An Entrepreneur’s Guide To Website Optimization (Plus 8 Easy Tips To Get It Right)
The pandemic has rapidly accelerated the growth of digital marketing, forcing all businesses, big and small, to switch to the online space. Along with this shift, consumer behavior has changed too. Today, customers expect all businesses to have an online presence. A well-optimized website has become a core requisite and identity proof for a business and not to mention it even has a direct impact on the business.
The importance of having a website doesn’t need an introduction. Whether you’re offering a service as part of a personal brand or selling a product from an organizational perspective, a website is a must. Your website is essentially the digital storefront of your business and therefore it is important to make that first impression count.
However, most entrepreneurs and small business owners have the opinion of – if you build it, they will come.
Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy. You can have the world’s best web designer or developer build a stellar website for you but if it’s not optimized, all your efforts are in vain!
In this blog, we are going to walk you through website optimization, why you need it, and offer a few tips that you can apply right away.
What is Website Optimization?
As internet trends evolve, algorithms fluctuate, consumer behaviors change, and new competitors crop up, your website too needs to keep up in order to stay relevant and offer quality performance – this is where website optimization comes into play. Website optimization is the strategic and experimental process of making calculated and targeted changes to improve the efficiency and performance of your website. These are low-key incremental efforts that have the potential to drive high-impact results.
However, website optimization is not an end-all-be-all quick fix. When it comes to website optimization there are about a dozen factors that you can optimize for – from the user experience (UX), SEO, and content to design, code, and technical performance. This may seem overwhelming for any newbie, so we suggest you break it down into individual chunks and pursue them step at a time.
Why should you optimize your website?
- To convert traffic to sales
Drawing traffic to your website is only a piece of the puzzle. Converting that prized traffic into sales is where the real challenge lies. To make the most of such a scenario, you need to do everything in your power to capture their attention, keep them engaged, encourage them to check out your website, and eventually, turn them into a customer. Having a well-optimized website that speaks to your customer’s needs and wants provides a valid reason for them to stick around, thus providing you with an increased chance of improved conversions and repeat purchases.
- To build brand awareness
Your website is an extension of your brand and when you focus on building a top-notch website experience, it increases the brand value and reputation of your business. With the added benefit of increased conversions, website optimization also provides you with opportunities to connect with your target audience through relevant content, this gives prospects a chance to interact with your content and reflects a positive image of your brand.
- It’s a cost-effective strategy
Compared to other traditional marketing strategies, website optimization offers a cost-effective and affordable opportunity to fine-tune the sales process.
Your website doubles as the salesman of your business since it’s usually where the final conversion of the funnel takes place. By investing in quality website optimization you are ideally improving the sales process through calculated guesses rather than a hit-and-miss approach. This sets you up for success and ensures a greater return on your investment.
- To build credibility and trust
In today’s world, trust rules the decision-making process of consumers, and first impressions are everything! Consumers land on a website, and form that crucial first judgment in as little as 50 milliseconds! By having a well-optimized website you automatically make it to the credible list of businesses that they can trust and buy from.
How to get started with Website Optimization
The first step to improvement is to conduct a website audit, it is the process of taking inventory of the current health of the website and identifying the core issues. This step serves as the bedrock for your planning and improvement efforts.
While auditing your website create a comprehensive list of all the discrepancies and errors that you come across – whether it is content, design, code, or other technical aspects. Some of the most common errors that we encounter often are broken links, 404 errors, slow page speeds, URL structure, and duplicate pages.
Circle back to those issues and come up with effective ways to correct the errors. There are plenty of tools and software available to solve potential issues with SEO, page speed, mobile optimization, and more.
The scope of website optimization includes different types of audits that you can focus on. The website audit that you require depends on the goals that you have. Do you want to pinpoint specific reasons for your declining search rankings? Or do you want to find possibilities for better conversions? Nail down what your goals are and you’ll have a better idea of which type of audit to go for.
8 Tips for Website Optimization
Start with keyword research
Organic traffic plays a crucial role in the growth and discovery of a website. One of the straightforward ways to optimize your website for organic traffic is to align with the audience's intent.
An easier way is through keyword research. Keyword research provides you with an understanding of what your audience is searching for online. Also known as search intent. When you know what your user is typing into those search tabs you can utilize those exact words to rank for. Tools like Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, and Moz, help you do just that. From related keywords to SEO difficulty to content ideas, they offer a ton of information that can inform your keyword strategy.
But keep in mind, SEO is not just about keywords; there’s a combination of technical, on-page, and off-page criteria that round off a website's ranking for SEO. Nevertheless, keyword research is a good place to start.
Don’t write for the algorithm. Write for people too.
