December 11, 2016

Pagespeed Insights: How to Use a Website Speed Test

Google Ranks Sites Based on How Fast They Load

How to Use a Website Speed TestLearn how and why you should use a website speed test to find out how fast it loads.  You don’t want to be penalized for a slow page load time on your site. Google and other search engines are emphasizing how quickly pages load, especially on mobile devices, as part of the 200+ elements of their ranking algorithms.

To further prove the point, there is also keen interest in the new Accelerated Mobile Pages Project. (Click the link to find out more)

Many things can affect how quickly a website loads, but one of the biggest drags on page load time are large images, or more specifically, HEAVY images.

Site visitors evaluate a web page in 5-8 seconds by scanning it before they decide to actually read the content. Images can help visitors get a sense of what the site is about, whether graphics or pictures.

Case Study: Images and Page Load Time

We audit all websites that we work with at the beginning to set a benchmark and to look for opportunities to improve website performance.

One client had unusually slow page load time on a fairly small site without much text and virtually no video. Some hosting companies offering cheap hosting can be the cause of slow site load speeds because of high server load when they host thousands of sites on one server.

We ran website speed tests on some of the other sites on the server and they were loading faster than the client, so it had to be something else.

When we looked at the Media library for the site, we noticed that the pictures were all a million bytes or more and many of them were 2.2 megabytes per picture. Those take a LOT longer to load than image files of 100,000 bytes or less and increase the page load time considerably.

The client was uploading pictures to his site without reducing the DPI (Dots Per Inch) before uploading. These heavy files were taking a long time to load! [Read more…]

Website and Internet Marketing Definitions (April 8, 2011)

Added this week to my Internet Marketing Glossary at WebAsylum.com.

Alt Tags
Alt tags area form of meta tags used to provide more information about an image on a website. The tags are added by the webmaster when the images are put on a web page. Originally, alt-tags were designed for people with impaired vision to use browsers that would read the tags to the user letting them know more about the image. Search engines began using the information when indexing web pages.

Header Tags (or Headline Tags)
Header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc) are used to highlight text on a webpage, usually in headlines or sub-headlines, and are sometimes used by search engines to determine what a page is about, so it’s important to include appropriate keywords for the website and page in particular in header or H1 tags.

Javascript
One of many programming languages used to control web pages, among other things. However, Javascript is not understood very well by search engines and many will suggest avoiding it when build navigation on web pages.

Lead Magnet
Something of value that you give away, usually on a squeeze page, in exchange for getting an email address and name. (Some call this an ethical bribe) The lead magnet is often delivered electronically, such as a report, white paper, newsletter, spreadsheet or software.

Linkbait
Content put on a webpageor blog post that is designed to attract a lot of attention and specifically links from other sites. Inbound links from other websites help with search engine ranking (and links on other sites can help build awareness and traffic.) Linkbait can be something creative or funny or provacative. Lists are especially popular. It could be a glossary. It could be a video, survey, picture or even a live feed.

Meta Descriptions
Meta description code is usually what shows up on a SERP as the description of what the web page is all about. Some search engines use the meta description in their algorithms to determine how the page should be indexed, so it’s important to use preferred keywords in meta descriptions. If a meta description is not included for a page, the search engines show a random piece of text from the site, so it’s important to write specific meta descriptions for each page of your website.

Socialbait
Similar to linkbait, social bait is content created for a website specifically to attract interest in social media, such as comments on Twitter or references to the content on Facebook. The socialbait content could be a blog post, online game, quiz, video, commentary, pictures or video. It could also be social media content that is created to be picked up on other social media sites.

Squeeze Page
A web page specifically designed to squeeze at least minimal information from a prospect (or even a current customer to get them into a different email list). Most squeeze pages focus specifically on getting someone to opt-in to an email list and don’t usually have distractions from the goal, such as site navigation.

Title Tags
Meta description of a web page that shows up at the top of a browserand reinforces for the visitor what the page is about. The code for meta descriptions is put in the background of the page. Some search engines use the words in title tags to identify what the page is all about. Each page on a website should have separate and specific title tags.

Trust Marks
Trust Marks or Trust Signals are webpage elements that convey authenticity and security to site visitors. Logos, testimonials and secure badges are all trust marks.

What website development or Internet Marketing Definitions are you interested in?

Where do all the good ideas come from?

My friend Liz Strauss likes to say, "The people who will get rich on the
Internet are those who solve a problem the Internet didn't cause."  I think you could succeed with that
mindset OR of solving problems created BY the Internet!  But Liz says,
"There are way more problems the Internet didn't cause … that still
need solving. :)"  Point taken.

Almost everyone with a blog or website wants to achieve website success and that often involves providing a solution to someone's problem or creating a memorable experience that supercharges your marketing and therefore your traffic. 

So where do the great ideas come from?  There are many components to a successful website, including design, writing, products and services, pricing. You might want (or need) good ideas for all pieces of your site.

Web designers sometimes look at other designs for inspiration on sites they're working on.  Some get ideas using design directories. Sometimes, you can get ideas from the portfolios of other web designers.

Web strategists and entrepreneurs can find ideas by studying what has worked on other websites.  Even something like "10 Totally Stupid Ideas That Made Someone Rich

Writers get inspiration from studying the works of others without plagiarizing. "If you take it from one source it's plagiarizing. If you take it from multiple sources, it's RESEARCH." (Some famous writer said that – can't remember who)

Bloggers are taught to read the blogs of others in their niche, and I think anyone (bloggers, affiliate marketers, corporate webmasters, et al) can get great information on what people are looking for and the solutions you can provide by reading those blogs and forums in the same niche.

So, whether you're a writer, marketer, entrepreneur or anyone hoping for Website ROI, it pays to listen to what your prospects, customers and even competitors are saying.  What are their needs?  What words do they use to describe their needs? (They may use those terms to find you in search engines)

Here are some simple search tips that may help you out:

To find websites or blogs with a keyword in the URL, type "inurl:" and follow it with the keyword in a Google search bar.  Let's use gardening as an example.  If you type "inurl:gardening", Google supplies you with a list of 20 million+ websites with "gardening" in the URL.

Good luck wading through all of those.

The keyword you specify might be found in the domain name, such as Gardening.com or it might be in the path of the URL, such as www.marthastewart.com/gardening.

Check out a few sites and refine your search, such as "inurl:tomato gardening," which results in 228,000 web pages.

Notice that some of the results use "garden" and not "gardening," so it's not 100% accurate.  But compare these results with just entering "tomato gardening" into a search engine.

To search for terms in the title of a blog post, use "intitle:KEYWORD"  As an example, try "intitle:gardening" or "intitle:tomato gardening"

Want to find a forum that discusses your niche?  Search "KEYWORD + forum"  Example: "tomato gardening + forum"

That's all the time we have today boys and girls.  I'm going to continue this series this week.  Comments?  Questions?