How to Optimise your website to improve performance
Optimising your website is an essential step to ensure you are maximising customer experience for your visitors.
Hopefully, your website has been designed to load fast with good web hosting and the design is not littered with too many effects as this can cause pages to load slowly.
I’ve covered some of my favourite WordPress plugins in a previous post, so I’ll be focusing more on web-based services and tools you can use to check your website is as optimised as possible. This will help to give you an edge of your competition.
In this post, I’ll list out 4 top free website optimisation tools you can use to improve your website performance. As always if you’re in Bournemouth, Poole or Dorset I can help you with this so please get in touch with any questions.
GTmetrix Speed is one of the best known and most popular website speed test websites available. It’s also free and easy to use which is great for beginners and professionals alike.
GTmetrix gives a breakdown for various parts of your website including images and css and how fast it loads etc. Once armed with the results you can look to optimise those areas to improve performance. You can check my post on some top WordPress plugins to help with this.
Another notable website speed testing service is Pingdom and this provides a similar service. I use both however, GTmetrix is the one I prefer as it provides more information. You can also sign up for an account and this gives you more options such as testing speed from any server location.
2. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a vital part of monitoring your website. You can sign up for an account if you don’t already have one. Once logged in you can add and verify your website. This involves adding a small file to your server or adding some code to your website header.
You’ll want to add all variations of your website address. Once verified you’ll need to wait for around 24 hours before you start to see any data via the dashboard.
At this point, you can add a sitemap.xml, make sure your website has a robots.txt (if you have a WordPress website) and go ahead and index your pages using the URL inspection option.
As you would expect Google make this process easy and everything here is clearly laid out for you. You’ll also be notified if any of your pages are not responsive and if any pages have errors. You can keep a check of your website analytics via the performance section and this is really useful to track visitors and search terms (similar to Google Analytics).
Once you’ve spent a little bit of time trying out the menu options it’s easy to use and provides a great free way to optimise your website.
3. SEO Site Checkup
Another one of my favourite free tools to use when optimising a website is SEO Site Checkup.
You can add your website address and then get a score for how well your SEO has been completed. You’ll see results for headings, page descriptions, image alt tags and many other parts of your website.
From the results, you can then work on any areas that have been noted as a failed check or area for improvement.
There are quite a few free SEO services like this one, Ubersuggest is another notable tool which also provides options to check your website keywords in more depth. Both tools are fantastic and easy to use, once you’ve invested some time to understand them.
There some other great tools available on the SEO Site Checkup website however, this is the one I use most.
SEMrush offers solutions for SEO, PPC, content, social media and competitive research. This requires creating an account (which is free). SEMush is more advanced than some of the other tools in my list. After you’ve spent some time getting used to using the website it’s fairly straight-forward.
Once you’ve added your website address you can start to use the tools. One of the main great features of SEMrush is the ability to add up to 10 keywords or search terms in position ranking. You can then monitor your position in SERP (Google search results position) for those terms. You can also see any terms where you feature in Google local pack.
SEMrush offer lots of other options for optimising your website such as audits, content recommendations, SEO and link building. I generally just use the position tracking tool here.
You can also check up on your competitors by adding them for comparison. As with most of these tools, you’ll probably receive emails with offers to sign up for a paid account however if you just own one website you’ll only need a free account.
I hope this article will help to get your website optimised! As always, if you’re based in Bournemouth, Poole or Dorset and need help optimising your website then please contact me.
Thanks for reading. Please also check out my article on 5 Top WordPress Plugins to get some more tips on how to optimise and improve your website. Call 07714 795415.