How I Grew Quick Sprout From 121,311 to 244,923 Readers in 30 Days

january traffic

I’ve never had more traffic coming to Quick Sprout, than I did in January 2013. In that month, according to Google Analytics, Quick Sprout had:

  • 309,364 visits
  • 244,923 unique visitors
  • 452,369 pageviews

And although those numbers may not seem big, you have to keep in mind that Quick Sprout is my personal blog, which means I am not dumping a ton of time and money into it. In addition to that, it’s a blog that focuses on the Internet marketing niche, which doesn’t have as big of a traffic potential as a consumer based blog.

Now before I get into how I increased my traffic by over 100,000 visitors in 30 days, lets first take a look at my December stats.

december traffic

My December traffic was a bit lower than most months by roughly 18,000 unique visitors because of the holidays. Other than that, nothing else really changed… I still published 8 blog posts for the month, I blasted to my email list 8 times, and I did all of my standard social media promotions each time I published a post.

So why was their a big increase in traffic during January? Well, there were a few reasons… lets dig into each of them:

Google gave some love to blogs

Although there is no record of Google changing their algorithm on January 1st, I noticed a trend on all of the blogs I own… they all got more Google traffic. And not just more traffic compared to the holidays, but more search traffic during peak days in early December or even November.

When I dug into my Google Analytics stats for the KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, and Quick Sprout for the December 2011 to January 2012 period, there was no major increase in search traffic. But after January 1st 2013 hit all of my sites had a 20 to 40% increases in search engine traffic.

When I looked at all of my non-content rich sites, they didn’t see a big increase in search engine traffic on January 1st 2013.

Speed is everything

As you already know search engines love it when websites load fast. During the last few years Quick Sprout wasn’t loading too fast. And it wasn’t the server as I pay Rackspace an arm and a leg to ensure that it is fast and never goes down.

So what was it?

Well over the years I’ve had 6 different developers work on Quick Sprout. Somewhere great, others were mediocre, and some sucked. In total, those 6 developers modified the code over 219 times. This caused it to be messy and bloated, which eventually caused the site to run slow.

Due to this I had the folks at StudioPress redo all of the code on Quick Sprout, while keeping the look and feel of the site the same. Here’s what they did:

  1. Rebuilt the code – they decided to place the blog on the Genesis framework, which made the code leaner and more optimized. The content to code ratio improved, in which there was less code on each page and more content. There were also 37% less files in my theme directory, and the framework automatically cached site options such as if breadcrumbs where enabled or disabled on each page so WordPress wouldn’t have to  continually keep reloading those same settings over and over again.
  2. Used generic fonts – I had a ton of custom fonts on Quick Sprout. I loved them because they made the design look great. But what the StudioPress guys did was find the closes generic font to my custom ones. They removed 8 custom fonts, which helped improve load time.
  3. Reduced javascripts – from scripts that were not needed to loading them in the wrong places, I had a ton of javascripts on my site. Similar to cleaning up the code, they removed the unnecessary javascripts and they made sure the ones I needed weren’t loading up on every page when they didn’t need to be. This also helped speed up the site.
  4. Removed unnecessary plugins – I used to use over 30 plugins on Quick Sprout before. So what the StudioPress folks decided to do was to remove some of my plugins and hard code things into my design… especially ones related to my sidebar. This way I won’t be dependent on basic plugins that should just be part of the design. By doing this, they were also able to make the site load faster.

So what did those changes result in?

My site went from having a load time of 1.9 seconds…

page speed

to a load time of 1.21 seconds.

pagespeed results

The end result was an increase in direct traffic to the blog by roughly 2000 visitors a day.

direct traffic

W3 Total Cache

Once I saw the results from the StudioPress changes I got a bit addicted to speeding up my site. Because over 40% of my traffic is international I decided that I want to host my website all over the world. Sure Quick Sprout was loading fast for me, but I live in the US and my server is in the US.

What about all of those people visiting my site from Asia, Africa, or even Europe. It would take them much longer to load my site as it was loading from the US, even though they weren’t based in the US.

Due to this I decided to start using the W3 Total Cache plugin. What it does is gives you all of the things large media companies have that allows them to tweak and speed up your website… but for free of course.

Through the plugin you can do tons of things to speed up your site: from caching your website to minifying the CSS, it can compress everything to make your website load faster.

But my favorite feature of the plugin is the CDN and web performance automation. Through their CDN feature you can connect your blog to any major CDN provider and W3 Total Cache will automatically setup the CDN and maintain it through the web performance automation feature.

What that means is if someone from Africa were going to visit your website, the site would load from a server in Africa instead of in US. This would create a much faster loading experience for them.

Here’s how I used the W3 Total Cache CDN feature:

Step #1: Install the plugin and active the CDN

Once you download and install the plugin, click on the “performance” tab in your WordPress admin sidebar, then “general settings”.

