Beginner’s Guide to Website Optimization

Because it’s strongly related to sales, website optimization has become a marketing tactic that cannot be avoided. Regardless of your website’s objectives, if you aim to be among the first in your business or just to become more competitive online, you will need a good conversion optimization strategy.

But don’t worry. With all the new tools and web techniques, CRO has become accessible to anyone who owns a website.  For marketers who are already full of ideas about promoting products and services, it should be even easier.

website optimization

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If you are new to the conversion rate optimization, in this article, we will give you a few ideas about where to start from, what you need and how to do it, in order to achieve the best results for your business.

What does website optimization mean?

Website optimization can refer to any action that will make your website more likable and interesting to users, but also more functional for visitors and search engines. Ultimately the whole process of optimization means building a platform that favors traffic, engagement and sales through good design, copy and usability.

What can you optimize?

In order to drive sales and leads, you have to create every aspect of your site with your main business objective in mind.

You can optimize your website for visitors or for search engines, but this two actually have many points in common. Search engine try to interpret information to make it more accessible to humans and conversion optimization tries to make a website more responsive to users’ expectancies.

On any type of website you should optimize:

  • Website structure. Make it as coherently and as simple as possible. Reduce the page depth of sub-categories and of product pages to make each of them accessible.
  • Design. Make the design adjustable to different type of devices. Also pay attention to design elements that influence sale (call to action buttons, layout of landing pages and placement of important navigation elements etc.)
  • Copy. You can use copy for usability, persuasion, clarity of your selling proposition.
  • Usability. See how real target visitors understand and react on site and how easily you get the desired actions from them.
  • Code. The simpler and clearer the code, the better it is understood by search engines. The site speed (an important point for visitors) will also improve.

Just like for any other marketing tactic, conversion rate optimization needs a plan.

Here are the main steps to follow in your plan:

  1. Set the goals you want to reach and a deadline. Define and monitor the appropriate key performance indicators. Examples of goals: increasing conversion rate by 2%, double the number of newsletter subscriptions, increasing the average order value
  2. Find out what drives conversion, and which are the barriers on the path to conversion. Why does a part of your visitors leave the site, what didn’t they like?  What are the pages where visitors are more likely to leave the site? You can use quantitative data (analytics data) or qualitative data (surveys).
  3. Improve your website according to the data you’ve gathered about visitors, their preferences and their expectancies. Test the changes you want to make.
  4. Redo the process. Website optimization is an ongoing process and you have to adapt continually to market changes, to new technology and to new customers preferences.

What tools do you need to make all this possible?

  • Testing tools  (A/B testing, multivariate testing, usability testing)
  • Tracking tools and traffic segmentation tools
  • Eye-tracking and heat map tools
  • User surveys tools
  • What you see is what you get editor

Even if it seems rather complicated, conversion optimization can be done by any marketer. You just need to have the determination to improve your website, the patience to monitor it and to analyze data and the willingness to put your marketing ideas to test. And, of course, the tools that make things easier.

Recommended reading: beginners guide to conversion optimization

 

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