6 tips to boost your website performance
Once you’ve got a website up and running, you might think that you can let it be and focus on other tasks, but that would be akin to setting up your store and only opening the door half way. There’s more to be done to make sure everyone who visits has the best experience possible.
A website isn’t a static platform; it should evolve and grow as your business does, and that will require changes. To make sure your website is performing as well as it can, take a look at the following tips and see what else you can do to improve.
1. Have a strategy
Having a plan in place helps in many aspects of business, from marketing strategies to business goals and much more. The same is true with websites. Knowing where we are, where we’d like to be and how to get there makes things much easier and smoother, reducing the risk of unnecessary consequences.
Everything we do for our business should align with the goals we aim to achieve, and this is true for our website. Thinking about what we want from our web presence, and how our audience will use it, can help this process. Ask questions like:
- How will the website meet the users’ needs?
- How will it generate leads, sales or bookings?
- How can it become known as a source of expert and reliable information?
These are questions to be asked early in the design and development stage of your web presence, but ask them again now to make sure future changes are helping achieve your outcomes.
2. Create new content
Creating new content on a regular basis helps your website and business in two main ways:
- Search engines, like Google, bing and others, recognise websites and new content, often featuring them higher in the search results.
- It shows your audience that you’re adapting to a changing environment and keeping their needs in mind.
This can fit into a wider search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy if you have the skills to implement one, or the resources to bring in someone who can do so on your behalf. Even without this, some basic advice can be helpful in determining your website’s structure and where new content should live.
This includes identifying what visitors are searching for and making sure your content answers those queries without being too pushy or “sales-y.” Every visitor to your site is a potential customer and adding value to content will help your reputation among them.
As a general rule, websites that update on a regular basis attract more visitors, who are also more likely to keep coming back. For businesses, “visitors” equals potential customers.
Once the content is on the site, however, it should be updated regularly, so that users have a reason to keep coming back. There’s no set timeframe to do this, but if something changes, make sure you know where on your website to update things.
3 - Check your site speed
Site speed is a key factor in determining results with search engines. Their goal is to send users to relevant websites for each search, but if the site in question provides a poor user experience, it will lower trust in the results of other searches.
We all know how frustrating it can be waiting for a website to load.Website elements can impact speeds, such as sites with a lot of images, for example, and these can be addressed in various ways. To see how your website performs, use this free PageSpeed tool from Google.
4 - Make it accessible
Accessibility standards are important to make sure every user can navigate and use your website. These should be considered during the design and development stages of building your website, but they can also help improve your site’s performance.
There are different standards of accessibility that have been adopted by governments around the world, as well as an international standard. Some design elements might hinder these standards, so do some research as to what actions you should take.
A lot of the elements used to ensure your website is accessible are tied into those used to help with SEO strategies, so by implementing them properly, you’re helping search engines crawl your website and rank it properly and ensuring users with screen readers can also use it.
5 - Form strong relationships
In the past, a lot of SEO tactics revolved around links between websites. The more links from websites to yours meant a higher rank in the search results. Those days are long gone, but links are still important.
Quality has taken over quantity, and links should come from recognised sources, that have a link to the topic or industry you operate in.
This means you need to form a good rapport with collaborators, supporters, community groups, media sources and more to help prove your authority and status. One good link from a trusted source goes a lot longer than 1,000 links from low quality websites that aren’t relevant to your field.
6 - Choosing the right domain name
Search engines prioritise local country code domains, such as .nz in New Zealand in their results. This shows a user that the website operates in that region, but not exclusively—if the relevance is higher, websites transcend these borders. You might see the same brand using multiple domains for the different markets they operate in, which is something to consider, but you can also choose to proudly share your values and origins, too.
This means if you’re looking to attract a New Zealand audience, using a .nz domain name will help people find you on search engines. It is important to note that Kiwis prefer to look for .nz websites over any other!
Finding a .nz domain is straightforward. Start a domain name search and select an approved registrar to continue the process when you find the right one.