You Ask, I Answer: Speeding Up a Website for Mobile SEO?

Charles asks, “What can an SEO company can do to speed up my mobile website?”

The short answer is: very little. The longer answer is they can advise you on what you need to change in your hosting infrastructure and code, but probably not do a whole lot of it, especially if you’re a larger company with a substantial IT infrastructure.

Site speed is:
– Speed of the server/datacenter
– Caching
– Compactness of code
– Compression of data
– Coding specifically for mobile first
– Removal of unnecessary code/tracking
– Asynchronous loading of code pieces

Each of these areas is something you’ll need to investigate and collaborate with to improve.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode, Charles asks, What can an SEO company do to speed up my mobile website? It depends.

The short answer is probably very little.

And that seems like a strange thing to say, because SEO companies should be able to do stuff like that.

But especially for larger corporations, and businesses.

The more complex IT infrastructure is, the less an SEO company can do.

Because so much of what controls site speed is under the purview of it as it should be.

Because you want really good governance controls on your IT infrastructure.

So let’s talk about what makes up a faster website, particularly for mobile but just what makes up a faster website in general because if you’re still differentiating between mobile and non mobile in 2020, or beyond it’s a mobile world Right.

So, site speed is composed really of like seven things.

It’s, it’s the speed of the physical servers themselves right in your data center in the data centers, network and stuff, which is one of the reasons why.

You know, in modern times, you’re going to host your website somewhere off premises unless you have some really strict regulatory requirements about why your servers have to live in your data center.

For the most part, most people will host with a provider.

So doing a good assessment of the provider speed, data center speeds, network speeds, etc, will be important.

It’s an important consideration for vendors.

Second, is caching.

caching is when you have a content delivery network of some kind that essentially stores copies of your website invisibly around the world.

And then a user who goes to your website is actually reading a copied version at a location closer to them.

Then your website is if your website isn’t, say, Perth, Australia, and you Using a global caching company, and a user in London, goes to the website, they may get a London data center from your your, your caching, Delivery Network, content blue network company.

And we’ll get a much faster experience and going all the way to Australia for your site.

Those two things really are like, like metal considerations, where does the physical metal box live and can make a very big difference, particularly caching.

I personally use a service called CloudFlare.

I use the free version.

And it’s really good at distributing that stuff without screwing up your tracking, which is important for marketing.

Third is compactness of code.

So there’s a technique called minifying.

And that essentially looks at things like JavaScript and stuff and reduces them to the to the essential code strips out a lot of stuff.

Again, a lot of caching plugins and services can do this.

To some degree, again, CloudFlare does that promise is not bad for CloudFlare because they don’t have an affiliate program, which they did.

But compact as code matters, compression of data matters as well.

This is something that is done at the server level.

servers can compress data and send essentially a compressed version of the website to a browser, and then the user’s browser on the user and unpacks.

That and displays.

Compression does speed up a site substantially because, you know, with good compression settings turned on in your server software, you can compress the site, you know, 60 7080 90% depending on how much data you’re sending along.

That is done at the server operating system level.

There again, are services that can help with compression midstream, but it’s better if it’s done at the server.

for mobile, coding your site to be mobile first is important.

If it’s a responsive site, if it’s a mobile first site, it will probably do better.

Having things like amp accelerated mobile pages enabled will help as well, particularly for Google.

Google is one of the leading platforms that has been pushing for amp for years.

And they do reward sites for using amp.

So make sure that that’s in place.

Make sure that you are removing any unnecessary code and tracking this is especially true of websites where there’s a lot of cruft.

Old trackers, legacy trackers, trackers from CRM systems that you migrated off of marketing technology in particular is really bad about this about removing stuff that you don’t need anymore.

And seventh, and finally, is asynchronous loading of code pieces to your website, all those different trackers and things.

They should not be on your website itself.

They should be in a service, a Google Tag Manager, Tag Manager is, we’ve talked about this before, it’s like a bucket and you put all your code tracking inside the bucket and then only the bucket loads.

And then the rest, your site can continue loading.

And inside the bucket, Google Tag Manager will start loading all the facebook pixel and Twitter pixel in YouTube tracker and all that stuff.

But you want that to be within the big bucket itself so that the bucket is the only thing that has to load before the rest of your page loads.

And that way your site functionally is much faster.

All of these are technical considerations.

This falls very much under what is called technical SEO, and is all about getting the infrastructure to support what it is you want to do.

The good news is there are many companies, good hosting companies that offer a substantial number of these features.

There are good providers of content delivery networks that provide a lot of these features.

And it can do most of these things.

The things that are up to us as marketers are choosing what code to run on our sites.

choosing whether our site is mobile optimized first.

That asynchronous loading of what isn’t is not supposed to load out on the page and in what order.

The more time you invest upfront planning the stuff out, the faster your site goes.

And the easier it is to manage, because you’re doing it from a sort of top down planning approach, rather than, as I have done many times in the past on my own site, done a bottom up approach, and then you audit your site every year and you look at it go.

I don’t remember installing that Where’d that come from, and making your site substantially faster, but not up until that point for those visitors who got there and got a slower site.

The best way to test this is with services like like Google’s free site speed tester, either there’s a standalone version out there.

But if you’re using Google Search Console, which you should be if you’re doing any kind of SEO, there’s a page speed indicator and control panel right within search console that will tell you how fast your site is from Google’s perspective.

And since they are still the dominant accompany in search, you want to make sure that they see your site as being nice and fast.

So, lots to unpack.

There’s a lot to do.

And again, at large organizations, you’re going to need the help of it to do a lot of this stuff because it’s their bailiwick.

So make sure that you have good integration with it.

The best way to integrate with it is bring beer and food down to their desks every Friday afternoon.

And as a former IT person, I can tell you that is greatly appreciated and does wonders for internal collaboration in an informal way.

You don’t need a formal process, just show up with some beer and some munchies and ask them what they got going on.

Tell them what you got going on.

And you’ll find yourself with a lot of common ground very, very quickly.

If you have follow up questions on technical SEO, leave them in the comments box below.

Subscribe to the YouTube channel on the newsletter, I’ll talk to you soon take care.

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