SEO Step1:

Identify Site Bottlenecks

Regardless of the website building platform used, there will always be a way to measure engagements and find data on the happenings of your website. Identifying where the site is losing performance and/or user engagement is the first key step to creating targeted solution delivery.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics can be directly connected to any website, allowing a site administrator full access to the website traffic data by audience breakdown, user behaviors, and conversion pipelines. With Google Analytics, a site administrator can find data on which pages are causing site-wide problems, such as high bounce rate, high site drop-off rates, and slow site loading speeds.

It is important to recognize that data analysis should inform design more than aesthetics– search engines rank websites in order of relevance to searchers by using quantitative algorithms to create the ranking. Consequently, even if a site maintains a high aesthetic value, if aesthetic design impedes SEO ranking, then the aesthetic elements need to be reevaluated.

Google CHROME DevTools

For those with more HTML/JavaScript or coding experience, another key tool to utilize is the Google Chrome DevTools. To open the DevTools, right click on a select webpage, and “inspect” the page. This will open a number of developer tools. The key tools are the “Network”, “Performance”, & “Audits” tabs.

Network Tab

The “Network” tool allows you to see where the bottlenecks lie in the connectivity to site servers. For example, a “waiting: TTFB” is highlighting the time the browser has to wait before receiving its first byte of data from the server. The “Network” tool is excellent for highlighting network latency/responsiveness issues (time it takes to request from server, server processing, and responding to client).

Performance Tab

The “Performance” tab is key to understanding how all the elements of the page load in, how long each task takes and its concurrency. Additionally, this tab also highlights the unused bytes that were loaded from various URL’s. For example, if your webpage loads 89% unused bytes, then there is an opportunity for ways to reduce that to reduce the server and browser loading time.

Audits Tab

The Audits tab is where a webpage can be “graded” based on a variety of tests to see where specific pain points are. Also, the Audits tabs specifically highlights which tests were only satisfactory/did not pass, giving a much deeper insight into targeting certain bottlenecks. There are 4 key sections that the tool audits: Performance, Accessibility, Best Practices & SEO.


The performance score measures how quickly a site is able to be load the first byte, and also how quickly the site becomes responsive for the user. These optimizations that are centered around increasing loading speeds, this score is crucial.


The accessibility score measures how easily readable and engaging the webpage is. For example, if a button is red and the background is also red, the accessibility score will be poor because not all the features on the webpage are easily accessible. Additionally, having text that is too small to read is also reflected poorly on this score because it is not easily accessible to users that have reading issues. Consequently, the accessibility tab is important for creative/aesthetic optimizations.

Best Practices

The best practices score measures a number of auxiliary metrics that are vital to a webpage’s health, such as cybersecurity, display image sizing, script vulnerabilities, browser errors, etc. The strength of the best practices tab lies in its ability to measure the security and vulnerabilities of the site. For example, this tab will highlight all elements on the webpage that are not utilizing a “https” URL which is vulnerable to external monitoring. For sites that are engaging with a lot of private user data, the best practices score should be a very high priority.


The SEO score measures the how optimized the webpage is for search engine results ranking. A lot of the factors include keywords, meta descriptions, link descriptions, etc. For example, if your webpage is not ranking high on the Google search engine, then it is most likely that the webpage’s SEO score is low. Thus, for websites that want higher page views and market exposure, the SEO score is critical.

With the plethora of tools accessible to web developers, site administrators, and SEO specialists, identifying site bottlenecks is a mix of deep analytical research from a user standpoint (i.e. Google Analytics), to simulating test situations (i.e. Google Chrom DevTools). After identifying the key issues within the webpage/web site, the next step is to start implementing solutions and testing to see what configurations are create the best results.