UPDATED: We Improved Our Load Time by Over 75% – You Can Too!

UPDATED: We Improved Our Load Time by Over 75% – You Can Too!

In the tech world SEOAndy does what is called eat your own dog food – put simply this means being the trail subject for things before our clients are. So today I want to share one example of this strategy and how it’s seriously paid off – the result is in the headline, but here’s what we did. A while back we upgraded our servers, one of the reasons was speed – you can read about it in our blog about how pagespeed can effect business income – since then we’ve constantly wanted to get more from our new managed surroundings to enable a better user experience for our clients website visitors. Ultimately, a faster website should mean more leads. Today we made the move to find a better plugin to cache and speed up our website. After speaking with our managed server hosting provider, SWB, we decided to try WordPress Super Cache. The results we’ve achieved are nothing short of amazing. Plus the plugin is less bulky and so less likely to go wrong! Here’s what we did: Removed W3 Total Cache, our existing plugin. – creates a clean slate. Deactivate Plugin, Delete Plugin, Delete Cache Folders, Remove References in .htaccess Installed, & Activated WP Super Cache Basic Setup of WP Super Cache In Basic, Turn on Caching (Save) In Advanced… Toggle to “use Mod_rewrite” Toggle on all recommended sections Update Status Mod_rewrite changes You will be made aware changes are needed to enable mod_rewrite in .htaccess, scroll down the page and click to update the file. Note: sometimes permissions wont let this, copy everything in the green box and paste...
Can Website Load Time Effect Your Business Income?

Can Website Load Time Effect Your Business Income?

The speed of your website is sometimes correlated with your search rankings, Google has even said it’s a factor in their search algorithm (as far back as 2011) – but did you know it can also have an effect on the income and lead generation of your website? We’ve spoken about the physical performances reasons to decrease your page load time by using a CDN in a previous post including; caching, security, distribution of data and much more besides. SEOAndy as a company works with South West Broadband for hosting, recently we upgraded our service primarily to increase speed, security and future proof the sites we are hosting. The upgrades are part of a package of things we are doing for sites such as SEOAndy, Mick Cookson Photography and others – in essence it is about speed and security. These are sites that now all use a CDN for file hosting (they aren’t small sites) and sit behind a separate firewall allowing for brilliant security (we use CloudProxy). The upgrades combined with deep use of free wordpress performance plugin W3 Total Cache makes for amazing things. And the proof is in the pudding, this is a screenshot of website load times taken from a site recently upgraded – the speed increase is between 60 and 80% consistently. Does Page Load Time Really Effect Your Bottom Line? In short, YES! But lets look at the evidence. The seed for speed was growing in 2009 when an Akamai study showed that 47% of people expected to have a website load within 2 seconds or less – and that 40% of users...
Mobile-Friendly Search Algorithm Update: April 2015

Mobile-Friendly Search Algorithm Update: April 2015

In February 2015, Google announced that it would be making moves towards a better experience for mobile search users by telling them whether a given web page in search results was “mobile-friendly” or otherwise. It’s important to note it is done page-by-page and not across a website in search results. This move was the logical next step in the evolution of mobile (and in-app) search which began it’s journey in June 2012. Since that time there have been multiple updates to the algorithm and the tools offered by Google to help websites and web pages perform better for mobile. You can pretty much see the basics of this mobile search evolution through the Google Webmastesr Blog. In June 2013, Google Webmaster Tools began offering more in depth views as to what Google was looking for in a mobile site, letting webmasters and web developers know about faulty redirects (where all pages point to the mobile homepage and not a correct mobile version), 404’s that occur only for mobile users, incorrect handling of Googlebot-Mobile and more. A short time later in August 2013, Google began looking at pagespeed as a factor in mobile search, as it had in desktop search before – adding Google Mobile optimisations to it’s PageSpeed Insights tool, this was enhanced in 2014. Since then Google has, like with all search results, been testing and improving for the best results. In June 2014, Google started adding tags to make users aware that sites may not be user friendly and they would redirect them to an incorrect location rather than the search result shown. So as you can...
What Google Search Looked Like for Users in 2014

What Google Search Looked Like for Users in 2014

2014 was a year of the Winter Olympics, World Cup, Ebola, Conchita, Rosetta, the Ice Bucket Challenge, Robin Williams, Flappy Birds, the Selfie, the iPhone 6 and the Scottish Independence Referendum – or at least that is according to the Google Trends Guide of 2014. But what else did people around the globe search for in 2014? Here’s a quick run...
How to Set Real Goals for Your Website

How to Set Real Goals for Your Website

Most of the people I work with when asked what their digital marketing (or seo) goals are will say “get high google rankings” … and whilst a goal it really isn’t a real goal. And whilst we are talking about goals which are a load of bull: driving traffic, building page rank, number of retweets and volume of facebook likes – are all tripe. Ok, so I’ve probably covered a number of your goals and targets in the above two sentences, but let me explain what these aren’t “real goals”. What is a Real Goal? A real goal is a measurable outcome for your business. Put simply a goal is a conversion, these can be split into 2 basic sections “Contacts Made” and “Sales”. Contacts Made – These are goals such as the volume of enquiries, phone calls, or direct leads generated via your website. It also includes things like newsletter & account sign ups and those who share your content on social networks. Sales – This is typically revenue through your website, number of transactions and returning customers. The above targets can all be measured, usually with Google Analytics Goal Tracking, and in the case of tracking phone calls there are services such as Response Tap. Let’s Be Clear – Internally each business will always have a target or improving rankings, traffic etc but it is not these which will help you build your business. At the end of the day traffic means nothing if it doesn’t convert, nor does reducing your bounce rate or increasing the number of links your website has. What will make a difference is ensuring your...
Google Analytics – UTM Tracking, What the…

Google Analytics – UTM Tracking, What the…

UTM Tracking is more commonly known as “those big long link things”, they are big long links because attached to the links are parameters or UTM-tags. These tags are used by Google Analaytics for better recognition and connection of events, campaigns and traffic sources. UTM tracking can be a fairly advanced topic and as such I would advise ensuring you are familiar with Google Analytics prior to setting up and UTM-tagged links and using the system. UTM – Urchin Tracking Modules Urchin – Urchin was acquired by Google in 2005 and formed Google Analytics. Google kept Urchin alive to this date with multiple updates.  Urchin until March 2012 was also a standalone product, at which point Google stopped updating the software externally to Google Analytics. UTM Tags / Parameters – Using UTM tracking you can add up to 5 parameters to a URL (more detail below), these allow you to precisely track and measure the performance of a given link. UTM Parameters for URLs The simplest way of creating a UTM ready URL/Link is to use the Google URL Builder. UTM tracking allows you to create Custom Campaigns by basically sending across unique parameters for a given campaign into your Google Analytics account. Lets look at what each parameter means… Campaign Source (utm_source) – This REQUIRED parameter identifies the source of your campaign, common examples are the name of the platform your a linking from (eg facebook, buffer etc) and the name of a given newsletter. Campaign Medium (utm_medium) – This REQUIRED parameter is used to tell google what the base source of a link is, for example email, social,...