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Your Website In The Fast Lane: Speedy SEO (Part 2)
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Your Website In The Fast Lane: Speedy SEO (Part 2)

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GTMetrix is a third-party website in which you can enter your domain name in-order to get a report on your website. It pulls statistics from a wide range of things and gives you a list of items that …

GTMetrix is a third-party website in which you can enter your domain name in-order to get a report on your website. It pulls statistics from a wide range of things and gives you a list of items that are negatively and positively affecting your website. If you download the report, they give you steps to increase the speed of your website by fixing certain items.

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  • 1. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING SEO Search Engine Optimization encompasses a wide variety of techniques in which your website can be better tracked and displayed by Google (the largest search engine). Through comprehensive management your site can have the largest chance of succeeding. (888) 870-3181 /VASEOExpert www.virginiaseo.org info@virginiaseo.org CONTENT GENERATION /company/virginia-seo With the recent Google algorithm changes, content generation, publishing, and blogging are the keys to ranking a site and driving traffic. Through careful management, your business can reap the benefits of constant content. Social Media Marketing is an important part of any business, large or small. As social media develops, businesses are finding new and innovative ways in which to sell products and attract customers. Can you afford to ignore a possible revenue stream? VIRGINIA SEO
  • 2. Your Website In The Fast Lane: Speedy SEO (Part 2) virginiaseo.org /blog/your-website-in-the-f ast-lane-speed-and-seo-part-2/ Adys Lynn Dill This is Part 2 of a series on speed: https://www.virginiaseo.org/blog/your-website-in-the-f ast- lane-speed-and-seo-part-1 Speed Tools Three well-known tools are: GTMetrix GTMetrix is a third-party website in which you can enter your domain name in-order to get a report on your website. It pulls statistics f rom a wide range of things and gives you a list of items that are negatively and positively af f ecting your website. If you download the report, they give you steps to increase the speed of your website by f ixing certain items. ySlow ySlow is a plug-in that has a browser extension f or most of the major browsers. This extension can run on a webpage and tells you the reasons your webpage is running slow. ySlow is also included in the GTMetrix report so I use this plug-in as more of a spot f ix and use GTMetrix as an overall tool. Google Page Speed Insights Google has a tool called ‘page speed insights’. This also runs a report of your website and gives you items in which you can f ix to increase the speed. Warning! While all of these tools are great and should be run on every website you design or own, they need to be looked at with a grain of salt. When I f irst launch Virginia SEO, I went crazy with optimizing f or these three tools. So much so, that I over optimized and slowed down the user experience. My page speed score was in the 90th percentile, my GTMetrix score was an A and an A-. These are really good scores but when you visually went to my website things were slow. I went in the back-end and backed of f of these tools and instead optimized f or visual speed, which is better in my book. CRM Plugins CRM plug-ins increase the server load. Every plug-in that you install into your content management system takes up a little bit of processing power f rom your server. If you load
  • 3. enough plug-ins into your website, no matter what speed your server is, your website will suf f er. There are various dif f erent types of plug-ins, and depending on how the plug-in is designed, will depend on the load of your server. Big plug-ins such as WordPress SEO, W3 Total Cache, and some social media icon plug-ins will add a signif icant amount of overhead to your website, slowing it down. Small plug-ins like ‘contact f orm plug-ins’ or ‘text editor f orm plug-ins’ or plug-ins that only af f ect the back end of your website, will slow down your website. WordPress Plugin Performance Tool If you use WordPress, there is a plug-in perf ormance tool called ‘P3′. If you download and install this plug-in, you run the scan on your server and it shows you exactly which plug-ins are big and how big they are in order to eliminate some of the more resource sucking ones: https://wordpress.org/plugins/p3-prof iler/ A really great way to eliminate plug-in load is to go through your plug-ins one by one and ask yourself the question, will my site f unction without this plug-in? Well removing this plug-in dramatically decrease the user experience? If you can answer yes and no to those- dump the plugin! Worst case scenario you can usually look f or an alternative plug-in which may f unction with less overhead. Occasionally you will come across a plug-in which has a lot of overhead that you just can’t live without and in