Now, more than ever, fine-tuning the speed of your site is crucial. Search engine demands for faster results are a direct correlation to user demands for instant answers. If you can provide the fastest feedback you can rise in the rankings.
Website optimization is nothing new. For years it’s been a smart practice to have your pages load as quickly as possible. We have short attention spans and they are continuing to shorten as time goes on. Now the search engines are adapting to our changing needs and rewarding speed improvements with higher rankings.
Start with a Site Audit
A website audit is the normal starting point for website optimization. You may have an idea that your website is performing poorly or you might have an email from Google indicating an optimization issue. However, without quantifying the problem it’s hard to prescribe a solution.
Planning for Website Optimization
Once you have a list of recommendations to work from, the next step is to determine if any of them are critical to the health of the site. These should be addressed first. Then we’ll typically prioritize the work trying to achieve the most impact for the smallest effort, but also keeping logical groupings in mind. You may want to evaluate the results as you progress through the optimization phases to gauge the inflection point of the effort. Some changes are going to provide a big impact and some are going to provide smaller results.
Keeping Your Website Optimized
After you work through the items that were slowing you down you may think you’re done. Performing routine optimization checks can make a lot of sense. As you’re adding new content or functionality to your site you may be changing how the site behaves. Adding a large background image area can cause problems if you haven’t optimized images appropriately. Additionally, technology is always changing and new tools can create better paths to faster pages. Search engine algorithms are constantly changing as well. What was considered a best practice last month may not be next month.
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