Assuming you’ve configured W3 Total Cache to fit your needs, scroll down to the CDN section, select the Rackspace CDN service and enable it.

enable cdn

If you are using a different CDN service, the following links can teach you how to set it up:

Step #2: Request your API key

Log into your Rackspace cloud account, click your user name on the top right and select “api keys”. If you already have an API key there, click “show key” and copy that number.

If you don’t have one, generate a key and copy that number.

api key cdn

Step #3: CDN settings

Go back into your WordPress admin panel, click the “performance” menu item in your sidebar and then click on “CDN”.

general cdn

Under the “General” heading I usually select: host attachments, host wp-includes/files, host theme files, host custom files. Once you select those settings, click “save all settings”.

Once you are finished with that, scroll down to the “Configuration” heading.

configuration cdn

  1. Enter in your Rackspace cloud user name.
  2. Enter in your API key.
  3. Select your server location (US or UK)
  4. Enter in your “blog name” as your container and then click “create container”.
  5. Click “test cloud files upload”.
  6. Then click “save all settings”.

Step #4: Upload your files to the CDN

Hopefully you are still on the “CDN” page. If not, click “Performance” in your menu bar, then click on “CDN”.

At this point you want to upload all of your files to your CDN.

Click on the following buttons:

  • Upload attachments
  • Upload include files
  • Upload theme files
  • Upload custom files.

upload cdn files

Every time you click on one of those buttons, a new window will pop up. Within that window click the “start” button.

Step #5: Check your Cloud Files

If you log back into your Rackspace cloud account and click on the “files” menu option, it will show the container you created and how many files you uploaded.

rackspace cdn files

The beautiful thing about the W3 Total Cache plugin is that you don’t have to worry about re-uploading your files every time you write a new blog post or make a change. The plugin automatically does it all for you after you make the first data dump… which you just did above. :)

Just from making the changes above, I was able to increase my direct traffic by an additional 800 visitors a day.

Google PageSpeed

Google has a program called PageSpeed, in which they provide you with a list of tools and services to help you decrease your load time. The service portion is invite only, but once you apply you usually get accepted within a month or month.

The tools on the other hand are open to everyone. For example, if you enter in your website URL in their Insights tool it will tell you what you need to fix to speed up your load time.

Even if you get accepted into the program, like my friend Kimberly Snyder, it doesn’t mean it will drastically speed up your website. As you can see from the image below there are still some issues with Kimberly’s site… based on the Insights tool she had a score of 81 out of 100.

kimberly snyder

If you happen to get accepted, make sure you read this article as it talks about how you can configure the PageSpeed service. It’s not an out of the box solution… you have to tweak it like anything else to maximize the benefit. That’s the step Kimberly forgot to take.

pagespeed test before w3edge

Through the use of a CDN and the W3 Total Cache plugin, I was able to get my PageSpeed Insights score to 83 out of 100, which is roughly where Kimberly is at. Similar to her, I am not too technical, which is why I wasn’t able to get my score higher.

But for $350, I was able to hire the creators of the W3 Total Cache plugin, and they are tweaking my site and maximizing the settings on the plugin as well as on my CDN. My PageSpeed Insights score already increased to a 86 out of 100 and they are going to help me implement the following changes so I can get much closer to that 100 mark:

  1. Switch CDNs – I am currently using a push CDN and they recommended that I use a pull CDN to minimize headaches. If you aren’t familiar with the difference, this article will explain why  a pull CDN will minimize your headaches. They recommended that I switch over to MaxCDN.
  2. Parallelization – by creating multiple hostnames (0.quicksprout.com, 1.quicksprout.com, 2.quicksprout.com…) you can increase the number of concurrent downloads. This will speed up the user experience.
  3. 404 errors – there are some fancybox-related 404s that should be fixed. Search engines don’t like it when sites have tons of 404 errors.
  4. Minifying – by minify objects, and database queries against eAccelerator, the site should speed up as it is faster than the server disk.
  5. Speed up the database – by switching the database engine from MyISAM (which is not performant and not ideal for high performance applications) to InnoDB, you can speed up your site.
  6. MySQL – a 40-50% improvement in MySQL performance can be made by switching over to the Percona fork of MySQL.
  7. Varnish – if you want to boost the speed of your dynamic content, try Varnish. It will turbo charge your load time.
  8. Image dimensions – by specifying image dimensions you can improve your performance scores and ensure that browsers aren’t doing any unnecessary guesswork when assets are loaded.

Hopefully those changes will result in another boost in traffic, but I won’t find out for another week or so as it is going to take a few days to implement them.

Content is king

In the month of January, I also had a big launch. I spent over 6 months creating The Advanced Guide to SEO and I released it on January 24th. As you can see from the image below, my traffic spiked. I hit 17,145 visits for that day, but what was interesting is that my traffic never died down.

january traffic seo guide

The week after I released it, I had a steady flow of traffic each day. Even when I look at my February stats, my numbers are still around 16,000 to 18,000 visits a day during the weekdays and around 10,000 to 12,000 visits a day during the weekends.

I wish I could create content like that every month, but I know it isn’t possible as the guide was around 45,000 words. It just shows that Google really does love content that is over 2400 words.

