What is website optimization?
Website optimization is a strategic multi-disciplinary approach to making a website better for users, administrators, and sometimes robots. At its core, optimization is an iterative testing process that may include goal setting, research, strategy, testing, and reporting.
While you have likely heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Website Optimization takes a step back for a holistic view of site performance. A good optimization strategy is mindful of SEO, while also considering other disciplines including design, user experience (UX), conversion rate optimization (CRO), analytics, and more.
What are the benefits of website optimization?
The benefits of well-planned website optimization include:
- Better User Insights
- Improved Search Exposure and Traffic
- Enhanced User Experience
- Increased Conversion Rates
- Stability, Security, and Speed Performance
How to get started with website optimization?
Getting started with website optimization can seem like a daunting task. However, we like to break it down into three distinct categories, digital strategy, design, and development. Depending on the skillset of your team and the needs of your site, you may be able to handle optimization in-house or may choose to utilize your digital marketing partners. Regardless of your team, it’s important to keep your overall goals in mind and to designate an optimization lead who can keep your team focused on how their tasks support the big picture. We recommend starting with:
Website Analytics and Tracking
Search Engine Optimization
Conversion Rate Optimization
User Experience and Interface
User and Admin Functionality
Site Security and Updates
Tools for Website Optimization
As you begin to think about your approach to website optimization it will be helpful to have an understanding of trusted tools that you can keep in your digital arsenal. We know there are infinite options for tools out there and while there is never one right answer, here are a handful of options that we like:
Excellent for competitor analysis, keyword tracking, and site health audits
An awesome Chrome extension for initial keyword research
Another Chrome extension, great for quick looks into on-page and technical SEO
Google Search Console
Fundamental to understanding site crawlability and performance
The must-have SEO plugin for WordPress sites
A must-have for understanding site traffic, user insights, behavior, and more
UX, A/B Testing, & Design Tools:
A modern vector design tool, packed full of features and integration options
Our go-to prototyping tool
We love this tool for low-fidelity wireframes and user flow visualizations
Our favorite option for simple variant or redirect testing. Learn more about getting started with Google Optimize here
A premium a/b testing tool for nuanced testing or sites with heavy traffic
Simple and effective heatmap tracking, session recording, and more
This set of tools built into Chrome allows developers to assess issues quickly from their browser
A free tool for analyzing site speed and identifying factors that may be slowing your site and affecting search engine rankings
A great tool for assessing and tracking site speed and performance
W3 Total Cache
Our go-to for improving server performance and reducing download time
Google Tag Manager
The easiest way to deploy site scripts and Google Analytics Event Tracking
Next Steps and Tracking Success
Whether you are starting your website optimization strategy from scratch or looking to take things to the next level, we hope this overview sparked some curiosity and drive for your team. Wherever you’re at, it’s always a good idea to take a second look at your goals and key performance metrics for future benchmarking. While you start to make progress on your site optimization, be sure to make time-stamped notes when significant changes are implemented to make connecting the dots easier down the road. Lastly, be sure to share your insights with all sides of the business! The conversations that follow a good report can be priceless.