By Adding Bells and Whistles, You Risk Losing Money with a Slower Site



We’ve all experienced the frustration of slow-loading Web sites. As a result, we now learn the sites mean companies will make less revenue. This has implications for any company that wants to make money in e-commerce.

It’s official: At alarming rates, many top e-commerce Web sites risk losing sales because they’re too slow according to a Radware (www.radware.com) study.

The report is entitled, “State of the Union: Ecommerce Page Speed & Web Performance Summer 2015.”

tablet adamrJudging by their visitors’ rate sites – based on rankings by Alexa – just 12 percent of the top 100 e-commerce are successful in satisfying users. The expectations include content and download speed.

The trend is even more eye-opening. The recommended download speed is three seconds. But the median speed is 5.5 seconds. The slowest speed was 34.1 seconds.

In fact, 14 percent of the most-popular retailing sites take more than 10 seconds before visitors can use them. That’s an increase of 9 percent in 2015.

“No retailer wants to abandon up to 57 percent of their inbound site traffic, especially during the holiday selling season,” says Radware’s Vice President of Acceleration Kent Alstad.

“Retailers must invest in user experience for online customers, and that includes both content and page load time,” he adds. Serving more content to customers is expected but the goal is delivering more content, faster. That’s the ‘magic formula.’ Web performance optimization, or lack thereof, will directly impact the bottom line for retailers this holiday season.”

Why the slow trend?

Radware indicates sites have added features in efforts to satisfy user desires. However, the sites fail to use techniques in core optimization. This means page sizes are too large and multifarious.

To increase download speed, here are three Radware tips:

  1. Reformat images with lower resolution.
  2. Insert complex content below the fold.
  3. Fuse JavaScript and CSS into common files.

Here’s more in Radware’s infographic:

2015 Summer State of the Union: Ecommerce Page Speed & Web Performance Infographic

From the Coach’s Corner, here are several relevant articles to help your Web site:

Google’s Quest to Increase Page Speeds but Offer Expires — Important: If you took advantage of Google’s offer to accelerate your download speed, here’s what you must do.

Download Speed Matters for WordPress Web Sites – 5 Tips — Actually, download speed matters on all Web sites. Even if your WordPress Web site has compelling content with graphics and pictures, image and user convenience are equally important. So your site’s download speed matters – a lot.

Checklist to Create Cyber Monday Sales Success — In order to celebrate your Cyber Monday sales, you must first create a happy buying environment. That means reviewing your store and Web site to attract prospects and to create happy customers.

10 Tips to Optimize Your Web Site for Higher Sales — If you haven’t optimized your Web site for sales, you might want to reconsider. There are more and more indications that online shopping will continue to grow.

Your Mobile Site: 7 Precautions for a Top Google Ranking — With the skyrocketing sales of smartphones and tablets, comes a warning from Google. If you don’t have a mobile site, you should. And if you do, make sure it has what Google calls “mobile friendliness.” Here are seven precautions to take.

“Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.”

-Charles M. Schulz


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of adamr at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Download Speed Matters for WordPress Web Sites – 5 Tips



Actually, download speed matters on all Web sites. Even if your WordPress Web site has compelling content with graphics and pictures, image and user convenience are equally important. So your site’s download speed matters – a lot.

Download speed is important to search engines because they want to be known for providing fast access to sites for Internet users.

woman laptopGoogle was a pioneer in the quest for fast downloads, as I explained in this article: In SEO, Your Site’s Download Speed Matters to Google.

Not satisfied more than a year later, Google offered to help sites to speed up, as I wrote this article: “Google’s Continuing Quest to Increase Page Speeds.”

In huge numbers, businesses, independent professionals and bloggers use WordPress to manage their content.

WordPress is affordable and is easy-to-use – even for non-technical folks.

But as a WordPress site grows in page-content, download speed can become a quandary.

Unlike driving on an interstate freeway, don’t limit the speed of your site’s download time.

Here are five tips:

1. Daily check your site’s Dashboard, as WordPress frequently issues updates. That’s where WordPress will advise you. Caution is advised, however – update your system after the bugs have been worked out in the Beta testing versions.

2. To insure picture-perfect resolution, do a couple of things – Don’t insert a larger-size picture than necessary, and consider installing the complimentary SmushIt Plugin. The plugin will shrink the size of the picture without damaging the resolution.

3. Don’t allow pingbacks from other sites – unless a site has a stronger Google page rank (PR) than your site. Google assigns a PR to each site on a scale of zero to 10. For example, if your site has a three PR and a site with a two PR pings to you, Google’s algorithms will likely penalize you, just as they do if you have too many links to other sites. Many WordPress users turn off the pingback and trackback feature, so their systems don’t slow down.

4. Personally, I don’t recommend it for small sites, but the jQuery Image Lazy Load plugin is known for speeding up download time, which you might find helpful if your site has a lot of pictures and graphics. It’s designed to initially accelerate the download time of images above the page’s fold. As your visitors scroll down a page, the other pictures will appear for the visitors to view.

5. Many WordPress sites utilize a cache plugin, especially the W3 Total Cache to increase download speeds.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related links:

SEO Tips to Rank No.1 on Bing and Google — Study — There are striking similarities with Bing and Google — Web sites for top brands rank the highest and No. 1 sites are dominant because they have quality content, as well as strong social media signals and backlinks.

Google Details its New Reasoning for Best Web Site Rankings — The world’s most popular search engine has released detailed information on how it evaluates and ranks Web sites.

