How big a bump in ranking should you expect? Well, it depends. First, make sure you are tracking your rankings.
Use SERPS, or ProRankTracker, or one of the many rank tracking tools available
Run OpenSiteExplorer on those websites ranking above you to find out how strong their backlinks are
Finally, test those websites for speed with the tests shown below
Expect to rank higher than websites with poor performance and lower backlinks strength than that of your website. Begin by testing your website with
- Google PageSpeed Insights
- Image Optimization
- Install an image compression plugin
- Setup Polish and Mirage from Cloudflare if your server does not support PageSpeed Module
- If you do not want to pay for Polish and Mirage, then install an adaptive image plugin
- On-Page Optimizations
- Custom Themes and Child Themes
- Make sure static assets like scripts and stylesheets are registered using WordPress’ wp_enque, this way WordPress plugins can manipulate the loading order and position of those assets.
- Instead of using jQuery.ready for inlining scripts in the footer, place those scripts in another file (i.e. scripts.js) and use the “defer” attribute in the script tag. <script src=”<?=get_template_direcory();?>/js/scripts.js” >
- Install Above The Fold WordPress plugin
- Generate Critical Path CSS
- Optimize Delivery of CSS and Fonts
- CDN Optimization
- Use Cache
- Set Browser Cache Expiration to at least 8 days
- Use SSL
- Cloudflare can provide you with a FREE universal SSL certificate
- If you use that, then install CloudFlare Flexible SSL plugin
- For static websites, cache everything including HTML to reduce server latency
- For dynamic websites, use Railgun to reduce server latency
- Server Optimization
Use the latest version of PHP compatible with your Theme and Plugins. PHP 7 is way faster than PHP 5.
Setup PageSpeed Module, otherwise look for a CDN with the ability to compress and optimize images.
That should cover the search engine optimization for most small business websites. Re-test your website’s performance to see how much it improved.