Monday, July 29, 2019

Improve SEO Rankings | Page Speed and Mobile-First Development

It has been official for quite some time, yet very few Website Design Agencies have capitalized upon the recent changes in search engine indexing. On July 1, 2019, Google announced that Mobile-first Designs will play an imperative part in determining Search Engine Optimization Rankings (SEO). Google stated, "mobile-first indexing is enabled by default for all new websites (new to the web or previously unknown to Google Search)". Coupled with this announcement, we also would point out that Google announced in mid-2018 that page speed would play an equally important component of search engine optimization.

 The rationale is simple to understand. In our previous posts, we have pointed out that the majority of all website traffic is from mobile sources including mobile phones and tablet devices. So how does one check their performance? Simply using the tools available to webmasters from Google (thank you Google!) can give you a strong indication of whether or not you need to update or tweak your website. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, you can also request a FREE consultation from Webstation.

Pagespeed scores of 90 -100 are optimal for achieving the best search engine results. Before contracting with any prospective digital agency to handle your search engine optimization, we would recommend comparing their Pagespeed rankings to ours. Below is the desktop ranking for (where I now call home).

To compare this to others, we randomly selected a few websites that are not highly optimized for page speed. Here is one (candid) result:

Webhosting technology affects performance and SEO ranking! There are many other factors to optimize websites including optimizing images, placement of scripts, CSS files, minifying files, file formats, and responsive web design. The list is fairly exhaustive.

One of the most critical elements is to have your website developers ensure that Mobile-first enhancements are made to your website. Mobile-first is somewhat of a loaded term however we have created a formula for delivering great mobile experiences using a combination of CSS frameworks like BootStrap as well as newer HTML elements such as the <picture> tag. Rather than force mobile users to load up the desktop version first, then resize everything by requesting additional resources specific to mobile experiences, we highly recommend serving the smaller mobile assets first. Most desktop users will not even notice given our hosting packages are extremely efficient at delivering content coupled with Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). Of course, using a responsive framework is still the easiest way forward for many. To highlight the differences between responsive and non-responsive website, one has to look no further than Try loading this into a mobile device or resizing your desktop browser window. The results are (stating this diplomatically) candidates for some improvement. NOTE: This website was chosen randomly as an example.

Other tactics include referencing common libraries (jQuery, BootStrap, FontAwesome to name a few), from their sources. These libraries are often already cached either on the users' device or very few hops away. These small improvements can greatly speed up performance.

Contact Webstation today for a free introductory call to explore your business requirements. Webstation can deliver the following for you are no cost:

  • A Full Pagespeed report;
  • A Lighthouse Audit trail and report; 
  • Suggested optimizations; 
  • Recommendations; and
  • A quote if requested 

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