In this part of the project, we began with a website audit as this would be our guide on what needed improvement.
Our first website audit was done in March 2019, which left us with a number of issues that we had to improve as follows;
- Page load time needs improvement.
- Content needs optimization.
- Google Webmaster Tools is recommended.
- Footer needs optimization.
and critical issues as follows;
- No sitemap.xml found.
- Your headings can be optimized further.
- You have 5 missing or empty alt attributes.
- Blog not found.
We started off by creating brand new content for each page of the website. We performed a thorough keyword and keyphrase analysis for search engine ranking. We then combined this with the content we created and finally we uploaded the new content to each page.
Each page had an increased word count of between 1000 to 1500 words as thin content is not recommended. We also re-worded the titles and included meta data on each page. This helps search engines display each page in search results as intended.
We also did our best to apply what little we know about copywriting. Much improvement is needed in this area but we do what we can.
The results of our website audit.
We then turned our attention to improving page speed. As we noted above, the website performed poorly at first. Our initial results as seen in the image below gave us a 25/100 for mobile and 67/100 for desktop.
These were the results prior to any attempt to correct page speeds.
Google Page Speed Results when we first uploaded the website.
From my understanding there are three reasons why page speed is important. Particularly mobile page speeds.
- First, we need to consider people / our audience. Often, mobile users will use data packages to browse the internet. If the site is heavy in that there is a lot of data to download, then it taxes the users data package.
- We also need to keep in mind that a slow loading page will likely result in users bouncing away from the page. It’s recommended to keep page load times in under 3 seconds.
- Google are now ranking websites entirely on the mobile phone platform. This is because the number of mobile searches has increased in the last few years. So it is highly recommended that we focus our efforts in this area.
By satisfying the page speed issue, we’re helping ourselves or in this case, our customer. The less people bounce off our site and the longer they stay on the page, the more likely we’ll get a good ranking.
We tried several combinations of plugins to improve page speed. We also managed to use gzip compression to boost speeds. Caching plugins often break the site, but have a great impact on page speeds. We managed to implement these plugins correctly without breaking the website.
The mobile page speeds have really been difficult to improve. Unfortunately we were unable to make use of a Content Delivery Network (CDN). This is because the dns records for this site are hosted in Zimbabwe, whilst the website is hosted in the States.
So these are the latest result we have for the website page speed;
- Google Page Speed Mobile – 73%
- Google Page Speed Desktop – 96%
- Gtmetrix Page Speed Score – 98%
- Gtmetrix YSlow Score – 82%
Google Page Speed – Mobile Score
Google Page Speed – Desktop Score
GT Metrix Page Speed Results
Overall, we have seen decent improvements by reducing the size of the page, compressing and correctly resizing images, and through efficient use of a caching plugin.
As you will notice, the page loads in 2.5 seconds with a total page size of 649kb. Had we been able to make use of a CDN, we may have further improved load times.
Performance Data for Executive Air over the last 6 months.
Google Webmaster Tools
We tackled part of the google webmaster tools issue by installing a plugin that would help us with SEO. With this plugin we were able to connect to Google Analytics, and this helped us to track our results.
Connecting to Google Search Console was a little more difficult. This is because the account was under the previous website developer.
- When we finally managed to take over the account, we had additional benefits that we could use.
- We were now able to create and submit sitemaps to google.
- We were able to track how quickly a new page was indexed by Google.
- We also got immediate notifications from Google on issues that needed attention.
So now we’re able to collect information as follows;
The number of users who visit the website, the number of sessions, the bounce rate and the average time spent on the page.
We can monitor the traffic channel, the source of the traffic and the referring websites.
We can track the concentration of traffic by time, country and device.
And the pages that have been visited.
Google Search Console
We get an overview of the number of organic clicks we get as well as the number of pages indexed on google.
We also know how many impressions have been shown in users when searching for keywords and keyphrases.
We get the average click through rate and the average position of our keywords.
As mentioned above we also get notifications of issues as well as when a new page is indexed.
So a lot of useful information given to us through these tools that can help us moving forward.
Just as a quick note: We recently added a page onto the website that was specific to Pilot Training. Once the page was approved by the Executive Air Team, we uploaded it onto the website.
We then recreated a new sitemap and submitted it to Google Search Console for indexing. Within about three days, the page was indexed. By the time of this writing the page had 10 new impressions on Google’s Search Engines.
Unfortunately, we still don’t have an active blog on the website. The focus here has been on Facebook and partially on twitter.
Hopefully, we’ll be able to do some work in this area when the economy settles down a little.
Executive Air Facebook Page (Please note, we don’t have any control over their Social Media Marketing).
As mentioned above, Executive Air does have a social media presence. Mainly on Facebook, but they also have a linkedIn account and a Twitter Account.
Once we discovered these accounts, we added the links to the website. So now anyone wishing to join or follow them on Social Media will have easy access to these accounts.
Next Steps going forward
In our next post, we going to do another website audit and most likely do some work with schema markup.
Schema markup is going to help search engines better understand what the website is about. This will help improve rankings.
We’ll also see where we’re falling short in any areas of the website, so that we can make further improvements.
We hope you have enjoyed these posts. If you like what you see and would like us to take care of any of these things for you, please feel free to give us a call on 0782 004 522. We’ll be happy to help you.
Stay Safe and enjoy the rest of your week.