Technical Analysis of 1 Website

Today we are looking at the one local website here in the UK and doing a technical audit.

This site we picked, due to the fact we had noticed it had lost some of its core rankings and wondered if it could be down to technical issues.

Hi, I’m Andy from On Page Rocks.

Hi, I’m Corey the Server Log Kid.

And today we’re gonna be looking at doing the analysis of one website, one website only. We’re gonna show you some technical issues, some other issues with it, so yeah, sit back and enjoy.

Thank you. Like I said, today is gonna be a quick technical analysis of one local website. So let’s dive straight in.

As I’ve mentioned in most of my videos, in most of my conferences, and on this website, you won’t be able to really build a house on quick sand, so don’t build a million dollar website on poor foundations. I’m not saying technical’s the most important factor to determine its rankings, I’m not saying it’s not a factor. It’s one of the factors. So really, you need to start out your foundation. A great foundation allows you to amplify all the great links you build, all the great content you write. So yeah, sort out the foundations.

Wedding Blogs

Wedding blogs. Me and the Server Log Kid here recently did an analysis of the top 100 wedding blogs. You can find that on our YouTube page, in our Facebook group, or on our website. But, the difference between that one and this one is that we looked at the top 100 wedding blogs in that video. This one we’re looking at one specific site and showing you some areas of improvement.

One Local Website

So, like I said, there’ll be one local website. The website is based here in the UK. We won’t be revealing the website during the analysis. We’ve sent the owner of this website a link to this video saying, “This is your site,” but that’s all. We will not reveal the website as we don’t think it’s fair. The reason we picked this website is it used to rank above some of the UK’s biggest brands, in the niche it operates, only for local searches, but then it started to fall away the last couple of weeks, month or so. And we’re wondering if that’s technically-wise. So we’ve done a quick technical audit. So we want to share with you the findings.

Data

,, the data, they are a client of ours, if you want to get into it, we’re happy to do a more in-depth analysis, but this is all publicly available information we’ll be able to access. We don’t have access to Google search results. We don’t have access to Google Analytics. We definitely don’t have access to server logs. This is purely just the stuff we can find about online.

So for all the data we use a program called Screaming Frog. The site is less than 500 pages, so you can get away with the free version. Actually, we only found one error, or one non-200 responding page and that was one 301 readout. So in that sense, it was pretty good. However, it was a lot like images on the right-hand side you will see a list of the twenty biggest images on the website. And all we did was download these twenty images off the website, chuck ’em into compress png.com or compress jpeg.com and hit compress. It probably took us ten minutes to do all twenty images. And yeah. On average, I would say 70%, I think the biggest reduction in size was 87% reduction. So, yeah, that’s one huge recommendation straight away.

Crawling a website, you can do it yourself if you get your own website. Crawl it, filter by images, sort by largest to smallest. Boom. Take them images, chuck ’em in compress jpeg, compress png. It’s a free bit of software. It takes a few seconds to kick in. It doesn’t take much time to do its magic, yeah. You download it and re-upload it. It can make a huge difference.

So, yeah, on the site all you have to do is fix the one 301 redirects and do the actual readout and the large images. Like it’s a fairly small site. There isn’t a lot wrong with it from a crawl point of view, but the large images were something we noticed straight away.

Platform

Jono Alderson, the guy that now works at Yoast. Saw him speak at a conference, I think it was back in April in Madrid. I think that’s where he started mentioning it, but basically, Google is now working with WordPress. Basically, Google got sick of telling Webmasters how to sort out SEO on their site, so now they’ve decided they actually wanna work with the platforms.

With John Mueller it does clearly state you can … any platform can rank. Google doesn’t give a preference to any said platform. WordPress in their eyes isn’t better than Wix. Shopify isn’t better than Magenta, et cetera, et cetera. Any platform, if it’s done right, can rank.

But this site is built using Wix, and I’ve never personally used the website. I’ve been told it’s great if you’re not a techy or a developer, if you just wanna get your website up quick and easy, so great for small local businesses that don’t really have resources. And speaking to a couple people I know, I’ve done SEO on Wix. Now they can say, can be optimized pretty well, you just need an amazing expert in JavaScript and Stack Development to get the same type of rewards that you would on, say if you were working in WordPress or Shopify or any other platforms. Problem is the guys are experts in JavaScript and Stack Development. In their eyes it costs about five times as much as what a normal developer would cost. So it can be done, I’m not saying it can’t, I’m just saying that it’s not the best platform to be on for SEO.

Speed

So speed. We all know Speed – Kills. I did an article on this, oh, 18 months ago, about two years ago on slow sites, they’re not gonna be great. So first thing we do, and I bang on about this every single video, every single conference I do, every Facebook group I’m in. HTTP2. If you’re not on HTTP2 then I don’t know why. If you’re HTTPS, there’s no reason not to run HTTP2. The only thing I can say here is I’m not sure if Wix will allow you to go to HHTP2 if you don’t control the server, so that would be one question I would have to ask wix.

