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EPISODE 02: How To Speed Up Your Website

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This post is taken from our Facebook Live dated 19 October 2017
Video Transcript
Good morning and welcome to Episode 2 of Rapid SEO Expert live , I am your host Shane Walker and yes today I am out of the office. In fact I'm so much out of the office I am approximately 1500 kilometers away from the office.

I'm down in Melbourne for the next few weeks working on some issues with some veterans groups that I'm involved with and so veterans charities.
So I'm taking the chance to do my Facebook lives from wherever it is that I happen to be at this point in time. So as a result of that what I'm gonna do is, today's format is going to be a little bit different as I have pre prepared some of the material that I'm going to present to you simply because I'm not 100% sure of the background and the noise the ambient noise that I will have around the time that I am able to broadcast.

So rest assured I am here. I am live and it’s the 19th of October and because I'm in Melbourne it is actually 11:30 where we normally go live at 10:30 Brisbane time which is now but down here in Melbourne it is currently 11.33. So with anything else with these Facebook live's, all of our Facebook lives and anything else we do with rapid SEO Expert is designed for getting you found online and then using advanced automation to either free up your time or keep your customers coming back for more and increasing your bottom dollar.

So we're all about two things getting out of line and using automation, business systems right through your whole business not just including your marketing but your background systems as well.

So the first thing we do with our Facebook lives is we have what's happening in the news. So we'll switch across to my computer and we'll go through the latest on what is happening with the news.
Google Penguin Is Live
Making news in SEO this week is the news that Google has announced that the penguin algorithm runs automatically now and does not need to be run as a manual refresh. So what does that mean to you?
Well firstly the Google penguin algorithm deals solely with inbound links that are pointing to your website. It has nothing to do with your website itself. It has to do with the links that are pointing to your website, and it is primarily designed to find web spam, dodgy links, blog networks over use of anchor text all, those sorts of things that are being used to either gain or manipulate the search engines.

Now, Google imposes a penalty if you have a dodgy link profile and because this algorithm was only ran manually every few months, prior to this if you picked up a penalty, your website would have that penalty even if you cleaned your link profile up, that penalty would stay until I manually ran the algorithm again.

So the great news is that if you've made some mistakes, you might have either over optimised or got some links that you probably shouldn't have, and you suffer a bit of a penalty. Well it will automatically adjust as soon as you go and clean your link profile up.

The algorithm runs all the time and it will take away the penalty once your link profile has been cleaned up so that is really really good news especially for those that are doing there own SEO and not necessarily trying to game the search engines or do dodgy things. They may have just made a mistake and done a couple of links the wrong way and now you can get rid of the penalty a lot quicker.

That being said there has been announcements by Google that they no longer put penalties in for Penguin and that they only.... what I do is they devalue or ignore what they consider to be shady links. Now Google stated this however, SEO's are really divided on this. A lot of people are saying that in their testing that they are still finding penalties. Others are saying no the penalties don't exist anymore and that Google just ignore the links.

So should you really worry about this? Well my answer is yes, simply because even if Google don't penalise anymore and they just ignore the links if you crossed the line, why would you waste your time. Why would you bother building links and spending all that money if there's a chance that it's not going to help your website anyway.

You're far better off spending your time, and effort on SEO best practices that are within Google's quality guidelines. You'll get a far better result and you won't run the chance of either getting a penalty, or having your work and your efforts wasted.

So that being said if you would like to find out exactly how it is that we rank all of our websites, we have some free training where will take you through all the steps that we do to rank our websites, and you can access that training by going to rapidseoexpert.com/seo-webinar.
We'll take you through, there's there's nothing held back, no holds barred, we show you exactly what it is we do to rank not only our own websites, but all of our clients sites it at the top of the search engine results.

So to access that free training go to rapidseoexpert.com/seo-webinar.

So that is the latest news that's going on in the SEO world and the next section or the next part that we like to do in our Rapid SEO Expert Live's is to shine the spotlight on a new piece of either software or tool that we're using that you can implement to help your business so I'll switch over to my computer and will do our spotlight section.
ASANA
In our spotlight section that I would like to shine the spotlight on a little productivity app that we use called Asana, but really it's not little, this software here, this project management software Asana is what has allowed Rapid SEO Expert to grow and expand and not only manage all of our own work, but to manage all of our clients.
It just makes all of our work flows, we keep track of things, it makes things so much more simpler to grow, scale and to keep track of where you are at with your business. So as I said Asana is a project management software where you can set your things into tasks and projects, you can assign work to people and you can follow the progress.

Asana's got a nice little video here, so what I'll do is flick the video on so you can get a better understanding of Asana and see exactly what it does.

With Asana your team can take on big projects and get them done. It all starts with the project. That you can break down into smaller tasks. Assign tasks and set due dates so everyone's clear on what to do and when to do it. As you start working link in other team mates and have conversations that move tasks forward you'll get updates on the things they're following and can see progress and deadlines any time. With your team working together in Asana. You can easily move from big idea to great results.