That experience taught me that I need to create even more detailed content. Writing a 2400 word blog post is great, but what’s better is writing a 4000 or even 8000 word blog post. What I am going to do now is publish at least 1 detailed piece of content each month. For example, I recently created a 4000 word post called “How to perform a SEO audit”, in which I also gave away an audit template that I spent $5000 on.

Conclusion

If you want to boost your traffic, you can’t just focus on one tactic. I used to just focus on creating good content and optimizing it for search engines, but that only got me 121,311 unique visitors. Once I started to optimize my website for speed, I was able to grow my traffic to over 200,000 unique visitors a month.

By treating website optimization like SEO, you can get a boost in traffic if you continually tweak your code and your server. Search engines feel this is important because many people have slow Internet connections. India on average has a broadband speed of 0.9Mbps, which is 24 times slower than South Korea’s speed. Places like India are still developing and ensuring your website loads fast is important because 17% of the world population is located in India.

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Comments

  1. That’s a huge increase. The first thing I thought was the advanced guide you made, but you also did some technical stuff. Thanks for sharing, I’m going to look into that for my own sites.

    But the advanced guide is really the best thing I’ve read about SEO since the one on Moz…but they are for 2 different levels.

    Thanks for the post. By the way, when did you remove top people who comment from the right panel of the page? Quicksprout referrals is my #1 source of traffic :D

    -Amir

  2. Hey Neil.

    That was a power-packed article. Fully informative.

    Having great content is always important. It really helps us in getting more audience, comments and so, do subscribers. If great content is provided on a cleanly-designed site with quick page speed, it’ll surely gonna go viral.

    Thanks a ton.

  3. Definitely another good read.

    “If you want to boost your traffic, you can’t just focus on one tactic.”

    Very true Neil. I’ve also been able to dramatically decrease bounce rate and improve the traffic with better quality content. The term “quality not quantity” fits right here. I’ve seen better traffic for quality posts once or twice a week, rather than 4-5 quick posts a week.

  4. Neil, I don’t know if I’ve seen this anywhere on your site- what is your main goal with your blog? Also, how do you find the time to post 8 times in a month with all of the other things you have going on?

    • That is something which still puzzles me to this day. I have no idea where he gets the time to bang up 8 quality, informative posts whilst also managing other projects.

      • Well he gains credibility. Huge Seo for his projects. Sells Seo service. You can see his AD at the top of the page.

        I was thinking he was going to write a post and seems like a lot of seo articles lately. Should be better for his conversion.

        How can you not see the point?

    • He is an entrepreneur and it’s supposed that he has a team.

    • My main goal has always been to educate people for free. Since I have been blogging for a long time it only takes me a couple of hours now to complete a post. So it doesn’t take up a lot of my time.

  5. Wow, very insightful post, Neil. I think this is a great example of practicing what you preach: attention grabbing headline, timely discussion topic, data to back it up, and a very informative, actionable how-to step-by-step list.

    I’m getting ready for another redesign of my website, and I’m considering MaxCDN and the Genesis Framework as well, so it’s refreshing to hear your input and opinions.

    Question: have you seen a significant increase in mobile traffic recently? “They” said 2012 was year of the mobile, but I think it’ll still take a while before it’s as heavy as some had predicted.

    I’m sure optimizing your site for speed (and responsiveness) has greatly increased number of pageviews and time on site for your mobile visitors, correct?

  6. 86 Page speed score, seriously??

    You can get that with default installation of Swift, with little tweaks you can easily get over 92.

    Also, page speed is not measure of site speed. It indicates how well your code and server is optimized.

  7. Hi Neil
    Thank you for your valuable information. All the best to you.
    I wish you continued success and thank you again for being so generous in sharing your knowledge.

    Kind regards

    Heidi

  8. The first step in the optimization is compressing and combining css and JS files, but its not done on your site.

    • Yea, there are some issues with the CSS when using compression. The W3 Total Cache team is working on my site as we speak, they said it should be done by the end of this week.

  9. Oh wow.. definitely need to write long articles, esp. in my niche with little bloggers still. Can be big advantage.. Question tho:

    How has your email list building going? Are the results just as much better with it as with traffic? Traffic is all fine and dandy, but real value is in email list/relationships.

  10. A really interested post and again proves that quality and interesting content wins. Interesting point about improving site speed, removing all fonts and having a balanced approach to site traffic.

  11. Using CDN is pretty confusing to many people, as we have to change the DNS of our domain, many of us think its a big process, and let the serps go down for a while. I should try this and check out how it works :) Thanks Neil!

  12. How do you take advantage of parallelization with multiple hostnames?

    Do you just sprinkle your site’s static resources across hosts?

    What is your experience with CloudFlare.com? I’ve been using their paid service in front of a slow-ish shared host machine and I’m quite satisfied with it.

  13. This is super post Neil. Learnt many new things to site optimization today here. Many thanks

  14. Great job Neil. With the amount of queries happening on a daily basis, it’s important to make sure that your content is set up to be delivered with great redundancy.

