You’re most likely reading this because we’ve sent you one of our Website Performance Reports. (If not, you can request one here). These reports can play an important role in your business because website performance plays a significant role in the success of any online venture, as high performing sites engage and retain users better than poorly performing websites. However, we know that some of the ‘technical jargon’ can be confusing therefore we’ve tried to break it down so it makes a bit more sense. Some of these improvements are things that a developer will need to help you with.
This report grades your website based on the strength of various factors such as On Page Optimisation, Off Page Links, Social and page speed etc.
SEO Engine Optimisation (SEO) Performance
Our report will show how your website is performing in terms of SEO, this includes things like meta-tags, keyword consistency, back-links etc.
What is a title tag?
Title tags are displayed on search engine results pages as the clickable headline, for example:
The optimal length of a title tag is between 10 and 70 characters if it’s too long the search engine may cut it off. Title tags are important because they help search engines understand what your page is about and they are the first impression many people have of your page.
It depends on your CMS on whether you can edit this information yourself.
What is a meta-description tag?
The meta-description tag is the small description under the meta-title. The optimum length is f optimal length between 70 and 320 characters.
The header tag will usually be the title of a post or other emphasized text on the page. It will usually be the largest text that stands out. Each page will have a header tag.
HTML header tags are an important way of signalling to search engines the important content topics of your page, and subsequently the keywords it should rank for.
There are different types of headers. In WordPress, it is easy to find and change text as they will be labelled ‘Heading 1’ etc
Your page content should be focused around particular keywords you would like to rank for. Ideally, these keywords should also be distributed across tags such as the title, meta and header tags.
For example, our keywords would include web design and the locations we cover.
Amount of content
It has been well researched that higher text content volumes are related to better ranking ability in general.
If your page has a low volume of text content, search engines can interpret it as ‘thin content’ and there won’t be as many keywords in your text. However, it’s important not to just put in keywords, it has to make sense too as users will know if you’re just cramming in keywords for SEO.
Image Alt Attributes
If the image cannot be displayed, the required alt attribute specifies an alternate text for an image. The alt text describes what’s on the image and the function of the image on the page.
Google does not read images in the same a human does. It relies on supporting information to tell it what an image is about. See how easy it is to add alt tags on WordPress here:
You can read Google’s guidelines on image publishing here
Number of backlinks
Backlinks are links that are directed towards your website. Backlinks are important for SEO because some search engines, especially Google, will give more credit to websites that have a good number of quality backlinks, and consider those websites more relevant than others in their results pages for a search query.
However, these backlinks need to come from “quality” websites or it could do the opposite to your search rankings.
On-Page Link Structure
Internal links connect your content and give Google an idea of the structure of your website. They can establish a hierarchy on your site, allowing you to give the most important pages and posts more link value than other, less valuable, pages.
If there are dead links on your website, it can stop search engine spiders from crawling your site and, thus, indexing it.
URLs are the first thing Google and sometimes your customers see. They are the building blocks of an effective site hierarchy, directing users to desired destinations on the website. They need to make sense and be relevant to your page and services but easily be human and search engine readable.
An XML sitemap lists a website’s important pages, making sure Google can find and crawl them all, and helping it understand your website structure, reading all your website URLs.
This check visually demonstrates how your page renders on different devices. It is important that your page is optimized for mobile and tablet experiences as today the majority of web traffic comes from these sources
For the most part, Flash has been phased out of modern web design because using Flash can badly affect your SEO. Read this article on all the reasons why Flash is bad for your SEO
You can use iFrames when you want to pull useful content from another website, without it counting as duplicate content.
Legible Font Sizes
Font sizes less than 16px are too small to be legible and require mobile visitors to “pinch to zoom” in order to read thus not providing a good user experience.
You need to make sure that font sizes on your website, for both desktop and mobile are easy to read.
Tap Target Sizing
The links and buttons on your page need to be appropriately sized for a user to easily tap on a touchscreen.
We make sure all our websites provide a good user experience with appropriately sized text and buttons on both mobile and desktop.
Performance is important to ensure a good user experience, and reduced bounce rates (which can also indirectly affect your search engine rankings)
Page Size Info
We recommend minimizing file size as much as possible to optimize load speed.
Number of Resources
This check displays the total number of files that need to be retrieved from web servers to load your page. As a general rule, having more files to retrieve increases the number of server requests and can subsequently increase page load time. It is a good idea to removing unnecessary files or consolidate files like styles and scripts where possible.
With file compression like GZIP, you can reduce the size of your web page files by up to 70%, which equals faster loading time
Properly formatting and compressing images can have a significant impact on page load performance.
Social activity is important for customer communication, brand awareness and as a marketing channel to bring more visitors to your website. We recommend continued use of social campaigns to grow your website traffic.
As you can see, posts are starting to be ranked so sometimes when you search a company their latest tweets will be shown.
Security is important to ensure your website protects user data, doesn’t become compromised or experience downtime or data loss. We recommend ongoing patching and the continuous use of protective monitoring tools.
Validation works to check the HTML code for proper markup; thus making sure that all pages of a website are built in accordance with Web standards. If your website follows these standards, you have a better chance that your website will be able to work on different browsers and different operating systems.
SSL helps to secure the transfer of information on your page and is used as a ranking signal by search engines. Since July 2018, Google Chrome has been marking ‘HTTP’ sites as insecure, which will massively affect search rankings.
Let’s improve your website…
Improving your grade will generally make your website perform better for your customers and rank better in search engines. We understand that not all of these recommendations you can do yourself, that’s why we are here to help you! From SEO, content marketing and coding, we can work together to improve your website performance. Just get in touch on 01225 309690 or firstname.lastname@example.org