Website Plumbing Impacts Search Engine Rankings
Website Speed and Performance Impacts SEO Results
The holy grail of SEO in the post Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird era calls for a 4 part strategy. Said another way, there are four (4) foundational pillars that (together) create a solid SEO plan in the modern digital era. They are:
- Site speed/performance
- Fresh content
- Inbound links
- Social sharing
We’ve noticed that most marketers overlook site speed and performance in their SEO strategy. I’ll use an analogy to put this in perspective. Paying attention to your website’s speed and performance is like paying attention to proper plumbing and wiring in a building you own. It’s not the sexiest piece of the equation, but it’s too important to ignore because if it’s broken, you have a problem.
Now that I’ve painted this lovely visual in your head, let’s focus more on why site speed and performance is so important in your SEO plan and who should care about it in any organization.
The Pace of Change in Search
Earning and maintaining organic search engine rankings is both science and art. The science part continues to get more intense, fueled by the pace of change in the search landscape which can make anyone’s head spin. These seemingly constant changes create increased intensity to maintain your website for optimal search engine optimization results.
The updates from Google over the past two years have caused a lot of confusion among website owners. It’s been said many times that for good organic search rankings you only need to have great content. Even Google’s Matt Cutts advises everyone to focus on quality content. There’s just one problem. The first page of Google only has 10 organic spots. So, if everyone has quality content for any given keyword, how will Google determine which website to list on the first page? The answer to that question lies in the 4 part equation.
Site Speed and Performance Audit
We’ve launched a new audit service that looks at over 80 factors in a website’s architecture to determine how the site performs. The outcome of this audit is a detailed roadmap of the technical issues that a website needs to get resolved to improve site speed and performance (plumbing and wiring).
If you’re beginning to yawn, hang with me. I’d like to offer you an explanation of the importance of a website’s architecture for SEO value written for each key stakeholder in your organization.
You authorize the digital marketing budget. You care only about the bottom line results. You want ROI on your investment. A website is like a piece of real estate. It requires attention to maintenance to keep it functioning at peak performance to deliver bottom line return on your investment. A site audit is an example of a maintenance exercise which identifies the details that need to be addressed to optimize its performance.
You are accountable for the digital marketing strategy. The company website is at the center of the strategy. Perhaps you work with an outside agency to develop your website, but often this effort is treated as a project. Perhaps you launched a new version of the website one or two years ago. With recent Google updates you’ve noticed a decline in search engine rankings and inbound leads. The Sales team is breathing down your neck to provide more leads. Perhaps you ask your IT department to improve the website, or maybe you turn to the website developer wondering what they did wrong. Most likely, they did nothing wrong. The site is merely behaving naturally. It needs to be maintained but you don’t know what’s involved in fine tuning it for speed and performance.
The marketing team approached you to improve the website because it is not performing as well as it was prior to the recent Google updates or generally as it did last year. You want to help the marketing department, but your plate is overflowing with other IT projects. You make a few suggestions pertaining to meta data or moving the site to another server. In reality, you are limited in time and insight into how to improve the website’s overall SEO performance.
Head of Sales
You closely watch search engine rankings for the keywords that matter most to your company for inbound leads. Unfortunately, you’re watching your company’s website search engine rankings slip while your main competitors (and some new competitors) sit on the first page of Google for those “moneyball” keywords. You have little or no idea how this happens. All you know is that you are not getting as many leads as you have in the past and your competitors are probably getting leads that you deserve to get. So, you put the heat on the marketing team to “fix the website.”
No matter which role above fits you, the common problem is the same. And, the common goal is the same. As mentioned earlier, any piece of real estate needs to be maintained. A website is a piece of digital real estate. With each passing week, month and year your website gets “clutter” which affects its speed and performance, having a negative impact on organic search ranking and inbound leads.
Just the same as you maintain any piece of real estate, your website requires maintenance.
Find and Convert’s website audit reviews more than 80 technical criteria that impact a website’s speed and performance. We provide a detailed report of the site’s architecture issues that need to be addressed. The output of our audit is not just the “what” needs to be addressed, we also explain “how” to address them. Your investment in a site audit can pay for itself many times over through improved rankings.
We’ve put together a a slide deck to help you understand the importance of a website’s architecture and how it needs to be maintained to contribute to this all important pillar in organic SEO rankings.
Ready to arrange your site audit? Contact us today to arrange your site audit.