  15. Again Neil, we are seeing that on-page factor and speed are becoming more and more important, im sure on a user standpoint, its the same and google do that to increase user experience !
    I already posted about cloudflare for cdn and speed, but received no reply from you … I would be really interested about your taught on it since they are doing a good buzz out there and we plan to use them on more site that we take care of…
    TTYS
    JP

    • I haven’t used CloudFlare… the reason being is I have heard a lot of downtime horror stories about the service.

      MaxCDN on the other hand has a lot of positive reviews.

  16. Neil,

    I am not sure if getting your performance from 1.9 to 1.6 seconds would have been the big factor in your traffic increase because I did this trial and error a few months ago on my website and I noticed different things.

    Of course, I do not have such a huge traffic as you have. But here is my experience:

    When my site was loading in about 20 seconds (obviously ridiculous speed to even mention), my site used to get about 200+ visitors a day. I did not have any CDN or anything.

    Then I worked on speed, implemented Cloudflare, MAXDCN and got my website to load under 2 seconds. But guess what, my Google traffic actually dropped. Yes, I also got some 404 errors because I deleted some of the tags I didn’t like on my website. I attribute some of the loss in my traffic because I think Google stops sending traffic to your website as it encournters 404 errors.

    However, I have so far not seen any positive impact of my website’s improved performance on my search traffic. Of course my readers love it and my bounce rate reduced.

    Overall, I do agree to the benefits of good performance. But I have a hard time imagining that your traffic increased just because your loading time reduced from 1.9 seconds to 1.6 seconds.

    Just my thoughts…..

    Regards,
    Kumar

    • Hi Kumar,

      Reducing the load time would be a big factor since it would have given boast to all live blog posts.

      Secondly reducing the load time also affects website’s bounce rate.

      Third, posting to “Advance Guide of SEO” would have added more returning visits.

      Am I guessing right? …. Neil.

      • Agreed. But how much of a big difference an improvement from is 1.9 to 1.6 seconds is going to make in terms of generating traffic is concerned? That is what I am wondering about.

        To me, dropping my loading time from 20 seconds to less than 2 second was definitely helpful. But now, how much of a big difference 0.5 seconds of further drop can make?

        Neil – do you see my point? Clarification please…

        • It could vary per site as well. If a site had millions of links and thousands of unique pages of content, it probably would have a bigger impact compared to a small blog.

      • You are correct! They all helped boost traffic. The traffic to the Advanced Guide slowly died down to a steady 1000 visitors a day… but something is better than nothing.

    • WOW, I really appreciate you sharing your data.

      I saw a direct increase from reducing my load time, but like you mentioned I may not see another increase in traffic by getting my load time from 1.2 seconds to 1 second…

  17. Niel I simply love your posts. cheers buddy

  18. Javier Bonnemaison :

    Hi Neil. I think you may be underestimating the impact of the quality, authority and social amplification of your content and overestimating the role of optimization in generating additional traffic. Of course it is a good idea to optimize your site to minimize loading times, but anything below three seconds should be fine, and below two seconds you really start to hit diminishing returns in terms of SEO impact (and negligible results in terms of user experience due to typical network latency). In my opinion, the quality of your content and your mastery of the medium account for the lion share of the traffic increase. Please keep it coming :-)

  19. Great Points Neil !!

    Being a developer, I am already using most of the practices and Yes, In India it is prominent to focus on website performance.

    At my blog Page Speed Score is: 94/100 (It means I’m doing good?)

    Studio Press people doing the great job with wordpress.

  20. The main reason for this rise in traffic was your guide. Your advanced SEO guide was just mind blowing. Nobody has ever written such an extensive report on SEO. Learned so much from that. Thank you very much. Cheers.

  21. Great tips Neil.

    I’ve already adopted some of your suggestions particularly the use of W3 Total Cache (in place of WP Super Cache) plus I’m now using WP Minify and WP-DBManager.

    Checking my site on Pingdom the load time has now reduced from over 4 seconds to 1.04s and the performance grade has increased from 62 to 94 :-)

    To improve parallelization do you simply create sub-domains?

  22. I am from India and my majority traffic to my blog comes from India. But I am not satisfied with my earning. I need U.S traffic so that I can earn more and show off more :)

  23. “The end result was an increase in direct traffic to the blog by roughly 2000 visitors a day.” Out of interest, why did you only show us ‘direct traffic’ for that example?

  24. Genesis framework? I thought you were using Thesis.

  25. Hi Neil

    Thanks again for another top notch article.

    Just a quick question …

    I think you’ve previously used the WP Super Cache plugin (?). Is it a big deal to remove that & reconfigure the W3 Total Cache one?

    Yoast & Brian Gardner both speak highly of the latter so it’s certainly something I’m looking into.

    Thanks

    Gerry

  26. Our corporate site performs poorly on the Google speed test with a score of 37/100.

    Does anyone know of a good consultant that has the expertise to speed up our site?