Now. Aside from that what we like most about Asana is that you can set up templates, so if you have tasks that are regularly done with a number of steps. For instance when we write a blog post we have lots of steps from come up with the idea. Do the first draft edit it, record the video. Do the draft on the page, add the text on the page, add the video to the page.

Or first upload the video to YouTube. There's just lots and lots of steps that we follow to do a blog post and everything's done exactly the same way every time. So what we do is we set up a template in Asana. So every time we got a new blog post to be done, all we do is we get the template make a copy put the name, assign the people and put a due date and every thing needs to be done is already there.

So we don't had to sit down and go okay we have to do a blog post again this week. What do we need to do, we need to do this this, this, this and this. Everything's already there so we can start the ball rolling straight away and get on to work.

Another really fantastic thing about it is the you can look at it at any time especially if you're working with a number of people or even just yourself. You might have been away for the weekend or a week or whatever. You can come back and you can look and know exactly where it is that you're at with your work and what needs to be done next or what everybody else is doing and what parts in the project that they are up to at that particular point in time.

So that's Asana. Check it out. It's made a fantastic amount of difference to Rapid SEO Expert. We used to use things like Base camp, and we found they were just really really expensive what you're getting. For a lot of businesses the free plan on Asana will be more than sufficient for what you need.

And it has all the features, theres chats in there, you can comment on tasks backwards and forwards between your team members. It just keeps all your communication and your tasking for your projects all in one spot. So

that's Asana again as with most of these things I do in the spotlight, I've got no affiliation with it at all. I get absolutely nothing if you sign up for Asana, I'm recommending it because we use it and we think it's great. So check out Asana.

So that is Asana, and as I said in the video there that it has absolutely changed the way that we do business and just made it so much easier to get things done. So if you are not already using some sort of project management tool in your business I highly recommend that you check Asana.
CloudFlare
So now we come to the how to section of our Facebook live and what I'm going to go through here, I've broken it down into two parts. What we're going to go through is how you can dramatically speed up your website and get a lot more reaction out of your customers and get a lot more favour from Google and the other search engines. So we will go through that now.
So in this section of our Facebook live I'm going to take you through how you can speed up your website. And we're going to go through the reasons not only of how you can speed your website up, but why you should speed it up as well.

So why do we need a faster website?

Well first up it provides a better user experience. Now a lot of people will just say oh yeah, that that's a bit of a throwaway or it's a given. But if you've got a website that's old, it looks out dated, it loads slow, you've got to wait for pages or images to load, people will naturally switch off your website. They'll click away and they'll go somewhere else.

Also it comes down to professionalism, if your website is not loading fast, if images aren't displaying properly if it just looks all old and outdated or clunky, then you don't give the impression of a professional switched on business.

And again as I said last week you only ever get one chance at a first impression. If someone's coming to your website for the first time and they've got a wait and it's a really dodgy looking website that takes ages to load, there not going to be too confident in doing business with you.

The second thing is that search engines prefer fast the websites, see for a search engine to know what’s going on with your website to put you in the rankings, they need to do what's called crawling your website. They need to put their search engine spiders all over your website to find out what your website is about and to make decisions on where it should be.

Now the slower your website loads, the more outdated or the older it is, the more bandwidth, the more resources and the more money it costs the search engines to crawl your website. So they don't like it and they prefer not to crawl slow old outdated websites and they will stay away from them.

If you've got a website that loads really really fast and you're updating with fresh content on a very regular basis, the search engines will just keep coming back and coming back all the time.

If you've got an old, outdated clunky website that's hard for them to read, they might only come to once every 30 days maybe even longer. So as I said the search engines they prefer those faster websites and it will keep coming back and finding out what's new on your website and indexing it in the search results.

And as a result faster websites, they equate to high rankings. Search engines, they actually, Google in particular penalises slow, old outdated websites and gives a boost in the rankings to websites that load really really fast. And as we know also our mobile optimised but the faster the website basically the more the search engines like it and the better...... all other things being equal of course the better you will go in the search engine rankings.

So what do we need to be able to speed up a website?

The easiest way you can speed your website to start with and the best bang for buck is using what's called a CDN or a content delivery network and the CDN or the content delivery network that we use is called CloudFlare.

It's an absolutely fantastic network and it has free and paid accounts and the free account is more than enough for most websites and most businesses to be able to use.

So what is a content delivery network?

Well you see the picture on the left where it says before CDN. Basically what happens is if you don't have a CDN, you've got your web server where your website is stored for want of a better word. In the centre there and everybody all over the world or all over the country that is accessing your website all access it through your one point of where you store it.

Now this can make grate variances in speed because for instance if your website was hosted... you've got a hosting account with a website in say America, and someone in Australia is trying to access your website.
Well it's got to go halfway around the world before you can even start loading.

