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    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:

    Digital Strategy:

    Website Analytics and Tracking
    Search Engine Optimization
    Conversion Rate Optimization

     

    Design:

    User Experience and Interface
    Responsive Design
    Content Strategy

    Development:

    User and Admin Functionality
    Speed Performance
    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:

    SEO Tools:

    SEMRush

    Excellent for competitor analysis, keyword tracking, and site health audits

    Keywords Everywhere

    An awesome Chrome extension for initial keyword research

    SEOQuake

    Another Chrome extension, great for quick looks into on-page and technical SEO

    Google Search Console

    Fundamental to understanding site crawlability and performance

    Yoast SEO

    The must-have SEO plugin for WordPress sites

    Google Analytics

    A must-have for understanding site traffic, user insights, behavior, and more

    UX, A/B Testing, & Design Tools:

    Sketch

    A modern vector design tool, packed full of features and integration options

    Invision

    Our go-to prototyping tool

    Whimsical

    We love this tool for low-fidelity wireframes and user flow visualizations

    GOOGLE OPTIMIZE

    Our favorite option for simple variant or redirect testing. Learn more about getting started with Google Optimize here

    OPTIMIZELY

    A premium a/b testing tool for nuanced testing or sites with heavy traffic

    HotJar

    Simple and effective heatmap tracking, session recording, and more

    Development Tools:

    Chrome DevTools

    This set of tools built into Chrome allows developers to assess issues quickly from their browser

    PageSpeed Insights

    A free tool for analyzing site speed and identifying factors that may be slowing your site and affecting search engine rankings

    GT Metrix

    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.

    Don’t have it all figured out? We can help.

    Since 1999 Gravitate has been living and breathing website optimization. We’d love to hear more about your website, there’s a good chance we’ll have a few ideas for you to explore.

    Contact Us