Slow Website? Find out Why with the Dotcom-Tools Speed Test!

Slow Website? Find out Why with the Dotcom-Tools Speed Test!

No one likes a slow website. In 2008, this was somewhat acceptable, but in 2018 where most people have blazing fast internet in the palms of their hands, patience has dwindled for slow-loading websites.

Nowadays, most people expect websites to load in under 3 seconds, and there’s a significant amount of research showing that people will bounce or abandon a site very quickly (and not return) when the load time exceeds 3 seconds. In addition to users disliking slow websites, search engines like Google also factor website speed into their ranking algorithms and demote slow sites in the search results. Therefore, having a speedy website is a must!

What Can Be Done About Slow Loading Websites?

Most people know that slow loading websites aren’t good, but they have no idea how to fix them or where to start. This presents a big problem, because most sites that could be fixed by simple optimization sit and remain slow because their owners don’t know where to begin.

According to Web Hosting Buddy, there are a variety of causes for slow-loading websites, such as poor quality web hosting companies, overloaded servers, large images, unoptimized code, DNS issues, and other problems.  

Luckly, Dotcom-Monitor offers a free suite of testing tools on Dotcom-Tools.com, including a website speed test that runs from 25+ locations around the world. No other tool like this exists online, and it’s a great resource because it’s completely free to use.

How to Test With Dotcom-Tools

  1. Visit https://www.dotcom-tools.com/website-speed-test.aspx and input your How to Test With Dotcom-Toolswebsite’s URL. You can test your home page or specific inner pages.
  2. Complete the quick captcha, and then choose your browser type. Dotcom-Tools offers 7 different browsers types, including iOS and Android for testing mobile-responsive websites.
  3. Choose your testing locations, then click “Start Test.” The test will begin running in a round-robin fashion from all of the various datacenters around the world.
  4. View your detailed results by clicking on the page load time. This will generate a waterfall chart where you can see every single element on the page, the size, and how long it took to load.
  5. Analyze the waterfall chart to see where you can make improvements. Large images, long wait time, lack of caching are all areas that can commonly be improved.
  6. Click on the “Summary” and “Performance” tabs to see a breakdown of the best and worst performing elements, including various charts and graphs that help summarize the information.
  7. Finally, click on the “Host” tab to see where externally loaded resources are hosted and the performance of these elements.

Running a speed test with Dotcom-Tools will give you an incredibly accurate picture of why a particular website is slow and how to fix it. This is something that you should consider when looking at improving the performance of any website instead of flying blind. Next time your website is running slow, be a data driven webmaster and use a speed test like the one at Dotcom-Tools.com in order to ensure that your site is running as fast as it should be.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Website Audit: 7 Factors to Look Out For in 2013

Tomorrow marks the first day of December but it’s not too early to audit your website for the new year. It’s been a tumultuous year for search but all aspects of online marketing have been affected. As cliche as it is to talk about the changing world of the interwebs, 2012 really showed SEOs how much the landscape can change and that we need to be quick on our feet in order to survive.

Although there are many, many more, here are 7 things to look out for when analyzing your website’s effectiveness. Be sure to share your ideas with us too!

seo-2013

1) Keyword Usage: In most cases, the best advice is to cut back on using keyword rich anchor text, diversify phrases and use more branded terms.

Long gone are the days where you need a exact match domain in order to rank well for a certain term. Not only do the incredibly long, hyphenated URLs look spammy but Google has removed the benefit that they have long received in order to level the playing field for everyone.

Cutting back on linking exact match anchor text isn’t enough, as it’s important to also check pages for high keyword density. Even if you’re selling something specific like red tube socks, it isn’t necessary to see that phrase (or very similar) 100 times on one page. This also means cutting back on aggressive keyword use in meta elements, alternative text and image titles.

2) Number of Links: The less number of links you have on a page, the better. Around 100 is the goal but even less will be even better. When we talk about number of links on a page, we don’t just mean links in the content. Think about the links in your side navigation, drop down menus and links in the footer. It’s unnecessary for most of these to be on EVERY page of your site and will only slow it down. This is where utilizing an SEO-friendly content management system is helpful because you can control the links from one location and initiate site wide changes.

3) Navigation: Help users find what they’re looking for. But this doesn’t mean showing them all the content on your site at once! Make sure your pages are using appropriate breadcrumbs and even add jump-to links that will show up in search snippets.

4) Social Media Integration: Google, Facebook, Twitter are a must. But are they really? If no one is Tweeting, why not use LinkedIn shares? If no one is Liking, what about Google +? More buttons = more load time = more frustrated visitors, so choose the ones that are relevant to your business. It’s amazing to see that some sites are riddled with every social media share button possible including ones that might not be extremely mainstream/important such as Digg and Reddit.

5) Mobile Website: Have you thought about how failing to optimize for mobile phones and tablets could drive users away from your business? Check out our previous post: Elements of Effective Mobile Website Design. Keep things simple and take the rule of thumb literally: people don’t want to swipe multiple times to find what they’re looking for!

6) Utilization of Local: Local businesses need to make their contact information easy to find. Many contact pages still don’t have maps to their location or just have a toll-free number. This isn’t just crucial to the user experience, but Google+ Local relies on the contact info on your site and citations from other relevant local sites to make the connection to your physical location.

When it comes to mobile devices, use local strategies to your advantage by offering coupons, click to call options and supplying user-generated content like reviews. These will all help with conversion and bring customers into your business.

7) User Experience: Including all the things we’ve already talked about, it’s crucial to address basic things like having no pop-ups (or very few if necessary). Some sites also utilize user crushing experiences such as too many ads above the fold, auto-play videos/music or even making it hard to find your business’ contact information.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.