How To Optimize Your Website Like A Pro
So you already have a website but feel that you’re not getting enough juice out of it? The internet is flooded with optimization tips and techniques, making it difficult to find a starting point. We help businesses of all sizes (and from all industries) with their online presence, and we’ve decided to help you out by sharing our secret recipe to optimizing websites, for improved performance.
Optimizing The Structure
Start from the ground-up by looking at the purpose of your website. Traffic may be coming to your website from multiple sources so Identify and establish a destination for each traffic type that feeds into your purchase funnel.
- Identify the deliverables that you are committing to and make sure that they are easily accessible on the website. This can be elements such as product information, deals, sign-up opportunities, e-books, tutorials, opt-in forms, etc. Give priority to your users’ convenience over the search engine’s convenience here.
- Ensure that all of the content (visible and invisible) elements complement each other. These would include URL content, page titles, page descriptions, headings, image ALT texts, image captions, site hierarchy organization, link text, etc.
- The fastest way is to identify gaping weaknesses in your website’s structure is to pay special attention to Google’s PageSpeed Insights (for all device types). Follow the specified feedback to make tweaks that will have a guaranteed direct impact. Other similar resources you can use here include GTmetrix, WebPageTest and Website Grader.
Optimizing The Message
This is where we take a look at the function that the content elements of the website serve. Every element needs to be connected to a purpose that contributes to the larger picture.
- In most (but not all) cases, consider using ELI5 (Explain Like I’m Five) logic when thinking about page navigation. The website’s navigation (including hierarchy, headers, etc.) should be easy enough for a 5-year-old to understand and use. This can include small augmentations such as formatting links so that they are easy to spot, following a uniform format across all product description pages, etc.
- Do not reveal the price until the story has been told and engagement has been developed. The more expensive the product, the more engagement should be generated before asking the customer to purchase the product. This may often involve moving the “Buy Now” button down the page, which is often considered to be in contradiction of traditional optimization practices that advocate featuring the “Buy Now” button prominently in the website’s first fold.
- Is your content equipped with attention grabbing hooks, substantiating facts and figures, graphics and illustrations, etc. Don’t hesitate to get your hands dirty here! Take a look at everything from the length of your paragraphs to the color of your buttons and the opacity on your icons.
This is our favorite part because this is where you can experiment the most. Everything else up to this point had rules that could be followed, but this is where you get to try out different things and make your own rules. Here are a few of our favorite conversion optimization techniques to get you started:
- Highlight value propositions that counter price and/or quantity related purchase deterrents. Provide the customer a more purchase-friendly reference point when cheaper direct-alternatives exist.
- Make sure that the benefits of the product and/or service are stated – no matter how obvious they may be.
- Identifying the most popular and frequently used customer-focused offers and leveraging them to drive the audience through the website’s conversion funnel. Highlight offers such as expedited shipping, discounted upgrades, add-ons, possible product baskets.
- Add persuasive testimonials and convincing videos in a frame of reference that resonate with the target audience – such as customer location, products bought, etc.
- Optimize website design by moving to long-form page and making technical adjustments to compensate for the page’s load-time.
Optimizing for smaller conversions opens up the margin for experimentation when optimizing for larger conversions. Do not hesitate when it comes to making small incremental alterations. Content optimization is a large part of modern day website optimization, so you’ll have to go above and beyond writing powerful headlines.
Use the website as part of your digital marketing eco-system and capture data for lead nurturing, testimonials collection, etc. Keep analyzing user behavior and approach conversion challenges with the same logic with which you would approach real-world sales challenges.
This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list of website optimization techniques, but it will give you the holistic starting point that you need to get on your way. You may find that some of these techniques have a much stronger impact than others, but in the end, it all boils down to ensuring a convertible online presence and visibility.