I’ll begin this blog post on “The Basics of Digital Marketing” with a story.
My mate Bob is a highly acclaimed local builder; the houses he builds for his customers are beautiful, the attention to detail everywhere, but his own home looks like an unfinished project.
There are a hundred little time-consuming jobs around his house that need finishing, AND it’s those “little things” (that take up time) that can make a big impression on new customers of Bob’s quality and value.
When it comes to your website – not only is it your visitors and potential customers that may notice “the little things you haven’t done”, but it is crucial for the search engine robots that index and determine the relevance and ranking of your site.
Most of your new visitors and potential new customers will come through a search engine at some stage, and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a critical component of every marketing strategy.
Some SEO Statistics
- Organic search is responsible for 51% of all site traffic – Social only 5% – Source SEO
- On the first page alone, the first five organic results account for 67.6% of all the clicks.
- Google’s search algorithm uses more than 200 factors to rank websites.
- Web page speed should be a top priority. Website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time (between seconds 0-5) – Source HubSpot
- For B2B business services – revenue share from search engine traffic generates nearly double that of display, email, paid and social channels combined.
- Improving your load time by 0.1s can boost conversion rates by 8%. (Google/ Deloittes)
For B2B businesses services – revenue share from search engine traffic generates nearly double that of display, email, paid and social channels combined.BrightEdge ReSearch
I’m personally like Bob’s and his home when it comes to my digital marketing and, on the technical side, more a DIYer than a trade professional.
Like Bob, it’s time to tidy things up, and by doing the work, I can better understand what’s needed!
As a case study, I will use my Sydney portrait photographer website and Kim’s online shopping store balifresh.com.au and share what we’ve done to improve website performance. We’ll also share some of the results.
BUT, before we begin any project, it’s essential to have a baseline.
If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.Peter Drucker
Stage 1. Baseline – The Current Situation – your web performance score
Update 24/05/2022: I've just been sent a new website analysis tool from Experte https://www.experte.com/pagespeed which provides a Bulk Page Speed Test, you can automatically determine the websites speed and the Core Web Vitals for a large number of pages. With this tool you can find slow subpages on your site or you can compare your site with those of your competitors.
Note: This is my new goto website checker
GTmetrix – is a platform for a more detailed understanding of what’s happening when a visitor hits your website.
Run Google PageSpeed Insights. The service will spider through your page, diagnose performance issues then give you a performance score. Again, it would help if you had a baseline to see the impact of your changes.
A week ago, before I began this website optimisation exercise, the score was just “17.“
The current score of “87” is OK, and it is much better than “17”, but there are still things to improve.
I’ll use scores continually through this blog series as we learn more.
What’s your current score?
Make sure you’re doing it right!
It’s a couple of hours later and I’ve just run my page tests back to back with hugely different results –
Something is not right! This article provides a more detailed explanation. So many components to consider, such as setting up a CDN (Content Delivery Network), image optimisation and reducing site complexity. More on all that later in a later post.
Google mobile website checker
Now begins the marketing strategy, the content plan, SEO, video, and other stuff.
- There are many elements that impact page load speed and sometimes it’s a tradeoff between design simplicity and site complexity.
- Implement a caching platform – we use https://www.litespeedtech.com/
- A CDN is fundamental – because we’re using WordPress as our CMS (Content Management System) we’ve used https://quic.cloud/
- Image Optimization
- Critical CSS
- Unique CSS
- Low-Quality Image Placeholders
- Check your template and plugins. Every bit of code can impact performance.
- Ask your web host to update your server to the latest most stable PHP version and check all the optimised extensions are loaded
Fast page speed is fundamental to your user experience and digital marketing strategy, but you can’t stop there. Next, we’ll take a look at SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) which will lead us upstream to look at marketing as a whole and then back downstream again to look at communications and content strategy.