In my complete guide to conducting an SEO audit, I taught you how to test various parts of your website to see what improvements can be made in regards to SEO. Now I’m going to go through each step in more detail so you and see why these issues are important and what we can do to fix them. Next up is how to increase site speed so your blog loads quicker.
The Full Series:
- How to complete an SEO Audit for your blog.
- Step 1: Http vs Https
- Step 2: Rank for your brand name.
- Step 3: On page SEO.
- Step 4: Site speed.
- Step 5: Structured Data Errors
- Step 6: Broken Links
- Step 7: Mobile Site Speed
- Step 8: Indexing Errors
- Step 9: Crawl Report
- Step 10: Check the keywords you rank for.
STEP 4: Increase site speed
Site speed is important – if your site loads slow, Google may place faster sites above you. Also, it might make people click off your website increasing your bounce rate and decreasing your time on page – all things Google looks at when ranking you on search.
I’m going to use two tools for this. One is Google’s free PageSpeed Insights Tool.
Ensure this is switched to Desktop version! We’ll focus on mobile in a later post…
As you can see, the desktop version of my page loads fast, but there are some opportunities to look at. We’ll look at the mobile version in a later step.
I’m also going to check it with Pingdom. Because a second opinion is always good!
Here, you see my site only ranks a D. If you scroll down, there are more recommendations you can work on.
I re-ran my site through Googles PageSpeed tool and found this:
It’s now slightly slower
If you scroll down, you can see the summery of opportunities you can do to improve your websites speed.
If you click into each point, you can see even more detail about what you can do.
As you can see, most of mine are either Google Ads or the PNG images I use for the header image.
JPEGs are generally a smaller file size than PNG (though the quality isn’t as good), so you want to try and use this format for images on your site. You should also resize images so they fit the size of your website. For example, I set my images to 750 pixels wide to save on the size of the image. You can also reduce the quality of even use image formats like JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, and WebP.
Click here for a list of image compression plugins.
You can also use compress PNG to reduce the size of your PNG files. As you can see in the below image, the compress version is much smaller. I can reduce it further by reducing the number of colours – this does mean the image loses quality but depending on what the image is for, it’ll be worth it!
Since I have started using Photoshop to edit some images, I’m going to export them into a smaller file going forward.
To reduce the speed of your Google Ads, check out this awesome piece of content.
Elimite render-blocking resources.
Okay so, I had to go away and come back so re-ran my site through the PageSpeed tool and now the top opportunity is Eliminate render-blocking resources. I believe this is because I since started using Photoshop to decrease the size of the image files.
I had no idea what to do with this! So I took to Google. I found this handy video that told me to get Autoptimize plugin and how to set it up.
When I did this, look what my score was!
Now there is only one file causing problems:
My site speed is now 100 as I’ve fixed the two biggest problems. I’ll be talking about improving the mobile version in a later post.
I’m going to leave this post here and let you explore yourself.
When you click on your recommendations and click ‘more details’, you are taken to a Google page that explains what you need to do to fix this. If I am completely honest, this quite technical language and I found it better to Google what I needed to do and find an article or video that explained it form a bit more of a basic standpoint.
I seem to have fixed the top two problems of my site and I’m not at 100%
Let me know how you get on!