  27. “Fantastic job Neil Patel “I heard lots of about you that your blogs are awesome so I have just subscribe before 2 days and yet this is the first mail I have got in my mail and serious this is the first content which I read completely. Here I really impressed from your tactic to describe to all.

    Thanks to you for spreading your knowledge and tactics with us.

  28. How much do you suggest that people with a personal blog with no product to sell yet budget for SEO on a monthly basis?

    Are there tactics that one should practice that will help. I have tried some things that have been suggested by SEO experts and i’ve gotten some results. I’ll remain consistent because I know that’s when big results come

    • I would learn to do it yourself if you have a small budget. It isn’t worth paying someone at that point… or at least I haven’t found someone good who takes on small budget customers.

  29. Good post but for those of us not so tech – savvy this is not doable. :(

  30. Wow. This post just taught me a lot. And since I will be remodelling my blog this year, I will definitely take this into account.

    We all know that now is the age of information. But since the internet supplies tons of information already, nowadays it’s all about how to supply information fast. Optimizing your blog/site so it loads faster will definitely keep the impatient people from clicking the back arrow on their browsers, or looking for another thing to read using their mobile devices.

    Speaking of which, a neat tactic to boost site traffic is to make “quick posts” that are optimized for mobile phone reading. Cracked has their “quick fixes” that I often read using my Battle Droid 47 (my phone), and they supply regular articles on their mobile “app site” as well. Optimizing your site or blog for mobile use will definitely help your site grow traffic, getting traction from people on the go.

    Again, awesome post Neil. You just proved the definition of “Quick” in Quick Sprout. :)

  31. Thanks it was a such a great post i would like to read it full and help me 100% you have a great artical…Nice to see your website

  32. Awesome article! We are getting ALL over this.

    Funny, but we changed pagespeed and increased traffic and conversions with just that one tweak.

  33. I would also suggest to check crawl stats in Google Webmaster tool, especially a week after each major code release on a site, it will show you “time spent downloading a page” and a graph for last month so you can quickly tell what impact the changes had. Improvement on that report correlated with boost in traffic from Google for me as well.

    Neil, you must be wondering what would the move from 1.2 seconds to below a second do, oh wait.. you know what happens :-)

  34. I’ve just created my website 3 weeks ago and i’m getting 50 visitors per day, but this is a very good post. I need more traffic for my website like your’s.

  35. That is some crazy in depth detail. But you laid it out so an idiot like me can read it! Love the info.

  36. My, my, I’m like you and am not too technical and I am sooo grateful that my partner is in love with you (as am I).

    I trust that this W3 plug in is going to help our site load faster and I’m delighted that I don’t have to take on the learning curve to learn how to implement it.

    And in the same light I feel a little shame because I should know the basic back bone of all this stuff by doing it, not just having read about it, just in case something happens where he can’t wear his techie hat and I have to hire someone else and know from my experience that they actually know what the hell they’re doing.

    But in the worst case scenario, I can seek referrals from studs like you as to who would be a good person to trust. :)

  37. Learned the importance of CDN and page load speed.

    Awesome article as always :)

  38. Great article as always! My new website was launched in December however I’ve only had time recently to focus on improving the site to achieve higher rankings. Articles like this is so so helpful and an invaluable source of information for me.

  39. Thanks for the guide Neil. I highly recommend new webmasters loving for a new CDN to use Cloudflare. In assistance with Cloudflare, also have W3 Total Cache for maximum performance.

    You’ll be seeing increased website speed and visitors almost instantly.

  40. Great tips on the website speed issues Neil.

    We followed this article up by implementing some basic CSS sprites across our blog. It really helped and we were able to drop the number of requests to the server by 11 giving us a nice little improvement in speed.

    I definitely recommend this tactic to anyone who hasn’t done this yet.

  41. Hey Neil, I’ve been following you for more than two years and that’s plenty of time to get that you’re one smart hombre, but when you write above that 452+k page views “may not seem big”, I laughed out loud.

    Fella, you definitely live on a different planet that me!

    Anyway, I don’t think I’ve ever commented here before, so I’ll now take the opportunity to thank you for the effort and insights so liberally bestowed upon this site, and onto us, your readers.

    Yep.

    -Joe

  42. Excellent article.
    We started using PSS after we read your earlier blog.
    Yes it took a month for the invitation.
    It’s good as of now, still doing the tweaks.
    Keep writing

  43. This was the great post as usual.

    But the Google page speed, it seems to change with every webpage. I tried it on my homepage and it gave me 92 points, while I tested it on one of my post with 1.8 mb of images and it gave 82 points. What I don’t understand is, you said you improved your Google page speed ( round way, you improved you website speed ) and thus you saw increase in your visitors.

    I just checked your post grade ( I mean the page speed rating of http://www.quicksprout.com/2013/02/07/how-i-grew-quick-sprout-from-121311-to-244923-readers-in-30-days/ ) and it shows 79 and loads in 2.47s. So a little bit confusing. But I am still damn sure your posts always deserves the top.