A common oversight that most people do when it comes to website content is that they focus solely on SEO and ignore their audience's needs. As a result, they end up ranking high on Google but suffer high bounce rates and lower conversion rates.
To remedy this scenario, you need to craft content that is targeted to your ideal customer segment. Your content needs to greet them with relevant messaging and offer substantial value to them. It should aid your customers in deciding to do business with you throughout their customer journey.
The boundary between customer-centric copy and tactical SEO is a fine line and you need to ensure a balance between both.
CTAs are important
Call To Action or CTAs are prompts that tell prospects what to do and what to expect when they take said action. Not only do they prompt action, but they also motivate customers and lead them to take some of the most crucial conversions in the funnel. As a result, you need to ensure that they are communicated clearly and positioned strategically to nudge them to take the next step.
Crafting personalized and compelling CTAs can make a world of a difference. Hubspot states that personalized CTAs convert 202% better than the default ones. Don’t rely on the standard CTAs such as “Sign-up” and “Shop now”. Get creative and descriptive about the benefits that lay ahead.
For example: Instead of the usual “Sign up” try using CTAs from the perspective of the customer. You can replace “Sign up now” with “Yes, I want my cheat sheet” or “Yes, I want to kickstart my health journey.”
Test out a bunch of CTA’s and review them often. Play around with position, colors, and use multiple CTA’s on different landing pages to assess their effectiveness. A tool like Google Analytics can help you evaluate pages that bring in the most conversions and the ones that need an uplift.
Optimize for page load speed
Consumer attention runs terribly low today as people have become accustomed to instant gratification. Whether it is ordering food or watching the latest release, we expect them quickly and we want them now! Consumers hold the same expectation for your website.
Having an unresponsive or slow website doesn’t bode well with your prospects, leading to page abandonment and visitor engagement. Therefore quick page load times are incredibly important.
Page load speed is generally measured by the time taken for a web page to load fully. Research has shown that the first 5 seconds of your page load time have the greatest impact on conversions.
Google Page Speed Insight is a great tool to measure your page speed. It provides a report on the performance of your website by rating it on a scale of 1-100 and even gives effective pointers on why your load time is low. Based on those recommendations, you can optimize your website assets to improve page speed and ultimately conversions.
Check for broken links
When visitors land on your website, they are coming with the expectation of either finding a solution or completing a task. When they encounter roadblocks like broken links, page errors, and other bugs at this highly motivated stage, you are causing a detrimental dent in the user experience.
While these errors pop up unintentionally and without notice, you can still run frequent quality checkups and deploy user feedback processes to eliminate such errors. Apart from checking your website links, also make sure to avoid linking out to broken content as well.
Incorporate trust factors
The fact that a potential customer has landed on your site does not guarantee you a purchase. With a gazillion different options to choose from, it can be exhausting for customers to decide which brand to buy from.
Incorporating trust-boosting content such as product reviews, testimonials, press articles, and industry badges can give them the confidence to make a purchase. These tips may sound fairly simple, but deploying them gives you a competitive edge and also provides customers with peace of mind.
Optimize your customer checkout process
As of 2022, the global average cart abandonment rate stands at 70%, and one of the primary reasons was the long and complex checkout processes. To be more specific 24% of that statistic was because the site needed them to create an account, forcing them to abandon it right away.
This proves that shoppers are less likely to complete a purchase if there’s a cumbersome checkout process.
Instead, consider using a simplified checkout design and reduce the steps from Add to Cart to checkout. Incorporate security and encryption badges to build trust during the checkout process. Clearly state your pledge to keep their data safe and not misuse them. These subtle additions to your checkout process have the potential to effortlessly improve your conversions.
Optimize for mobile
Today, nearly 59% of web traffic is coming from mobile. Plus, it is now said that the Googlebot acknowledges and prefers the mobile version of the web page over the desktop page. This change has had a massive impact on websites that were originally built for desktop web traffic. If prospects click through to your website and if the browsing experience is a hassle they’ll be bouncing off in no time.
Always test out new features for mobile responsiveness. This means that the content automatically restructures to the dimensions of any device.
Over the last few years, the internet has grown to become the go-to place for customers to research and purchase products. Therefore, simply owning a website for your business just doesn’t cut it. You have to put a lot of thought and carefully optimize it for search engines, your target audience, and various other factors.
If you’re looking to optimize your website but don’t have the bandwidth to do it all by yourself, then reach out to Growthhub.
At Growthhub, we’re obsessed with helping businesses like yours get the growth it deserves.
Get in touch with us and we can match you with savvy optimization specialists in as little as 24 hrs. We screen and pre-vet the marketers on our platform, so you don’t have to. Book a call with us today!