What is Website Optimization?
To put it simply, website optimization is all about improving your user experience so that people will be more likely to convert on your website. Many businesses try to optimize their user experience by completely redesigning their website from time-to-time, but let’s face it, no matter how well you know your target audience, people are unpredictable.
In other words, if you try to optimize your website without good data, you might end up decreasing your conversion rate instead of increasing it.
As a result, true website optimization is a scientific process. You come up with a hypothesis for a change you think will improve your conversion rate and test that hypothesis. If you’re right, you change to your new and improved website design. If you’re wrong, you stick with the original design.
The best part of this website optimization process is that it teaches you about your target audience. You learn what they like and dislike, which allows you to come up with even better hypotheses and tests in the future. Over time, you may end up with a website that you never would have come up with on your own—but it’s a website that is perfect for your traffic.
Why Do You Really Need to Optimize Your Website?
If you’re wondering whether or not website optimization is worth the trouble, let me ask you this: If I told you that you could get twice as many conversions from your existing traffic, would you be excited?
If the answer is yes then you should definitely be optimizing your website.
The fact of the matter is, pushing more traffic at a website that doesn’t work for your potential customers is a waste of money. Traffic is good. Traffic that converts is better.
Whether you’re paying someone to do SEO for your site or paying for every click through an online advertising platform like AdWords, you pay to get people on your site. Once they are there, though, it’s up to you to get them to convert.
So, if you can increase the percentage of people who visit your site and convert, you’re effectively increasing conversions without increasing cost. Who doesn’t want that?
What Should You Optimize?
Odds are, if you’ve never done any website optimization before, everything on your website could probably use a tune-up. However, most businesses don’t have the time or traffic to optimize every little aspect of their website.
To figure out which areas of your site to test first, ask yourself the following questions:
- Why do most people come to my site? What problem do they need to have solved? (this can be as simple as “they want more information” or as complex as “they need a comprehensive IT solution that addresses X, Y and Z issues”).
- What do I want people to do on my site? (you may want people to do different things on different pages or sections of your site).
Once you know why people are on your site and what you want them to do, take a look at how a visitor gets from their “why” to your “what”. Is it a simple, straightforward process? What are alternative ways to approach things? How could you make the conversion process easier and more user-friendly?
To help you think things through, here are some specific areas where many business websites struggle:
- Landing Page
- Home Page
- Check Out Process
- Conversion point