So yeah, this site’s pretty slow. So the top right-hand corner one is from Google’s test run site with Google or whatever the URL is. 16 seconds to load. I just wanna say that’s on a 3G connection. 33% of visitors there are lost. The middle graph is from a webpage test. It’s saying for the full load time is 31 seconds. Start rendering is seven seconds, so usually it’s something like seven seconds before this website starts to load. Come on, let’s do it. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Now the website starts to load. Who wants to sit there for that amount of time? I’d be bored, I’d be gone. Like it’d have to be some hell of a content for me to sit around for seven seconds just for the page to start to render. Not fully load, start to render. So yeah, that is definitely something to work on. But yeah, compressing the images, going to HTTP2, will quickly reduce that time.

Another thing I want to cover and this used to me a big ranking factor. I don’t even think it’s a ranking factor anymore. But the location of a server used to be important. Well, Wix currently hosts all their sites from the US. Our sites are currently hosted with Google, and I pick a London server, ’cause that’s closest to where most of my users are. Now if you do something similar with Wix and pick a UK address that would help. Not from an SEO ranking factor directly, but indirectly ’cause obviously page speed, if your users have gotta then go across the US to bring the site back, obviously that’s adding to the delay. So obviously that could be one thing. You need speak to Wix to see whether that can be done in the UK.

But that can be the same with a few more sites. So if you’re on wordpress, try and find a host in England if you’re in the England or if you’re in certain states in America, but try to find one in your specific states wherever your customers are. I said it’s an indirect ranking factor because it affects speed more than it affects rankings.

Isn’t a dig at Wix

And lemme make this clear. This isn’t a dig at Wix directly. I’m not saying Wix is bad for SEO. Like I said, Wix can me done great for SEO, you just gotta do more for it. And its’ great for getting your websites up pretty quickly. But the problem is, and I don’t know well … Wix has its purposes, but Wix realizes it’s not the greatest platform on the market. Wix for their own blog uses WordPress. Do I need to say anymore? Like if their own platform isn’t good enough for blogging, and they have to use their competitors, then hey … Well yeah, Wix can be good if you don’t care about SEO rankings. So maybe you’re a photographer and you just want a client to be able to go on and download their images. Probably pretty god for that. But yeah.

Off Page

Off Page, links are still super important, we wanna stress that. Technical is just one part of the equation. Any competitors have got better links recently, maybe that’s why they’ve dropped their rankings. But there are a few technical things here. Google did say that the months July and August was all about speed, so yeah. Look at fixing these speed issues here.

Content

Content again, it could be. And while we have kinda seen this website mod in a few months, and seen the rankings start to dip off, we haven’t been following it that much so we know if content’s changed it could’ve been that their competitors have suddenly increased their content relevancy on their site, or the guy that owns this website could’ve affected it in a negative sense. I’ve not followed it enough to know.

Five Key Takeaways

So the five key takeaways from watching this video is you should scan your site and find any non– 200 responses and fix them. There was only one on this website, 301 redirect it. Compress images. Again, you find this quickly in Screaming Frog. Screaming Frog’s downside is, and we’ve done a video on this, is it only has a 500 page limit on the free version. The paid version is only £149, it’s not like it’s a lot for a year. So yeah. Find the images, find the large ones, and then compress ’em. If you don’t really know what to do, we did create a free tool back in March, April this year which basically, you crawl the website with Screaming Frog, chuck it into Excel, it then switched all the information out to date so you can quickly see your large images.

Then you wanna sort out your page speed. Obviously compressed images will help that. But move to HTTP2. Like if you’re on HTTPS then there is no reason you should not be with HTTP2. The benefits are just phenomenal. Like 50% if not better reduction in page speed. And move server location. And this isn’t for a direct SEO benefit like it was 10 or 15 years ago. This is more for user’s benefit. The further away the server is, the longer it takes to make that connection. And we’re only talking milliseconds here. We’re not talking minutes, a minute, but they add up every time, and they can add to a poor experience.

So yeah, I hope you enjoyed watching, any questions, fire ’em through. I’m Andy On Page Rocks. This is the Server Log Kid on twitter. Yeah, ask away.

So yeah, I hope you enjoyed that. Me and the Server Log Kid doing a quick video on one website. If you’d like your website to be reviewed, send it in there to us and we’ll have a look. Like I said, we haven’t revealed the website. If you don’t want us to reveal yours, more than happy not to do the same thing. Follow us on YouTube, follow us on Twitter, he’s @Serverlogkid, @onpagerocks, or join our group on Facebook. We hope to see you soon.

About

Hello, my name is Andrew Halliday a UK based professional SEO expert and consultant of 9 years. Over those years, I have gained a great wealth of SEO knowledge. I have helped hundreds of companies around the world. I specialise in Technical SEO audits and Server Log Analysis. “You wouldn’t build a million dollar business on quicksand, so don’t build a million dollar website on poor foundations”

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