What is website optimization?
Website optimization is the use of tools, strategies, and actions to improve your website’s user experience (UX), traffic, and conversion rates.
Why is website optimization important?
Businesses rely on website optimization practices to drive traffic to their sites, keep visitors on their sites, and convert visitors to customers through Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Since the Internet is where most brands now conduct business, website optimization is a crucial piece to any organization’s overall revenue strategy.
Data pulled from website optimization programs can help companies assess what’s working and what isn’t working, and can help provide insight into how to improve website performance.
What are the components of an effective website optimization strategy?
To stand out among millions of other websites, effective website optimization should include the following components.
Content marketing & content testing
To effectively market, companies need to tailor web copy and content to topics and information that prospective customers are looking for. Customer testimonials, infographics, and other visual and written materials can help you establish your organization as a thought leader and instill confidence in customers who are considering purchasing your services.
Additionally, content testing, or the practice of validating and testing that your content is working and resonates with your users is also a critical component of an effective website optimization strategy. Ensuring that all of the effort going into content creation is an effective use of resources will only enhance optimization and conversion goals.
Search engine optimization (SEO) involves using specific, high-ranking keywords throughout web copy to help your web page rank on search engine results pages (SERPs).
A top-performing SEO web page draws more traffic and typically equates with a rich user experience once visitors land on the page.
User experience (UX) refers to the journey through your website expressed by graphics, layout, buttons, relevant links, page-load speed, and mobile-optimization. A streamlined, easy-to-follow user experience makes visitors more likely to stay on your site and ultimately convert.
If your content marketing and SEO strategies are effective in directing people to your website, your site’s UX is what keeps them there.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the practice of optimizing the ratio of users who perform a desired action on a website, thus optimizing conversions whether it’s purchases, sign-ups for memberships, downloads of a piece of content or some other action. Implementing a CRO technology like Intellimize can increase the effectiveness of the above components and amplify the efforts you’re already putting into optimizing your website, so the two can heavily impact each other.
Once a web page is optimized using the elements mentioned above, businesses can assess the performance of these pages compared to the original version, and web teams can iterate on content, design, and the overall UX to achieve even better conversion rates and performance.
How is website optimization connected to website personalization?
Website optimization and website personalization are closely linked, but they have two different means of achieving a similar goal.
With website optimization, the focus is placed on optimizing the website experience for every visitor. The process involves multiple rounds of testing, data collection, and analyses of visitor data to learn what draws visitors to a website and what keeps them on the page.
With website personalization, however, the strategy is to target a very specific type of visitor and to optimize web pages and advertising with this visitor in mind. This normally refers to a demographic, geographic, firmographic and user-behavior category that has been built over time with the help of customer data.
The best-performing web pages will achieve both website optimization and website personalization. While this may sound like a difficult feat, it can be easy to achieve using the above strategies.
How to get started with website optimization
When you’re ready to launch a website optimization program, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Identify your business goal. What are you trying to measure? How will you define success? How will you define failures? Once you define your experiments, you’ll be able to tailor your strategy to the business goal.
- Determine what you can measure and how to measure it. Whether you’re aiming to analyze clicks, form submissions, content downloads, or webinar sign-ups, you’ll need to identify how you’re going to measure and analyze each of these metrics and how you’ll keep track of them over time.
- Consider the customer journey. Where are you experiencing drop-off? How are your current web elements affecting this drop-off? Because customers may be visiting your website at various stages within the sales journey, ask yourself how different web elements can be tailored to the needs of these different stages. It can be tempting to keep your focus on the end goal, but pay equal attention to the smaller pieces that can add up to a successful customer journey.
These starting points will allow you to identify what you want to test, what types of visitors you’re looking to convert to customers, and how you can effectively build out a seamless experience.
Other tips for top website optimization
To truly optimize your website and increase the number of successful conversions, remember to include the following elements in your website optimization strategy.
1. Consistent messaging. It’s a best practice to use similar messaging across communications, from emails to ads to web copy. Once you have an ideal customer in mind, you’ll start to notice how they react to certain messaging. Keeping this messaging consistent throughout the customer journey will keep your target customers engaged.
2. Take an industry-specific approach. If you have existing customers in a specific industry, enlist those customers to provide success snippets, quotes, or full-on customer stories to give your audience an idea of how your services have helped some of their competitors and peers. Better yet, try to get permission to use existing customers’ logos and likenesses on your pages to draw the eye toward a fast, visual reminder of your previous success.
3. Keep the sales cycle in mind. Your customers may be at various stages within the sales cycle. Remaining cognizant of this will help you determine which content and website experience you should target for their specific situation. You can opt to personalize some of this content for increased relevancy, if your resources allow.
4. Simplify form submissions. It’s common sense: the more fields you require a visitor to complete on a form, the less likely these forms are to be submitted. Consult with your sales team to identify what pieces of information are vital to their process, and see whether there are fields that can be removed or shown at a later stage in the funnel.
5. Customize CTAs. Once you have your target audience in mind and you’re aware of their position in the sales cycle, feel free to play around with CTA language, positioning, and frequency on your web pages. It can be tempting to create one CTA and leave it alone, but experimenting can help you identify what resonates with your individual customers and meet them where they are.
All of these elements can be implemented and tested using a CRO tool like Intellimize to drive conversions and subsequently, revenue.
- 7 website optimization tips for B2B landing pages
- 4 Best Practices to Kick Off Your Website Optimization Program
- 5 Steps to Effectively Execute Your Website Experiments