those circumstances you will just have to optimize as best you can around that plug-in. WordPress Speed Plugins WordPress of f ers several plug-ins which help you increase the speed of your website based on code. The f irst and f oremost among them is ‘W3 Total Cache’. This is a plug-in that you install on the back-end of your website and conf igure various options such as browser and page caching. In some instances this can greatly enhance the speed of your website. Due to my website conf iguration, this plug-in was actually slowing down my website, and by removing it, it sped things up signif icantly. There are other plug-in such as Jetpack, Better WP Minif y, Async JS and CSS, and 100’s more. You will have to play around with each one to f ind the best combo f or your particular website theme. In most instances just using W3 Total Cache will be enough f or most websites. GTMetrix has a good guide on W3 Total Cache here: http://gtmetrix.com/wordpress- optimization-guide.html Media Media is a big portion of the load speed of your website. Large images and graphics are going to slow things down. There are ways around this both inside of your CRM and outside of it. First of all, when you upload media to your website, you should size it accordingly. Do not upload large images and then resize them with the website. The reason is that every time images load your website, it uses processing power to shrink down the images which increases overhead. If your image placeholder is 300 pixels wide upload a 300 pixel image. A rule of thumb f or images on a page, is no more than 100 kB per page. This means if you total up all of your graphical elements including your logo, tabs, sidebars, photographs, and
  • 4. background- it should not total over 100 K. If it does, you need to shrink stuf f down to make it smaller on your page. There are several ways to do this. The f irst way is to use something called a Sprite. Making a CSS sprite is outside of the scope of this article but if you’re interested go over to CSS tricks and read about it: http://css-tricks.com/css-sprites/ If you have ever downloaded stock photography f or your website, you know that images tend to be large. Especially if you want crisp clean images, they are going to be big and increase the overhead of every page of their own. There are couple of tricks to get around this. First, when you re-size your image using a program like Photoshop, you can lower the quality of your JPEG images. While this of ten reduces the visual quality, it can still be necessary to reduce the load on the webpage. Image Compression TinyPNG There is also a website called tiny PNG. This website lets you drag-and-drop PNG images and perf orms lossy compression on them which greatly reduces f ile size. I do not upload a single PNG that I do not put through this program. JPEGMini This is a comparable tool except f or JPEG’s. I use this tool – the desktop version – on every image that I upload to the web. It usually reduces the f ile size by at least 50%. The loss of quality on compression is barely noticeable. Kraken.io Kraken.io is a third-party website which does the same thing as JPEGmini. The nice thing about Kraken, is it can actually crawl your website and do all of your images f or you without you having to upload or drag-and-drop photos. I believe that this f eature requires a paid subscription, but paid subscriptions start at seven dollars per month which is pretty cheap. You run this tool on your website and it downloads it’s f ile containing your f ile structure and all images and it automatically compresses. I usually run this on a new website that I launch right bef ore I release them to the customer just to ensure that all images are small as it can be. They also have a WordPress plugin. SmushIT SmushIT is a compression protocol which is pretty popular. The nice thing is that they have a WordPress plug-in. If you install this plug-in into your WordPress site, you can then run the SmushIT protocol on all images and your website. This will dramatically reduce the overhead of your website and the f ile size of all images on your website. This is probably the easiest thing f or a non-technical, non- designer to do because it is a simple one-click install and one-click run. I have outlined many dif f erent ways which you can speed up your website. By speeding up your website you’re going to keep Google and other website crawlers happy. You’re also going to enhance the user experience which is what search engine optimization is all about in the end. Happy users equal more conversions! Adys Lynn Dill
  • 5. SEO Consultant at Virginia SEO Adys Lynn Dillis a mother of one and really enjoys spending time with her f amily. Besides taking care of her husband (the other baby), she spends her time doing graphic design as a part of the f amily business. The Dill Design is a local web design company in Virginia, and they specialize in small business websites. Lynn also participates heavily with Virginia SEO, and is head of social media marketing, and a key member of the content generation team. Lynn enjoys social media so much that she is on it more than a normal person should be some days.