Speed of a website – how fast does it load, does it matter?

It matters of course as slow websites aren’t from a site visitors perspective but also Google and the other search engines rank lower for slow sites.

To keep the speed up make sure images are not too big, make them a sensible size, about 800 pals, and compress them – they don’t need to be high resolution for the Internet.

Keep navigation links simple – plain text links are preferred or small compressed images and use a video platform like YouTube to show videos rather than host them yourself.

There are tools to test your site speed that will produce a report like above and guide you how to improve website speed.

Check for ‘Broken Links’ in your website

Broken Link

Housekeeping Tip

I embarrassingly stumbled on a broken link on a customers site today.  It was a text link that allowed site visitors to contact the business to find out more on special offers.  A simple fix that took less than a minute.

Don’t let it happen.  We don’t know how many visitors got to the same link and went to a dead end page – not a good impression and the visitors, more than likely, went away or on to the next thing.

A very simple tip to maximise your website – Do this:

Take some time per week to navigate through your website as if you were a visitor.  Make notes of any broken links (links that don’t go to the correct page or a dead end page as in this example).  Also, note any changes you think that will explain your product and service better and ask your web person to fix it.

Another advantage of having a peaceful hour navigating your website is you know how it navigates, how it works and what content it contains.  Refer to the website in your daily conversations with customers.

Adding search keywords to your website

SEO

Still important to attract your preferred target customers.

Today we populated 100’s of keywords on a clients site – it took a long time but it’s worth it and can be done easily.

Having good descriptive words inside your website tells the search engine what you are all about,  so its a way to say what you do and where you do it.

WordPress offers six ways to talk to search engines, using correctly optimised sections of your website, you can explain ‘what you do and where you do it’.  And you can write the text content once then cut and paste to the following areas: – so it doesn’t take too long.

Here are some tips on how to attract your preferred target customers.

1 – The content of each page. Write really descriptive easy to read content text about each product or service and include keywords.  Example; you sell motorbike helmets, therefore, mention the specific brands you stock along with how long you have been established.

2 – SEO Title. A strong to the point title to say what the page is about.

3 – SEO Tags for each page. Tags can be anything you feel will be useful and helpful to assist your customers to find you.   Using my motorbike shop as an example you could Tag each page with just one or multiple tags.  For example, this would be the brands you carry.

4 – SEO Keywords for each page. This is important – just one word that is key to the content of the page.

5 – SEO Description. Describe the content of the page in about ten words again using the keywords and tags, make sure it’s in a sensible sentence and easy to read.  Don’t just fill this section with keywords – it won’t work.

6 – Categories. This is a double help; its another keyword for the search engines, in addition, you can categorise your pages into – guess what – categories.  This will help visitors and search engines know what you’re all about.
Back to my motorbike shop – this would probably be along the lines of Helmets-road, Helmets – track, Helmets-Trials.  Then Winter Jackets, Gloves, Goggles etc.  The more detailed the better.

I hope this helps.

Updating and guarding against hack when using WordPress

WordPress

Make sure you log into your WordPress site daily.  One reason is that it is beneficial to have an up to date active website for your customers and the search engines. That’s a given.

The other is security.  Out of date plugins and themes expose your site to hackers who will try to access your site to take control.  They can start sending SPAM emails using your server, forward your traffic to illicit websites and sometimes add ‘back door’ to allow these activities at a later date. All this can be embarrassing, costly and time-consuming to rectify.

Some tips to keep your WordPress site safe.

  • Install Wordfence plugin.  This plugin allerts you by email when you, someone else logs into your account, if someone sets up a new user and when plugins need updating.
  • Update your theme and any you are not using as needed.
  • Update the plugins as needed.

The server you use can have a big bearing

Cheap servers dont moniter the server enviroment as well as the more costly ones.  Dont buy purely on price and ask how they moniter and make the server enviroment secure. Two good ones are Go Daddy (although they do charge extra for email addresses) and LCN.