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Site Speed Optimization

How Atlantic BT boosted site speed to drive more business.

The challenge.

A new design and site structure would effectively convey Atlantic BT’s new market position. But after the website launched, we quickly realized that page speed was an important factor for enhanced UX and increased organic traffic.

The outcomes.

Prioritizing six page speed updates led to an 18% increase in organic traffic and a 60% increase in conversions in just one month.

A technical SEO audit helped Atlantic BT prioritize.

When we noticed a decrease in organic performance on our new website, we decided to perform a technical SEO audit to diagnose the issue. We found that our page speed was not up to par using Lighthouse and GTMetrix, free tools that provide detailed reports on your site performance.

Between these two tools, our Front-End Development team compiled a list of changes to make to our website.

Six primary factors ended up having the largest impact on page speed.

We tested speed with and without these factors, isolating variables to determine the most effective items and their impact on speed scores.

  1. Reducing the number of third-party scripts: We found third-party scripts to have the largest effect on slow load times, especially any third-party JavaScript used to track user behavior. We decided to remove or pause all scripts that weren’t in current use to track campaigns and optimize the loading process for scripts we decided to keep.
  2. Caching and minification: Atlantic BT implemented W3 Total Cache plugin on our WordPress website.
  3. Optimizing images: WordPress has several plugins available that will easily optimize images. Atlantic BT currently uses EWWW Image Optimizer. We can bulk optimize and auto-generate .webp images for all custom WordPress image sizes. We then serve .webp images with a fallback to a png or jpg format.
  4. Lazy loading images: We improved page load time by implementing vanilla Lazyload NPM.
  5. Remedying redirect chains: A redirect chain is when a single webpage is repeatedly redirected. Atlantic BT ran into this issue from adjusting our site structure several times. We were able to clean these up by using regexes and deleting redirects that no longer applied.
  6. Preloading fonts: When using custom fonts, prioritizing fonts in a browser’s resource queue can have a significant impact on page speed. Using a rel tag along with certain attributes can signify browsers to load them immediately. 

 

Improving GTMetrix scores from D’s to an A.

On Atlantic BT’s home page, we saw a 30% increase in PageSpeed score and a 23% increase in YSlow score.

Before site speed optimization:GTMetrix scores - before

After site speed optimization:GTMetrix scores

The final result – increases in traffic, engagement, and conversions.

Implementing these changes showed immediate results for our business. We found that page speed had three main benefits to our strategy:

  • Decreased load times meant it was easier to retain users and keep them engaged.
  • Google’s algorithm recognized our page speed, rewarding us with higher rankings and increasing our organic traffic.
  • Google ad CTR increased by 250%, getting us more relevant clicks.

These website updates were well worth the investment. In one month, we saw an 18% increase in organic traffic and 60% increase in qualified conversions.

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