Improving Your Website's Performance

Njabulo Hlefana
September 29, 2022

Google has recently rolled out a two-part Core Update for 2021: one update in June, one update in July. Both updates seek to improve the overall user experience of Google and improve the quality of results. As the web has evolved, website performance has become more important than ever. Not only does your site need to load fast, but it also needs to be user friendly. Clients want an easy way to navigate your site and they expect everything to load quickly. No matter where your website is hosted or which platform it's built on, here are a few things you can do right now that will greatly improve your performance.

1. Optimize Your Images

It's a known fact that larger images take longer to load so it's important to pick images that are the right size and format. This will greatly reduce page load times and improve SEO! You can chat to your graphic designer about this one.

2. Optimize Your HTML

Every time someone accesses your website, the server has to load some HTML. That’s because you use HTML to create your content on the page.

Now, this doesn’t take long when only a few people are accessing your site at one time. But what happens when hundreds of people visit all at once? The server takes more time to load everything in the HTML, which slows down your load times and hurts your SEO efforts. Removing unused classes and combining this with simple structures in your website allows browsers to parse your website more easily resulting in improved search rankings!

3. Get An SSL Certificate

SSL encryption is considered to be the most effective way to protect sensitive data by encrypting the connection between a web browser and the server. The great thing about SSL certificates is that they can also be used for non-commercial purposes, such as protecting passwords or other private information on your website. This can go a long way in improving your overall SEO

4. Minify scripts & CSS

Minification is the process of minimizing code and markup in your web pages. It is a critical component of page load time, especially for websites that are doing A/B testing on landing pages.

By minifying your CSS and JavaScript files, you can significantly reduce the size of files that are sent to users' browsers. This allows the browser to download the file more quickly, which reduces latency when loading your site content. It can also reduce bandwidth usage when delivering your images to users' browsers.

5. Use XML Sitemaps

A sitemap is a list of pages on your website. It's like an index in the back of a book that tells you what pages are in the book and where they are located. A sitemap lists web pages so search engines can find all of them.

6. Use Rel Canonical Tags

A canonical tag (aka "rel canonical") is a way of telling search engines that a specific URL represents the master copy of a page. Using the canonical tag prevents problems caused by identical or "duplicate" content appearing on multiple URLs. Duplicate content can severely impact your SEO.