Your website should serve as the home point online. When you run a marketing campaign, point people to a landing page on your website. If it’s time for some social media promotions, send the traffic to your home page. No matter where people encounter your brand name online, they should go back to your site as a point of contact. Implementing some website optimization techniques takes little time but has big benefits.
According to Internet Live Stats, Google alone processes around 40,000 searches every second. People seek out information and they have plenty of websites from which to choose. If you don’t connect with them almost the millisecond they land on your site, you risk losing them forever. It’s vital to optimize your site as much as possible, keep visitors engaged and entice them to return.
There are dozens of ways to optimize your site. We’ve sorted through the different methods and narrowed the list down to website optimization techniques that work hardest to increase your conversion rate.
What Are Website Optimization Techniques and Tools?
Anything that improves the experience people have on your website falls into the category of a website optimization technique. Simple things such as speeding up your site can make a huge impact. Other changes are far more subtle.
1. Optimize for Mobile
Is your site mobile responsive? Around half of all website traffic comes from mobile devices. If your site doesn’t look great on both desktop and cell phones, then you need to rework some things to ensure it does.
Put yourself in the shoes of the average user. They have a 15-minute break, so they head to your site to gather some information. Unfortunately, the images take over their screen and they aren’t quite sure how to find what they need. More than likely, they’ll just bounce away to a competitor.
2. Speed Up Load Times
Probably one of the top website optimization techniques you can try is to speed up your website. The slower your pages load, the more likely users will grow frustrated and bounce away. Most people won’t wait more than a few seconds before assuming your site isn’t working and leaving.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to make your site faster, such as getting rid of extra plugins, nixing scripts and compressing images. Invest in the best server you can afford and run checks through sites such as pingdom to get feedback on how best to speed things up even more.
3. Add Fresh Content
When you think about website optimization techniques, writing articles may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, keeping content fresh and timely helps both with your search engine rankings and to show users you have something more to say.
Ideally, you’ll publish on a consistent basis, so users know they can come see you every weekend and see new items. Adding content also helps establish you as an authority in your field.
4. Know Your Point
What is the point of each page on your site? If a user lands anywhere, will they know what the next step is? One of the stronger website optimization techniques is simply understanding the purpose of your site and each page on the website.
Start by cutting clutter. Once you know the goal of a page, it’s much easier to remove anything that doesn’t point users toward that objective.
Add a strong call to action (CTA). Users need to know what their next step is. Make it clear what you want them to do with action verbs and a CTA button that pops out from the other elements on the page.
5. Lose Infinite Scrolling
Time.com discovered infinite scrolling helped their bounce rate drop 15%, which isn’t surprising. Modern browsers want to just keep adding to the information they have rather than clicking from one page to the next. Implementing a continuous scroll feature gives users what they want and shows them you’re up on the latest design trends.
6. Balance Images and Text
It might be tempting to just add a ton of information or throw up some videos to explain everything. However, sites using the best website optimization techniques tend to have a nice balance of text, images and white space. The overall design is visually appealing, giving the reader a break when they need it and content that’s easily absorbed.
Keep in mind the way people look at a page. They tend to start in the upper left corner and zig-zag down the content in a Z-pattern. Some people use more of an F-pattern. You can use heat maps and surveys to figure out which spots people are hitting most frequently and utilize that information to improve the layout of your page for users.
7. Focus on Better Navigation
One thing that speeds up the user experience on your site is knowing where things are located so the site visitor can move to locations with a click. For example, your logo should link back to your home page.
Your navigation bar should appear in the same location, order and wording everywhere on your site. People will use it as a marker to backtrack or find new things.
Should You Bother With Website Optimization Techniques?
Anything you can do to improve your site brings visitors back, gives them a reason to share your business with others and converts more users. Small changes, such as speeding up load times or placing the navigation bar in a convenient location help improve the overall user experience of your site.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dogs, Bear and Lucy.