Investing in website speed: something we can all do

For the rest of this week, let’s look at a few projects we can resolve to undertake this year to improve our online marketing. I’m going to start with website speed, because that’s something which is only going to become more important in 2017. We’ll use Google PageSpeed Insights to rate our site’s performance; this gives us a score from 0 to 100, and checks for ways we can improve the time it takes to load pages. Not only will a faster site retain more visitors, but it can also give us better rankings in the Google results. Both of these should be of critical importance to us all.

So, how are we doing? Google reckons we should try to get a score of 85%, so if your site hits that mark, give yourself (and your website hosts) a pat on the back. Don’t spend any time or money trying to get higher than that.

If, like us (above), you still have some work to do, you’ll need to call in the IT folks. Now, you’re going to be out of luck here if your website is with a cheap hosting company who provides only basic support, and if the website designer who built the site for you doesn’t have much technical knowledge. You’re going to have to go out and find someone who really understands what goes on behind the scenes on websites to do some work for you. You’ll need to give them access to the web server, and to your CMS. But it’ll be a good investment, and best of all, there’s an achievable objective: getting your site to that magic 85% mark. I would offer them a couple of hours’ fee to take a look at what can be done, and then a ‘success fee’ if they can successfully make the changes to get to the target. If it ends up costing you a few hundred pounds, it will be well worth it compared to other ways of improving your website’s performance.

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