Every business wants to increase website traffic, generate more conversions, and let its audience see its content first. So, it’s understandable that the second question will be how to optimise a website and the best strategy you can follow. Here is what you need to know.
According to the First Site Guide, over 50 billion web pages live on Google right now! This number will absolutely go up with the thousands of AI website-building tools that can help you have a landing page in less than a minute.
So, Google has a cumbersome task every day. It handles over 3.5 billion search requests sent by users searching for products, answers, services, treatment for their illness, the best way to get to their destinations, how to deal with their toxic friends, and the giant search engine has to index over 26 billion pages daily.
You need to stand out and uncover how to optimise a website, for a better chance of guaranteeing success.
Fret not! With over 20 years of experience, we have noted what you can do for website optimisation. And here is the answer!
How to Optimise a Website: 10 Proven Strategies
So, what is the first step you can take today for website optimisation?
There is not. You need to work collectively to enhance your website’s performance, achieve your business objectives, and go beyond. If adequately managed, these well-laid strategies will help you strengthen your website’s best and most powerful conversion tool.
Bounce: We put a note behind each strategy to differentiate between what you can do if you’re starting your website from scratch and what you can do to revamp your website for better performance.
Let’s get started.
1. Choose the Right Tool to Optimise Your Website (For Existing Websites)
While you need to enhance and optimise your website experience, you also need to know how the search engines and users see your website. Search engine optimisation (SEO) and scanning websites will significantly help you. Fortunately, you can find many free tools to kick off your SEO audit journey.
Here is our recommended analysis of your website optimisation to boost your visibility across search engines.
It’s a reliable and accessible tool. Type your website in the analysing bar and press “Test your site”. Not just giving you an overall review, GTmetrix enables you to see the performance score in each metric critically as well.
Pro tip: Learning something more about testing web performance will help you understand what your priorities are with your website.
A free tool by Google, PageSpeed Insights will help you analyse your website’s speed and how your existing content appears to your users. The website will help you uncover all issues that affect your ranking negatively and may lead to losing potential and current customers.
Optimise your images to ensure you get a better score on Google PageSpeed Insights. That’s because oversized images are the most common cause of slow WordPress websites. The larger the picture files are, the longer your site takes to load. Optimising your images is vital to improve your website image and speed.
Here are the main metrics you will get after typing your URL:
- Field data: Data from Google informing you if your page passes the Core Web Vitals assessment.
- Performance Score: an overview of your website from the user’s perception.
- Lab Data: Real-time data collected from the Chrome User Experience Report.
- Origin Summary: More detailed about your Core Web Vitals score.
- Opportunities: A recommendation on how to optimise your website for better performance.
- Diagnostics: More details about how to keep your page faster.
Pro tip: If you need help understanding its metrics, take a look at its documentation. Google has documentation on every part of their features and tools that help you understand how to analyse your website’s speed. You can see what they use for their lab diagnostics and the Core Web Vitals.
If you want to dig deeper into monitoring your website to ensure there is no room for downtime, then Pingdom is the right one for you. With a well-designed dashboard, you will uncover all errors that might affect your website speed. Also, it guides you in building the right strategy to improve your user experience and accessibility. All these factors will give your website credit over your competitors, which means gaining more traffic and a better ranking.
WebPageTest by Catchpoint
Additionally, WebPageTest provides more customisation options than Pingdom, PageSpeed Insights, and GTmetrix. The tool also has a simple testing tab that allows you to enter the URLs of websites that need to be tested along with different test configurations. You are also given the option to perform a Lighthouse audit with a web page test. You can set up an account, keep a log of all your test history, and test other web pages.
How Can You Choose the Best Tool for Testing Your Website?
If you want detailed test results and want to track them over time, then GTmetrix might be better. For actionable insights directly affecting your SEO, Google PageSpeed Insights would be the best, especially when analysing your website for user optimisation.
When it comes to using Google PageSpeed Insights with your WordPress website, it is essential to make sure that you are following their guidelines. However, if you want a handy report to uncover all the requirements to establish an audit strategy, WebPageTest is better.
2. Choose the Best Tools for Image Optimisation
As we mentioned how images’ size will badly impact your Google PSI score, we need to emphasise how to make your image files load more quickly. This process will include resizing and compressing these files. Good image optimisation has two stages. Make sure to edit your images before you upload them to your site.
You can do this with tools like PiXLR to crop images and save them in the smallest possible size. Sometimes, even changing the file type can reduce its size. For example, JPEGs are usually smaller than PNG images.
Install an optimisation plugin on your website to help compress your images after uploading to boost your page speed. You can find many image-optimising plugins for WordPress, such as Smush. It applies lossless compression, meaning no quality is lost from the image whenever it is compressed. It also helps you reduce your image size by up to 5 MB, individually or in bulk.
