Turning 300 "Poor" URLs into Peak Website Performance

Scott Snowden
Scott Snowden
Business & Technology Strategy
Write to Scott

Imagine navigating to a website and encountering slow loading times, page errors, or even content that never seems to appear. Frustrating, isn't it? This is certainly a significant concern for any digital presence, and this is exactly what we were recently up against.

“My website is really slow, and it crashes regularly,” was the client complaint.

Flywheel was brought on to do a comprehensive Digital Health Check. This engagement involves a review of best practices and a comprehensive analysis of several performance measures. Ultimately, our report highlighted several optimizations to significantly improve the digital experience for our client, but this story is about just one improvement we uncovered.

Digging deeper into the Google Search Console, our starting point was a sea of red, a daunting number of URLs classified as poor. The user experience was compromised, and the business impacts were tangible. However, the report did not surface the root cause – only the magnitude of the issue.

The Discovery

Our team is no stranger to complex issues, but this was a puzzle that required us to be patient, diligent, and detail oriented. We rolled up our sleeves and dove deep into the backend of the website. The culprit? A seemingly innocuous control nestled within the site's template, silently wreaking havoc.

This control was responsible for loading an archive of news listings — over 1,800 content items — and to our dismay, it was doing this on nearly two-thirds of the pages on the site. Even worse – these listings were not even visible to users by default.

The Quickest Fix

Upon this discovery, our approach was straightforward — update the listing configuration to limit results to a handful of recent headlines. No code required.

By addressing this single control, we effectively resolved the issues plaguing hundreds of pages in one fell swoop. The result was a dramatic drop to zero "poor" URLs, as seen in the abrupt shift from red to green on the graph. It was a testament to the fact that sometimes, the most significant impact can come from changing something small.


Have you encountered similar challenges with your website?

Let us know if a health check can help you!

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