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REVIEW of 12-day SEO challenge – improving eNitiate Website page speeds

eNitiate Website | Day 8 of 12-day challenge | Google Pagespeed Test for Mobile | 13 Apr 2020 | Banner

In this post; I review the outcome of the 12-day SEO challenge, post the duration thereof that ended on Friday the 17th of April.

A series of 4 posts have already been published about the 12-day challenge.

You can scroll to the end of this post to find the associated links. 

About the goal of the 12-day challenge

To recap, the goal of the 12-day challenge was to improve eNitiate Website mobile page load speed from the Google Pagespeed Insights score of 24 (out of 100) to 50 by the end of the duration.

eNitiate Site – Google Pagespeed Score | Mobile | 5 April 2020

eNitiate Website | Google Pagespeed Test for Mobile | 5 Apr 2020
Graph 1

QUESTION: what is the outcome of the 12-day challenge?

Did I achieve the stated goal of improving eNitiate Website’s mobile load speed?

Before I give the answer, I had one last task to perform – to explore whether I can optimise a content delivery network (CDN for short) for the Website.

CDN’s play a key role in speeding up access to Websites. They do this by setting up datacentres in key locations around the world, with the objective of shortening the distance between the site and the visitors. 

You can find out more about a CDN service here.

Milestone 4: optimisation of CDN by end of day 12

eNitiate Website uses Cloudflare, a CDN that has 200+ datacentres around the world. 

Here are the steps that I took to optimise it:

  • eNitiate has been registered on Cloudflare since 2017, but was not properly configured, and thus optimisation was not leveraged all along.
    I guess the oversight resulted from the fact that we had not done a detailed SEO exercise before.
    The configuration has now been addressed, and optimisation was effected.
    Of the various options on the Cloudflare dashboard; those that were optimised are firewall, access, caching, page rules and network.   
eNitiate Website | 12 Day SEO Challenge | Cloudflare Dashboard | 17 Apr 2020
Table 1: Cloudflare Dashboard
  • A lot has been done since the relaunch of eNitiate website in early January, to structure content for mobile devices.
    Thus, I was especially pleased that Cloudflare includes AMP – short for

    Accelerated mobile pages – a key feature for improving mobile page speeds.

eNitiate Website | 12 Day SEO Challenge | Cloudflare Accelerated Mobile Page Functionality | 17 Apr 2020
Table 2: Cloudflare AMP Functionality
  • See the Cloudflare speed test result below, which shows that optimisation of Cloudflar was beneficial!
eNitiate Website | 12 Day SEO Challenge | Cloudflare Speed Test | 17 Apr 2020
Table 3: Cloudflare Speed Test for eNitiate Website

In addition to the Cloudflare optimisation, I conducted a health check of the eNitiate Website using Ryte, a tool that is linked to Yoast SEO Pro, a plugin that I use on the site.  

Here are the results:

eNitiate Website | 12 Day SEO Challenge | Yoast SEO | Ryte Test Results| 17 Apr 2020
Table 4: Ryte Optimisation Scores for eNitiate Website

A drill-down of the issues that Ryte identified is comforting, given that none of them are critical, which would have been highlighted with a red emergency icon.

Here are the identified issues, in order of priority:

eNitiate Website | 12 Day SEO Challenge | Yoast SEO | Ryte Priority Issues | 17 Apr 2020
Table 5: Optimisation Issues Identified by Ryte

Of the 6 identified issues in Table 5, all but pages with low word count and pages loading more than 1 second have already been addressed.

The remaining issues will be addressed in the near future.

A quick review of the process used in the 12-day SEO challenge

Let me do a quick review of the tasks that I undertook as part of this 12-day challenge, broken down by each of the 4 reporting periods over the duration. 

eNitiate Website | 12 Day SEO Challenge | Milestone Review | 18 Apr 2020
Table 6: Review of SEO Tasks

Table 6 lays out specific tasks that I undertook during the 12-day SEO challenge. I am happy with the methodical process and level of effort that went into improving the Google Pagespeed Insights score of the eNitiate Website, with specific focus on doubling more than doubling the mobile load speed score from 24 (on 5/04/2020) to 50 by the 12th day. 

Time for revealing the final Google Pagespeed score

The final Google Pagespeed Insights mobile score by day 12 was 48. If you read the previous post in this series, you will know that this score was achieved by day 8 already. Therefor, the score did not change in the last 2 milestones. 

I explain the reason there was no change in the score, by examining how long it takes to improve load speeds for each of the undertaken tasks, split into Immediate results and Future results

eNitiate Website | 12 Day SEO Challenge | Milestone Results | 18 Apr 2020
Table 7: Times It Takes For Improved Load Speed Results

I want to draw your attention to the second last task in Table 7 – CDN optimisation. This task was undertaken as part of the last milestone.

You will notice that the expected load speed improvements of this task will only accrue in the future and not immediately.

That explains why the Google Pagespeed Insights did not change during the period of the challenge.

I am still happy with the improvement of eNitiate Website’s mobile load speed, which has doubled since I embarked on the 12-day SEO challenge.

SEO lessons learnt

SEO is indeed a marathon, not a sprint.

Why? 

This subject is fairly complex. 

To make the point; and without any intention to confuse the uninitiated, I only focused on on-page SEO for the 12-day challenge, not the off-page SEO.

On-page SEO alone has many moving parts, especially for a site that is constantly updated with fresh content, and that tends to have a sizable number of images that are added with each published post.

Let me also add that the on-page SEO areas that were addressed in this 12-day SEO challenge are not exhaustive.

Having said that, every site that is serious about improving its Google rankings must improve SEO, and this  includes improvement of page load speeds.

I can’t wait to review eNitiate Website’s traffic stats for the quarter 2 of 2020 in early July, to see how SEO improvements will have lead to healthier performance on Google. 

Posts in the 12-day SEO challenge series

Click on each image to go to the related post.

eNitiate Website | Google Pagespeed Test for Mobile | 5 Apr 2020
Start of The 12-Day Challenge
eNitiate Website | Day 2 of 12-day challenge | Google Pagespeed Test for Mobile | 7 Apr 2020
Day 2 of The 12-Day Challenge
eNitiate Website | Day 2 of 12-day challenge | Google Pagespeed Test for Mobile | 9 Apr 2020
Day 4 of The 12-Day Challenge
eNitiate Website | Day 8 of 12-day challenge | Google Pagespeed Test for Mobile | 13 Apr 2020
Day 8 of The 12-Day Challenge

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