The good news is that Smush has a free version with many features to free up your website’s space without any limitations on the number of images. In contrast, the paid versions will keep your website lighter with 5x compressing power and automated optimisation to save your images in Next-Gen WebP format.
And for any older images, you can use Smush to optimise 50 images at a time in bulk. The only con with Smush is that you need more control over how much you can optimise an image.
One of the best alternatives to Smush to get more control over optimising your images, which can result in faster page loads, is Imsanity. It’s another free plugin from WordPress. Still, it allows you to bulk resize larger images. So, unlike other plugins, Imsanity enables you to choose a default maximum size. So you can select the default compression for JPEG images in WordPress, and the plugin allows you to automatically convert image file formats from BMP to JPEG or PNG to JPEG.
Adobe Photoshop is also the industry standard in image editing. It’s a little expensive but worth it for built-in image compression because their built-in Save for Web option allows you to save images optimised for the web. You can use plugins to resize your images; however, the process is best done outside of WordPress. So, optimise images ahead before uploading them.
It’s a free and simple website and plugin to resize and change your photo format. Just drag and drop your photos, which might be daunting if you have many files to optimise.
3. Enable Caching to Speed up Your Website
When you click on a website URL, many requests happen at the back end. Caching is a way to improve your page loading time, especially when people visit your site for the second or third time. Users can send requests to get fully loaded pages by enabling caching. To understand how caching works, imagine you’re at Starbucks to order your favourite Spanish latte. Then you find delicious cheesecake and an irresistible tuna pasta salad.
It seems like a big meal to pamper yourself after a long working day. The barista prepared your order and called your name out. He can make one trip to carry all the items you’ve ordered. But that isn’t the case with the browser.
Each time someone gets onto your website, the browser has to carry each item alone (images, text blocks, CSS files, and more). That leads to a slow website. So many trips, indeed!
And that will badly impact your retention and conversion rates. That’s precisely what software caching works on. It’s straightforward to enable WordPress with a free plugin like W3 Total Cache or Litespeed Caching to speed up your website.
But please consider that the caching plugins you choose should work with your hosting provider, as some providers won’t allow you to upload specific caching plugins, especially on a shared hosting plan. It’s usually because they offer server-side caching on their end, so there’s no need for another plugin to help you with your caching.
4. Check the GZip compression Status
Another common issue we see with Google page speeds is GZip compression. So, before working on other techniques, manage your website’s speed to enable GZip compression. This compression helps the website show up on your users’ screens quickly. So it’s zipped and compressed, then sent to the server and back.
Installing plugins like the Wp-Optimise plugin, which has a GZIP conversion option, is a straightforward fix. The other way to ensure that GZIP is enabled is to check with your hosting provider, which they can do for you.
How can you know that you need to work on these files?
Your score on Google PageSpeed Insights will tell you a lot about your file size, which will be listed as a recommendation.
6. Optimise Your Website for Mobile
You want to ensure that your site is optimised for mobile as much as possible. Indeed, mobile phones are now outperforming desktops. Building a responsive template for your website has changed from a nice-to-have option to an inevitable one. It becomes a significant factor to have a good rank on search engines.
In its work, Google mainly uses the mobile version of sites, so it’s vital to think about mobile first when designing and optimising your site speed. While you’re searching for what’s involved in offering a seamless experience, you can use WordPress Themes or the WebP Express to keep an eye on how your site is adapted and displayed on smaller screens and convert your site’s images into super-fast WebP versions, which will work on 80% of mobile browsers.
This will require adding image compression software on your server, such as The WordPress AMP plugin, to boost your mobile speed by building AMP versions of your web pages that allow your pages to load instantly on mobile and other devices.
Mobile optimisation, especially for ecommerce stores, will help you keep your customers browsing your products and offer a frictionless experience when purchasing any device. In contrast, having a mobile version laden with troubles (slow loading, missing blocks, difficulty in navigation) will hurt your company’s reputation and send potential customers away from your website.
7. Check Your Plugins’ Health
On top of all those things, you want to ensure that your plugins are all updated. So, plugins might be reducing your site’s speed in different ways.
Poorly designed plugins, outdated software, and duplicate plugins can all affect your website’s performance. Additionally, it’s only the number of plugins that generally causes this speed problem if you have lots of plugins that do the same thing or are not used, in which case the extra one should be deleted.
In general, the quality and usefulness of that plugin affect page speed. It’s a good idea to run a page speed test before and after installing any plugin. This will show you the impact of the plugin on your site’s speed.
How Can Profiletree Help You?
Tap into your website’s capabilities and let your audience see your offerings first. See how search engines and potential customers classify your website. Our technical gurus will check your page speed, unindexed pages, duplicate content, unstructured URLs, crawlability, and broken links.
Book your consultation call today!