  44. My blog page speed is 93-95 is it a good speed?

  45. Awesome stuff as always, Neil. Increase in traffic by 2000 just by optimizing speed, seriously amazing.

  46. One have to agree that optimizing the website to load quicker works well and if it is backed by quality content (ofcourse this one is of top priority for everyone) then I am sure that every website will get much better and expected results..

  47. Wow thats a great differnce in the figures. I don’t believe this speed is o very essential and directly related to our site traffic. Thanks Neil for highlighting this point. I really need to work on both speed as well as good content.

  48. Love this Case Study!! Need to gear up the speed for my pages now!

  49. Great post again. Didn’t know thta the differfent themes / frameworks make such a difference.
    The minifying tip i treid out myself recently and it helpd improving load time. Also playng with image quality and formats helps.
    I tried the free tool from zoompf com to find out where to improve my site.Was really helpful as the analysis also pointed to resources on the web offering additional info.
    Now I am looking forward to your visitor and speed report covering the month of february. Just to see how much of an impovement the other tips and trick bring.
    All the best
    Tom

  50. Nice Post Neil,

    Thanks for sharing yours valuable tips about one of the Major Factor to get Higher rank in Search Engine these days.

    Keep Sharing.

  51. I am not even sure how to check my load speed! Can such a small decrease in speed loading increaset traffic like that? It might have been better to have a look at it when you weren’t in the process of releasing a product perhaps to get a more realistic view? I am not tech savvy so its a bit all over my head- still food for thought.

  52. Hello,
    I couldn’t imagine that this will be possible.
    That was cool and impressive one. Good job.

  53. Google Page speed 92/100, and pingdom: 84/100. is that good?

  54. Neil,

    Yes ,a great difference is felt going through this blog since it has moved on Genesis Framework.

    However I miss one thing for a luxurious reading. You would consider changing font size to 16.

    Ah, I know using Command + keys will do the trick for me. But talking generally.

  55. Hello Neil.
    Pingdtom tools is giving a score between 75 and 85 (every time I tun it it gives me a different result) and average load time 1.7s with a page size of 380kb.

    I guess my problem here is the sever in a shared hosting plan.
    I used W3 total cache before, but it caused me some troubles with another pair of plugins. I’ll consider adding it again with the settings mentioned in your post.
    Great content!

  56. I always want to speed up my blog. Content is King i admit. Neil i got your points. Please let us know the recent updates regarding Google search policies. See you soon…

  57. Neil,

    Plus you have become a major authority on the net and Google recognized your blogs and social network.

    I agree about the content and speed of the site, but also the look, feel and design of a site might give a nice push in SERP and authority. User friendly design and navigation is a big plus in my opinion.

  58. So, what CDN are you using right now?

  59. Thanks Neil for the great post, diversify your tactic than we can succeed.

  60. The great thing here, Neil, is that you listened to your new developers and didn’t throw a fit (well, I hope you didn’t throw a fit) and treat the developers like they were trying to cheat you out of your fonts, JavaScript, etc. And, I bet you didn’t demand a Flash movie splash page (because the graphic artist said it would be good) or bubbles peculating on certain pages (because another site has it.) The point is that the developers were your business partners. I will post this on my Facebook page for my students and clients. They need to hear these things from another voice too!

  61. Amazing stuff! You’ve certainly found yourself in a good little predicament here. Better keep up the posting!

    You must have created some really strong backlinks – i am actually using a pretty powerful SEO tool myself. Check it out on my website!

  62. Hello Nei,
    You could use some .htaccess rules from https://github.com/h5bp/html5-boilerplate/blob/master/.htaccess which will surely increase your pagespeed result. In our case it increased 66 to 90 :)

    Thanks

  63. Awesome post Neil,

    Thanks for sharing yours valuable tips :)

  64. W3C Total cache and pagespeed don’t work hand in hand, there are quite a few problems I faced when I ran both of them together.

  65. I am following the instructions on The Advanced Guide for SEO!!
    Content is really king!! World Class Content!!
    No doubt about it, but the guide is showing me new ways to spread the message!!
    I didn’t see any increase in my traffic yet, but it is brand new website… I set up a month ago!

    Thanks Neil, your guide is really great!!

  66. It’s interesting that you mentioned for the month of january you saw a 20% – 40% increase in traffic because i saw the same with my clients. In comparing the first 7 days of february to the last 8 days of january it seems that the traffic had dropped by 10%. Have you witnessed this as well

    Chad Levin
    Seo Hop
    Panfecta

  67. Neil, I did the same thing a few months ago and saw similar results. I got a dedicated host, re-did all code from scratch, used a caching plugin, and made everything snappier.

    It pushed me up in Google ranks, more people came, and people stayed for longer. Didn’t realize how big of an improvement it would make until after it was all done.

    Great post and thanks for sharing your experiences with others.

