include:

  • Moving to another hosting service (You get what you pay for)
  • Minifying JavaScript and CSS(This takes some experience so be careful)
  • Optimizing the images on your site (oversized images are extremely bad for load speed)
  • Minimizing HTTP requests (Less files is faster)
  • Enabling the option to compress your web page (Browser caching and server caching)
  • Using a CDN (Cloud Flare is very easy to setup)
  • Optimizing your CSS delivery (This takes some experience so be careful)

Doing a bit of research might help you come up with many other solutions to increase the speed of your website. Although this might take a bit of your time and efforts it is very much worthwhile to hire a professional.

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UX factors that Can Influence the Visibility of Your Website

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User Experience or UX is the main thing that comes into our mind when we decide to start a website. You may have been doing loads of testing and making changes in the design every now and then but unless your website manages to secure some ranking in some competitive keywords, it is of no use. This is possible only if you provide a quality user experience through your website.

Now the very idea may sound a bit strange as most people still believe that there is no relation between the UX part of a website and its rankings. But things have changed lately. Search Engines more particularly Google is now treating signals like UX, Time Spent on A Page; bounce rate etc to judge the quality of a website and therefore, it has become imperative for web designers to give more attention to the UX part of the design.

You may use the services of a professional web designer if you want to achieve effective results. You may find lots of web designing services in Pasadena too, by running an online search on “Pasadena web design.” Nevertheless, there are many tools and templates out there that can help you in designing your website all by yourself.

It may not be too difficult to gain a top ranking in the Search Engine Result pages if you employ a few tried and tested SEO techniques. However, if you want to maintain your ranking for a long time to come, User Experience or UX is one thing you must focus on. Better ranking will mean increase in your visibility and a remarkable boost to your sales. The main UX factors you need to focus on include:

Page Loading Speed

UX or User experience begins the moment a user clicks on the link to your website. If it takes too much time to load, the user will just close it and go on to the next link on the SERP (Search Engine Result Page). In fact as per a study conducted by Kiss metrics, the ideal loading time for a website is three seconds and every second after this might cost you a reduction of 7% in your sales. A page that loads faster will create a good impression in the minds of the users, while improving your SEO rankings. You can check your page speed by using the Page Speed Insights Tool of Google.

Intuitive Site Organization

Not only should your website load fast, it should also help users access the various sections in a faster and an easier way. You need to design your Menus and Submenus effectively. You can have about 4 to 6 categories and then add on an “About Us” and a “Contact Us” page to help users understand your brand and reach out to you. Your visitors should be able to find things on your website easily and it shouldn’t take them more than one or two clicks to reach the correct section. One more thing you could do is put up internal links to help users pursue the topics or find posts easily and quickly. This will not only lower your bounce rates, but also increase your click-through rates and conversions.

Mobile Responsiveness

This is the main thing users look for today as maximum users use their smart phones to access websites. You need to make sure your website looks good and readable on all kinds of devices. You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool to check if your website is mobile-responsive. If you get a negative result you need not give up. There are many mobile-responsive themes out there that can fix your problem. If you are a web developer, you could use the CSS3 Media queries to make your website mobile-responsive.

You need not worry about going to an SEO specialist to improve the ranking of your website. Concentrate on enhancing UX and you will be right there where you want to be.