Checklist: 14 Strategies to Rock on Google — Periodic changes in Google’s search criteria and algorithms have indeed hurt many Web sites. But it’s possible to bullet-proof your site’s prominence on Google by taking 14 precautions, which is worth your time and energy. Google has perennially owned about a 66 percent search-market share in the U.S. and a 90 percent share worldwide.

Google Insights – 23 Key Questions about Your Web Site — Google has unveiled vital information about what it considers important for Web site ranking. Without divulging proprietary information, Google emphasized it’s all about value – quality for Internet users. In other words, there are no shortcuts for success. There’s been a lot of buzz about Google’s algorithm updates, and how they affect Internet sites.

SEO and Other Strategic Tips for a No.1 Rated Blog — To own your blogging niche, you must understand the evolving process — important basics in search engine optimization (SEO) and other strategies.  If you’ve been blogging for awhile, you know success doesn’t keep come automatically. Blogging is arduous work. You must have a strategic blogging goal.

“Fix your eyes on perfection and you make almost everything speed towards it.”

-William Ellery Channing


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Google’s Quest to Increase Page Speeds but Offer Expires



Google has been very concerned about page download speed to help it maintain its image as a search engine. So much so that in July 2011 they offered Web site owners a limited time offer, which has now expired.

For higher performance, Google evaluated your Web site for download speed. They also offer to give out a new code that will made sites faster for enhanced user enjoyment.

PageSpeed Service was turned off on August 3rd, 2015. Please see Turndown Information for PageSpeed Service.

Your might recall Google’s process enhanced Web sites; prominence on the No. 1 search engine, and it enabled Google to operate at a faster rate for users.

Google’s goal has been to enable sites to download more quickly by as much as 60 percent.

“Page Speed Service fetches content from your servers, rewrites your pages by applying web performance best practices and serves them to end users via Google’s servers across the globe,” according to Google.

“The extent of speed up depends on a variety of factors such as content on your pages, browser, geographic location of access, bandwidth, etc.,” Google explained.

On its page-speed service page, Google also provided a link for publishers to test their site’s speed. Most tests took less than five minutes.

“The test involves rendering your website on the selected browser by directly visiting your site, and repeating the same test by proxying your site through Page Speed Service,” Google said at the time.

Again, PageSpeed Service was turned off on August 3rd, 2015. Please see Turndown Information for PageSpeed Service.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are resource links to help your site’s Google presence:

“The Internet is the Viagra of big business.”

-Jack Welch

 

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

SEO — Google’s Tips to Increase Your Site’s Download Speed



How fast does your Web site download?

Google announced that it determines site rankings, in part, by download speed. That was the message in April 2010.

“We mentioned site speed as early as last year, and you can watch this video from February where I pointed out that we still put much more weight on factors like relevance, topicality, reputation, value-add, etc. — all the factors that you probably think about all the time,” wrote Google software engineer  Matt Cutts in a recent blog.

“Compared to those signals, site speed will carry much less weight,” he added.

Speed saves costs

But another blog, Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, also mentioned site speed: “But faster sites don’t just improve user experience, recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs,” he explained.

“Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings,” he added.

Personally, I wonder if being fast qualifies as a green initiative.

Google also makes these suggestions:

  • Page Speed, an open source Firefox/Firebug add-on that evaluates the performance of web pages and gives suggestions for improvement.
  • YSlow, a free tool from Yahoo! that suggests ways to improve website speed.
  • WebPagetest shows a waterfall view of your pages’ load performance plus an optimization checklist.
  • In Webmaster Tools, Labs > Site Performance shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world as in the chart below. We’ve also blogged about site performance.

Mr. Cutts also wrote that Google’s official blog provides even more tools.

“…Google’s webmaster console provides information very close to the information that we’re actually using in our ranking,” he added. “In addition, various free-to-use tools offer things like in-depth analysis of individual pages. Google also provides an entire speed-related mini-site with tons of resources and videos about speeding up websites.”

He also says “big sites” will not get a competitive advantage in the added factor of site speed.

“Often even a little bit of work can make big differences for site speed,” explained Mr. Cutts. “So I think the average smaller web site can really benefit from this change, because a smaller website can often implement the best practices that speed up a site more easily than a larger organization that might move slower or be hindered by bureaucracy.”

In addition to downplaying load speed, he emphasized Internet users would appreciate the fastest-possible user experience.

this change highlights that there are very constructive things that can directly improve your website’s user experience,” he concluded.” Instead of wasting time on keyword meta tags, you can focus on some very easy, straightforward, small steps that can really improve how users perceive your site.”

My sense is that site speed does indeed play a vital role in search engine optimization. If you haven’t already, you might want to make certain that your site downloads fast as possible.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

Good Blogs Have Nothing to Fear from Google’s Updates — Alarms bells are sounding all over the Internet after Google’s seemingly incessant algorithm updates. The search engine’s changes can be unnerving for bloggers, but there’s no reason to panic. Use patience and tenacity to succeed. On another page, I’ve written about five factors to get peak Google results.

5 Factors to Get Peak Google Results for Your Web Site – Study — What do top Web sites have in common? Successful sites produce a high number of Facebook and Twitter messages, but the sites minimize the volume of ads on its pages according to an authoritative study. Those are the salient lessons from a 2012 study by Searchmetrics, a search and social analytics firm.

Google Speaks Out About Frequency vs. Value — Are you concerned about your Web site’s popularity on Google? Here’s how the search engine differs from users in Web site content value vs. frequency.

“SEO is not synonymous to JUNK E-MAIL.”

– Matt Cutts


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.






Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.