Optimization is a powerful force. It means that something can be made better, that the current state is not the final one, and that there is always room for improvement.
Take your website for example. Do you believe it can be optimized? Most people will agree that it most certainly can be.
It’s the how, the why, and the when that are the critical questions to answer when it comes to optimizing your website for success. These are questions that we’ll explore further in this article.
Benefits of a Website Optimized for Success
To frame the discussion, it’s important to acknowledge the benefits of a well-optimized website. Some of these are obvious, and some are less so. These benefits include:
Organic Search Engine Optimization
Search engines like Google take numerous factors into account when it comes to ranking a website. Many people immediately think of “keywords,” but this is just one element of many.
Other areas include page load speed, experience on different browsers and screen sizes, site mapping, metadata, and more. A well-optimized website will nail all of these optimization points to make it as easy as possible for Google to rank the site highly.
A website that’s correctly optimized will provide a seamless experience for users. This means effortless browsing, no broken links, a structure that makes sense, well-labeled elements, correct displays across all device types, and so on.
A poorly optimized website will turn off users immediately, and bounce rates will go through the roof. What’s more, any ad spends that’s being channeled to the website will be wasted.
Most – if not all – websites encourage users to perform an action. This could be to fill out a lead-generating form, set up a meeting, call, download…you get the point. The question is, is your website optimized around this goal?
For example, too many websites still rely on outdated pop-ups to drive new leads or include ineffective call-to-actions (CTAs) in all of the wrong places.
One of the key roles of a website is to give users a great first impression of the brand. The importance of this cannot be overstated. A well-optimized website will make a long-lasting, positive first impression, while a poorly optimized website will do the exact opposite.
How to Optimize
Website optimization is a deep topic, with many nuances. However, there are some basics that can be applied right now to immediately optimize your website.
Dive into your website’s performance, including user behavior. Where do drop-offs occur? What paths are typically followed by users? Which pages have the highest and lowest bounce rates? Are there any broken links, missing pages, images that aren’t correctly captioned or named, and so on?
- Check your boxes when it comes to on-page optimization. Examples of on-page optimization are meta tags, URL slugs, and headings.
- Check page speeds
- Ensure compatibility across devices
- Investigate backlinks and backlink opportunities
There are many tools out there for checking these factors, but Google offers free tools which is a good place to start.
There are some really important tips that can help make an immediate impact.
Some of the best tips are:
Take a Holistic Approach
Don’t jump straight in. Look at your website in the context of your digital marketing efforts, including how it fits with other assets such as social media pages.
Perform an effective and in-depth audit of your website, looking at on-page elements, off-page elements, user-facing areas, and the more technical aspects of website optimization.
Test, Test, and Test Again
Optimization and testing are very closely related. Effective optimization is based on data-driven results, which in turn are based on testing using the correct methodology.
Website optimization – just like any optimization – is a continuous process. Investigate, then make a decision regarding a specific change, then test, then analyze results, then optimize, then test again…it’s part art and part science, but the results are guaranteed to provide a lift in key metrics.
Get Your Website Optimized for Success
In short, website optimization is critical to the success of your business. There are various reasons – all good ones – why you haven’t yet fully embarked on this process; whether that is the time required, specific expertise that’s missing on your team, or just not knowing where to begin.