So whilst it's not something that you can measurably see with your eye, those things take time. So it slows it down. It also drains your resources because it depends on how fast your website can deliver to all those people looking at it, and the more people on, the more drain on your resources, not just on your resources but the more drain on the speed that it can deliver everything up comes into play.

So when you have a content delivery network as you can see on the right basically what happens is CloudFlare a duplicate your website at numerous data centres all over the world, and they pull it directly off your server.
So the only one going to your server is CloudFlare, and they anybody wanting to access your website, accesses your website from the nearest CloudFlare server to them.

So if they're in America they will be looking at it on CloudFlare in America if they're in Australia they'll be looking at the Cloudflare setup in Australia. So it makes load times a lot faster. It makes access times a lot faster and also CloudFlare servers are mirroring and pulling straight off yours.

So it's always identical and they serve the website up a lot faster than most of own hosting that we have on our website. And it can handle a lot more visitors at the same time.

Other things the content delivery network can do is because they cache it, is what's called caching is keeping a copy, if your website crashes, Cloudflare can keep serving its copy of the website until you regain your website and get it up and then it will get it online again and then it will pull the latest copy back offline.

It can protect against threats because if anybody is trying to hack your website, they're not hacking your website, they're trying to hack into CloudFlare and CloudFlare can block them there and not let them get through to your website. So there's a lot more things that CloudFlare can do but they the main ones. It makes it easier for people to access, quicker for them to access and it protects against threats and it gives you lots of mirrors all over the world that people can access in the event that your website goes down.

So setting up with CloudFlare is really really easy and it's a three step process. Anyone could do this basically the first thing you do is you sign up for a free account at CloudFlare and once you've signed up with your free account you just tell it to scan your website, you'll hit add site, scan it.

Once its scanned CloudFlare will turn around and go we've got all the information here that we need on our CloudFlare system. All you need to do is change your nameservers, now your nameservers is your domain name. Basically what happens is your domain name will be stored somewhere and your website will be stored somewhere else. When someone says your website dot com it goes to the domain name and the domain name says hay, all the files that you need to see are stored over here and points them to your server.

So what you'll do is you'll just change the nameservers, it's just two names, two words that you type in, CloudFlare will tell you what they are. And then when someone types in your website, whatever your website is. yourwebsite.com, your domain name will say hey, go over to the nearest CloudFlare and you will find it there and that is it. It is as simple as.

So what I'm going to do now is I'm going to switch the power point off and I'm gonna go over to a CloudFlare account and I'm setting up a new website on CloudFlare and I'm going to walk you through the process so you can see how easy it is.

OK so I'm here now in my CloudFlare account and I'm not going to take you through how to sign up for an account because, I'm not going to insult your intelligence I'm sure you will know how to type in your name and your email address etc. So all I've done is I've gone up and I've clicked add site, and you can see I'm putting in a domain name here this is one of the not for profits that I work with in the veteran community.

So we've got our URL in here and all I do is I click begin scan. Ok, so I've got to change it.
You only put the domain name in and not the http:// and now it is going away and it is scanning the whole website. So this depending on the size of your web it could take a fair amount of time. If it's a fairly small site it shouldn't take too long.

And what it's doing now is it's going and it's reading all the pages on the website, all the codes, everything you've got in there and it's doing those mirror copies all around the world to all the CloudFlare sites that it has all around the world. So it should only take a few more seconds were just watching this blue bar down the bottom and we're good to go, our scan is finished.

So we click continue to set up and it says here verify all your DNS records are listed below. Now if you're not techie I wouldn't worry too much about this. This is only in the case that it's missed a particular part of your website, it generally doesn't happen, I've never known it to happen with Cloudflare were it misses something but you can put other things in. So you really don't have to worry about this, then just hit continue.

Ok it's going to ask you to select your plan, now the reason it asks you to select a plan every time you put a different........ because in your CloudFlare account you can put lots of websites so it just says which ones you want for a particular website so we will just click free website.

And there's my nameservers, so now all I have to do and I'm not going to take you through that because that’s just signing in through your domain registrar. But all it is...... You know you might be on Godaddy or something or you might be on Hostgator where it will have a websitewelcome name or something like that and all you do is you just change your two nameservers to that, and that, and then you will click continue and it's all done.

So I'm going to go over and change those in a second. As I said I'm not going to show you online when I saw when this live is finished I'll go over and change those, but that is it for CloudFlare. And you see how easy it was to set up an account on CloudFlare, and the site is now faster, it's protected and it can be accessed from anywhere in the world. So that's CloudFlare.

Now I hope you found that to be helpful. If you've got any questions or comments you can type in the chat boxes below. Also if you need to get in touch with us at any stage you can contact our support at [email protected], and one of our team will be be able to get back to you with any questions or queries you've got there.

Well hope this programme today has been of help and I look forward to seeing you again next Thursday. All right. Thanks.
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