  68. Awesome how u got so much visitors! Thanks for sharing this information, hope i can use this for one of my websites.

  69. Hi, Neil,
    I Recently came across your blog through Google and found it to be informative and interesting article, Really it’s a fantastic blog. Good job keep it up…..

  70. I’ve been building wordpress websites for client for a few years now and now realise that page speed has become far more important. Reading your article makes so much sense, but what it really means is that just building a website is not enough on it’s own. It’s got to work and obviously have good content. Your article spreads the word that having a website is necessary, but not sufficient in itself without considering all of these factors. Thankyou.

  71. I completely agree that performance is key in having a chance to improve the traffic. Personally, if a page takes time to load, I move away. This is one aspect that I have to improve on my site. Concerning the use of javascript, I think a balance must be found between what is built on the server and what javascript should build on the client side. The response from the server must also be quick, meaning that the processing that is done over there should be also optimized. Javascript still plays a major role in building a page, but care must be taken since it can also bring issues for the user experience.

  72. Some interesting information here. I definitely agree, that you have to take more than one tactic to really see a bump. Good post!

  73. Very insightful post Neil. I agree with most here that your Advanced SEO guide was money. Thanks for sharing your tips on optimizing site performance. Having too many plug-ins installed and not caching your code are the two biggest speed deterrents . Keep the great posts coming!

  74. Tips shared over here are really unique. The page loading speed has become one of the biggest factor in the SE ranking of any blog / website.

  75. “What other ways have you been able to boost your traffic?”.

    Besides creating a fast-loading, user-experience driven site and post awesome content?

    There’s always something you can do to get more traffic…but it’s hard to beat those two strategies.

  76. Nice article I will try to follow these steps in my new website

  77. Very nice article … speed really have a huge relevance on website performance. It also tends to improve the number of pages per visit.

    However I don’t completely agree with your two optimization steps concerning Mysql:

    1) Switching to innodb. It could work on yoour setup but it’s not a general truth that innodb is more fast. The opposit, if you have very few write in the database and mainly read data (like a blog should do) MyIsam could be much faster.

    2) Percona Mysql is faster but if the difference out of the box was 40% everyone would be using Percona :) as in point 1 the speed improvements change a lot from case to case but it’s usually much lower and only relevant when really fine tuning the database on complex setup.

    Aahhaha ok it’s probably a bit nerdy to comment on mysql issues on a great marketing article :)

    Cheers

  78. Congratulations to you! Looks like you have a wonderful start of the year.

  79. They are impressive stats. I checked my Car valeting site and mine was at 90% so i guess that is pretty good

  80. Everytime i visit your blog i just learn something new it may be recent posts or related posts and one more your success stories which encourages me to blog regularly…Keep it up bro!!!

  81. Awesome article, as always. In terms of speed optimization, what’s your recommendation for plugins that really impact page load speed (Facebook, sharethis, vimeo etc)?

    If they load in an iframe, does Google count this towards page load ?

  82. Thanks for the excellent post. It is packed with good actionable information that any blogger can use.

  83. Neil, Thanks for an outstanding post! We recently launched a site for tracking stolen laptops and are constantly tweaking the content, landing page design, press releases, seeking links from partners, etc… But your suggestion to tweak the site’s speed is going to be our priority project in the coming weeks. Currently, our sie, http://www.devicetrack.net has a 73/100 score on pagespeed. We’re going to folllow your lead!

  84. With the traffic you receive – I’m surprised you didn’t plug an affiliate link for genesis framework. I’m here from randomly looking at Google+, by the way.

  85. This is an excellent post. I liked this post very much. All things are described in very excellent way.It is a great information and helps everyone. Congratulations on your work, always with great posts. In my
    eyes you should keep on such kind of postings for us.The quality of your articles makes me come back frequently and check your website for more articles! In future I would like to come here again for some new and more information. Best of Luck.

  86. Hi Neil ! you have done perfect task.it’s hard to done easily but a expert mind can do it. i like your ideas and i will be helpful for new one. thank you your perfect and concise ideas.

  87. Absolutely top notch piece, Neil! Very interesting stuff – especially interested in the W3 Total Cache thing enabling your site to load from localised servers, as I was talking to my developers about that just last week. You answered my question! Thanks for providing step by step guides, too. I’m not the most technical guy yet, so this is a big help. Nice work, again. :)

  88. Great article, Neil.
    Google really does love 3,000+ words post. Your SEO audit post published a week ago is already ranking on page one of Google for “SEO audit”.

  89. Looks cool bro!
    keep it up :)

  90. Nice article ! I definitely agree, that you have to take more than one tactic to really see a bump.Thanks.

  91. Congratulations Neil, nice job and analysis and also teaching for others to learn from your very recent experiences, this post is what can be described as truly valuable content.

  92. Alexandre Bairos :

    Just as a side note, AWS Cloudfront CDN has the pull concept implemented, via custom origins, since http://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/2010/11/09/cloudfront-adds-support-for-custom-origins-and-sla/ . I’ve used this a few times.

  93. “What that means is if someone from Africa were going to visit your website, the site would load from a server in Africa instead of in US.”

