You’ve completed your website and (to you) it looks great. But for some reason, visitors aren’t converting. What could you be doing wrong? Why is my site still not getting visitors? What can I do to get more conversions?
It’s getting increasingly easy for anyone to create a website these days. Shopify, Squarespace, Wix & ConvertWorks have been instrumental in letting small businesses establish an online presence for cheap. Page builders like WB Baker, Divi and Elementor, have done the same for WordPress, allowing people who don’t understand a line of HTML code to create some beautiful layouts without having to deal with any CSS.
But web page builders come at a cost; they pretty much limit you to what you can edit and change. This can help with making sure that you or the intern you hired to create your site on Wix doesn’t mess up the layout too badly. But it also severely limits your options on how you present your content, not to mention how the metadata is presented to the search engine spiders.
We advocate using WordPress with a well-coded theme which isn’t bloated with a lot of unnecessary scripts. Increasingly, even we have started using page builders like Elementor. It saves us a huge chunk of time customizing layouts for clients and with the time savings. We spend just a fraction of it cleaning up the code to ensure fast load times. Take a look at our main SEO agency site for an example of a GLOBALLY fast loading website.
Google has stated time and again that up to 53% of people will abandon loading a website on mobile if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. With 60% of all traffic starting off on mobile. You want to make sure that your site loads fast. With mobile in mind, build your site around these limitations.
- Mobile screen dimensions
- 3G connections
Typically a Divi designed site can upwards of 140 requests and that’s before adding in things like Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, Facebook remarketing pixels or any website chat/intercom system.
The last preflight check you should be doing for your site launches would be to try to get all pages to be at or under the following.
- 80 requests at maximum
- Load under 2 seconds on mobile
- Be under 1mb in total page size.
Testing your website
At WebworthSEO our goto tool is GTMetrix.com it provides a quick actionable report.
For a quick global view of how your site is faring we like performance.sucuri.net
For a more detailed look at individual pages, we use the following tools from time to time
My websites are slow; what can I do?
1. Upgrade Your Hosting
A good host can address many of your issues. Hosting can generally be broken down into 3 categories.
- Shared Hosting
- VPS Hosting
- Dedicated Hosting
The cheapest of the lot, if you signed up for the Domain + Hosting offer from GoDaddy. You’re most likely in a shared hosting environment. This cheaper option can cost you in the long run though, as you’re likely house on the same IP as hundreds of other sites, some of which may or may not host objectionable content. That said there are some shared hosts which do not oversell and overstuff their servers. Two of which are www.thecloudhost.net and SiteGround. They are also the pricier options when it comes to shared hosting, but the service and performance they provide is second to none.
Virtual Private Server Hosting is when a Dedicated server is partitioned into several virtual servers. Some virtualization technologies allow resources to be oversold as well. Not all VPS hosts are created equal. A good VPS host would typically run upwards of US$40 a month, and pricing varies by the resources you need to be allocated to it.
These are generally the fastest of the lot, no other website is sharing the same resources (except for maybe the network), but unless you’re hosting a streaming site, there’s generally no way you’d saturate a 1GBPS or 10GBPS connection. Getting them from GoDaddy would cost you anywhere from US$199 and up each month. But we’ve managed some for our clients at US$109 a month.
2. Optimize Your Images
Most novice web designers make the mistake of uploading the highest resolution images they can find. I’ve done that too back in 2003. But one quickly realises that having a huge image load on a site only to be scaled down to a tenth of the size adds unnecessary weight to the webpage.
First, scale down images to the actual size they will be used when displayed on your webpage. There is no reason to upload a 4000×3000 image when the final image displayed is just 400×300 that’s 99% of data transmitted for nothing.
After that scale down your images. GTMetrix provides optimized images through its optimization engine. You can also use a plugin like ShortPixel, which automates image compression for you.
3. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
While some CDNs are notoriously expensive. We had a client come to us with a US$1,300 monthly bill on AWS CloudFront, which we reduced to US$190 on BunnyCDN monthly.
We are in love with BunnyCDN their Pay as you go plans mean that most smaller sites can benefit from the global networks without having to pay through the nose.
4. Cache your websites
WordPress is a great CMS, but having to retrieve simple content from a database will add additional load time to your website. Always cache content when possible. Caching creates a static version of your site to be served. While you’re at it, reduce unnecessary CSS and js queries.
We use a white-labelled version of Swift Performance and can lock you in at a US$30 a site if you are interested.
Ultimately, Google wants to present sites which give a good user experience to site visitors. If your page takes more than 10 seconds to load, would you think the end user would give uploading the site? On the same note, if the Google Bot had to index two sites, one loading in 1 second, the other in 10 seconds. Which do you think it would rank higher with everything else equal?
tl;dr: Keep websites going fast,