Whether you have just launched a website or have been maintaining one for years, it may be time to perform some website optimization for that site. Website optimization generally refers to the enhancing of web pages and any web content that exists on those pages for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purposes. This blog post will cover the actions a website owner should take toward optimal SEO and provide insight on the available website optimization tools available to yield the best possible results.
FAST LOADING WEB PAGES
The first big factor in SEO is speed. Fast loading web pages are preferred over their slower competitors by both search engines and human website visitors. There are many components that can affect a web page’s loading time, and some are more technical than others. Of the many components that could be slowing down your site, the two most probable are:
- The image file sizes on your website are too big.
- Your video file delivery methods are inefficient.
Before reaching for the delete key to get rid of these components, there are two very simple steps that you can take to improve your website loading speed without compromising the image and video content that you want.
Simple Fix #1 – Image File Sizes Are Too Large
The first and easiest website optimization fix that can be made to speed up a web page is shrinking the file size of the images on that page. The easiest and most inexpensive way to accomplish this is by using a website optimization tool called www.tinypng.com. By visiting the website and simply dragging your image files (.png or .jpg/ .jpeg) where the website directs you to do so, the website will compress those image files while saving the image quality. The tool then returns those images to you for download almost immediately. This process usually shaves off between 30-80% of the image’s original file size. Now that your image is smaller, you can place it on your website without all the extra space and time needed to load the page.
Simple Fix #2 – Delivering Video Files
The next type of content to address is any video that may be on the web page. Videos are typically the largest in terms of file size, which requires a slower loading time and a longer streaming or downloading time.
The best way to quickly and efficiently deliver a video to visitors is to upload your video to YouTube and then embed that YouTube video link on your web page. Other sites like Vimeo are also great for hosting video.
Hosting a video directly from your own site can be tricky. Here are some reasons why:
- The video will not be part of a larger Content Delivery Network (CDN) like YouTube and Vimeo are. A CDN makes high quality media more accessible by making multiple copies and having multiple hosts around the world.
- After uploading, the video is automatically converted and optimized for any platform, device, and streaming quality. This would have to be done manually if deciding to host the video on your own site. This is not an easy task.
Uploading a video to your website through other sites like YouTube and Vimeo is the best route to go. Embedding a video link through one of these sites is far easier and allows for a faster web page for visitors.
Any time new content is being added to your website, make sure that you are always checking to see if your page is running smoothly and quickly.
IMPORTANT OPTIMZATION TOOLS TO HAVE
The first thing to remember when it comes to website optimization tools, whether purchased or free, is that no single tool is the Holy Grail for SEO. Different tools will tell you things about your website, but no single tool has the capability to provide you with all of the changes and fixes that your website may require. Treat website optimization tools as you would a doctor’s or mechanic’s recommendations. Get multiple opinions on your site through multiple optimization tools. After using different tools and seeing what they have to say about your site, you can then proceed with making the necessary changes and fixes to fully enhance your website.
With that being said, here are a few tools that I would recommend to use when performing website optimization checks.
- Google PageSpeed Insights (Free)
- GTMetrix (Free)
- Pingdom Website Speed Test (Free)
- WooRank (Free 14 day Trial)
Optimizing your website from time to time is crucial in order to have a fast loading and user-friendly page for your visitors. It is fairly easy to optimize your site when you have the right tools to help you.
What optimization tool(s) does your company use to keep its website running smoothly? In what ways have optimization tools fixed the problems you were having with your website? Please share below.
CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).