    Note that a CDN is only for static resources (CSS, Images, JS files, etc).

    Someone visiting you site from Africa would still need to hit your Rackspace server (presumably in the US) in order for it to build the HTML page.

    After the browser receives the HTML page from your server it would then request the static resources that are included in the HTML page and these files would be loaded via your CDN off the closest node to the visitor.

    There is also the PageSpeed Apache module (mod_pagespeed) which implements many best practises right on your server. Some shared hostings already include this option. It takes decent technical knowledge to set this up on your own.

    For the MySQL piece: MyISAM does table level locking where as InnoDB does row level locking during your database queries. A MyISAM query will lock any tables it needs for the duration of the query, blocking any subsequent queries until it finishes. This is why InnoDB performs better as it only needs to lock the particular rows relating to the query.

    Great article Neil. Going over the advanced SEO now.

    Skye
    @skyechilton

  94. Excellent post. Content is king and you should keep on adding content.

  95. This is such an excellent post. I’m inspired by your site speed case study. I’ve been hesitant to install W3 Total Cache — the last time I tried it out it conflicted with my popup plugin, through which I get a ton of leads. But now that I’ve optimized other lead conversion paths on my site, I think I may be willing to sacrifice the popup to make the site faster. I’m also going to look into a CDN.

    Have you ever tried a popup plugin such as Pippity or Popup Domination to grow your subscriber base?

  96. It is indeed and excellent post well while having a site one should assume of more traffic and this is the main goal of each and every person..Good post.

  97. Maulik Masrani :

    Neil,
    one short question – Which worked you for most page speed improvement or Big launch of your “Advanced Guide to SEO” guide ?

  98. Nice info!!but how high the standards recommended score?

  99. Great points Neil!!

    Thanks for sharing the ‘Google PageSpeed’ information, that was indeed very helpful.

  100. Man you rock. Thanks for your worth tips this gonna helo me much

  101. Thanks Neil for the awesome advice. I’ve optimized my site further and now it loads super fast.

  102. Hello Mr. Patel:
    Congratulations for such a great post. I have a question:
    Did you made W3 Total Cache work with eAccelerator?
    The last version of eAccelerator who works with W3 Total Cache is the old v0.9.5.3. Since version 0.9.6 to current 1.0 it doesn’t support object browser anymore and there’s no way to enable it in W3TC. It continue working in background but it doesn’t integrate with W3TC.
    I had that problem and end up switching to APC.

    Regards.

  103. Hey Neil,

    Okay, I admit…some of this is over my head. I am only 15 and learning everyday. The biggest idea I get from your site is to do it properly and good things will happen. Thanks, and I will be reading again.

  104. Great example of exactly what you are talking about with detailed content. You created a strong proposition and then delivered the high quality content you promised.

    The technology changes are similar to what I have done for a few clients and I’ve noticed considerable jumps in organic search traffic as well as improved conversion and engagement rates.

    Excellent job as usual.

  105. Pallav Kaushish :

    Hey Neil this is quality stuff as always. I knew that reducing page load time will help you rank better but never thought it would impact so much. This point was in the back of my head and maybe i tried ignoring it for long but now I know it’s high time I should start implementing it.

    I also feel that your blog is quite big and you get a lot of traffic so small improvements like these will definitely show you great returns however it might not reap that much benefit for a small blog getting a few hundred visitors.

    Again a very informative post, immediately forwarded it to all my team mates. Will be implementing relevant stuff from your article pretty soon. Hoping it will give us some nice boost up as well.

    Cheers

  106. its a best qualified information to make it quick support to all bloggers to make their aim for make larger in Rank

  107. This is extremely helpful – thanks a lot. I’ve been looking over SEO related stuff for the site I run and have been confused about why our pagerank is not as high as we think it should be. I’m sure Matt Cutts said something about site speed being involved in ranking so I thought I’d check it out.

    I did the score thing on Google and got a score of 76. Is this good enough? Should I make improving this a priority?

  108. Hey,

    Great post!

    About 1/3 down, under Google Page Speed, do you mean “within a month or two” and not “within a month or month?”

    Cheers
    A

  109. Hi Neil,

    Thank you for the informative case study.

    I was wondering, how much it costed you to get your site moved on to the StudioPress Framework while keeping your look the same?

    I’m thinking of doing something similar.

  110. To be honest I´ve never considered the speed of my site that important for increasing traffic purposes until now.

    Thank you for showing the stats.

  111. great post I have never before shared any infograph of my own, nor do I work much on Pinterest. But considering the increase in its popularity I have started working on Pinterest. I am looking for some strategies and tips on Pinterest though. And I also tried out Easel.ly and I found it was too easy, simple and attractive.

    I am working on some infographs now. Let me see the results at my blog! Thanks for the guide

    • Shruti, definitely sounds like you are on the right track. I feel utilizing infographics will really really push the needle for you. I would love to see the final product when you get them posted. Please keep me updated :)

  112. Thnx for wonder full post thank you so much for this guide

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