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3 Google ‘Update Proof’ Ways to Help Your Website Win the Web

While the days of major Google updates that routinely destroyed websites (and businesses) overnight have passed in favor of smaller, dynamic updates, Google still occasionally rolls out a big one.

This month, that update (codenamed “The Medic”) appears to have fully rolled out, and as always, there is no shortage of controversy.

And, in typical Google fashion, advice is as follows:

“There’s no “fix” for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.”

As someone who’s seen dozens of Google updates taketh – and giveth – it got me thinking about what something as nonspecific as ‘great content’ may subjectively mean to a business owner (or an agency for that matter), and the slippery slope therin.

So then, while we’re all busy pounding away doing our best ‘delivering great content’ impressions, what is something that we could all commit to that simultaneously makes Google AND our site visitors happy?

Speed!

No matter how many updates Google has done (and will continue to do), there is absolutely no denying that making your website as fast as possible has a mountain of benefit and isn’t open to a whole lot of interpretation. Here’s 3 easy ways to speed up that site today – Punch it Chewie!

#1 – Crunch those images

This is one of my favorites and requires very little technical prowess to accomplish. To ensure you’re using your images as efficiently as possible do these two things:

  • Compress your images w/free tools: This simply means making small, ‘impossible to detect to the human eye’ adjustments to your photos that often reduce their physical size by 2-5 times. There are endless amounts of free online image compression tools to choose from, but perhaps the best is Google’s own Page Speed Insights where you can download an entire folder of optimized images from the page you entered into the tool!
  • Display size = actual size: Ensure that if you’re displaying an image that is 800px x 400px on your website, the image is not actually 1600px x 800px being ‘forced’ to fit the area you want it to fit. If you aren’t sure, simply right click on a photo on your website and ‘view image’ or ‘open image in new tab’. If the picture is waaaaaaaaay bigger than it looks on your site, you’ve got room for improvement!

Once again, plenty of great free tools to use here. Crop & resize away!

#2 – Use a speed plugin to minimize, compress & cache

While this one is getting a bit on the ‘techy’ side, we’ll rely on popular plugins to make our lives easy. Essentially, compressing, caching, and minifying means making your web server and your users web browser do a bit of the work by speeding up delivery of certain parts of your website as well as and cleaning up bulky web coding.

On wordpress, tools like W3 Total Cache are a fave due to their ease of use, but other options exist as well.

#3 – Don’t skimp on hosting

Another easy to overlook culprit – your website hosting. While it’s true that many low cost $4.99/m hosting providers have improved over the last several years, in our experience these companies still suffer with reliability & consistency issues and aren’t always terribly fast. Take a look at our fancy Uptime Robot powered Slack channel where we monitor sites in our audit ‘cue’ & clients we don’t provide hosting for (yet):

This one is simple: Instead of thinking about how much you are saving every year with your inexpensive hosting plan, consider how much it may be costing you.

Getting crazy!

Of course, if you’re more adventurous (or technically capable) there are plenty of other ways to go ludicrous speed and further down the rabbit hole. Check some of the posts below for insights and even more great advice & tips:

Too confusing?

I’ve said if before & I’ll say it again – an Adster website audit & web presence analysis is one of the best presents you can buy for your business.If you want to make your website as fast as possible & need some help on the technical side, give us a shout & book an audit today!


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