In the last decade, and increasingly so over the last few years, the internet has become the #1 place people turn to in order to research and purchase products. One of the most important aspects of SEO (search engine optimization) is website optimization. It is no longer optional to have a highly functional and attractive website: it’s a necessity. Every marketer needs to know at least the basic strategies for how to optimize a website. But that doesn’t mean you have to run out and get another degree in website design and development. The AMA offers a Digital Marketing Pro Certification that includes skills like website optimization. In this article, we will tell you why website optimization is crucial in the digital age — particularly for marketers — and some strategies for how to go about optimizing a website.
Website optimization is the process of using knowledge, tools, and strategies to improve the performance of your website and help it rank higher on search engines. The goal of website optimization is to drive more traffic to a website, increase your number of conversions, and ultimately, increase revenue. All too often, marketers and website owners skip to other marketing strategies without ensuring that their company’s website is fully optimized. However, optimizing your website can help you connect with your market effectively and efficiently, without paying for ads.
Why is website optimization so crucial in the digital era? Website optimization is a crucial part of creating any modern digital marketing strategy. A website is a business’s home on the internet, and it should work well, look good, and be well-maintained. Global e-commerce sales are expected to total $5.5 billion worldwide in 2022. And even if you don’t sell your products and services online, the internet has become the go-to place to find details about local businesses.
When you have a well-optimized website, it works for you 24/7 online to connect with people who are searching for you. When consumers search for relevant terms, your website and business will appear. The key thing to remember when it comes to website optimization is to not just optimize your website for search engines, but for real people, too.
Several different strategies combine to ensure that your website is fully optimized:
- Web Analytics
- User Experience (UX)
- Web Design and Development
- Conversion Rate Optimization
Let’s define optimized. The technical definition of “optimized” when it relates to websites is to rearrange or rewrite data or graphics to improve the efficiency of retrieval or processing. The first step to having an optimized website is to identify what’s wrong with your website and find any issues. There are plenty of tools available to help you with SEO, page speed, mobile usability, and more.
10 Website Optimization Tools to Know
In order to properly optimize your website, there are various website optimization tools to help. Website optimization tools help you figure out what you’re doing right — and wrong — for your website. There are tools to help you optimize your existing website content and tools to help you identify what is slowing down your website. These are some of the best website optimization tools:
Page speed is integral for the success of your website. Not only is page speed a Google ranking factor, but slow pages will also discourage visitors from staying on your site. PageSpeed Insights is a free tool offered by Google that you use to measure a website’s speed performance on both desktop and mobile devices. The tool assigns a score to every website, on a ranking scale from 0 to 100. If your website (or your client’s website) is ranked above 90, that is a good score. But scores between 50 and 90 could use improvement, and below 50 is considered poor.
HotJar is a cross-platform behavior analytics platform that is designed to help you understand and visualize user behavior. This tool allows you to generate heat maps, funnel tracking, user pools, surveys, and other types of qualitative data. Plus, it is easy to use and free.
The Google Search Console is an excellent website optimization tool because it allows webmasters to see how well their website is performing on Google. It is also a useful tool for troubleshooting problems with your website, fixing indexing issues, requesting indexing for brand-new content, and several other features. Google Search Console also provides search-related data, which is invaluable for marketers. It can tell you how often a website is ranked for in search, which keywords a website is ranking for, and how often searchers are clicking through to your website.
Google Analytics is a tool by, you guessed it, Google, that helps you understand user behavior on your website. It allows you to track how users navigate your website, collects data, and offers customized reports. Plus, there is a free version and also a paid version available.
Google Optimize is a tool that allows you to test new features on your website. This is a valuable tool for running free A/B tests on your website. You can use this tool to test several different variations on a web page, like fonts, calls to action, headlines, product copy, and product placement, and see which variations are the most effective. Google Optimize also seamlessly integrates with Google Analytics.
It’s not only important to optimize your website, but also the content on your website. Semrush is a tool that you can use to identify your competitors and their top content, identify your top ranking keywords, and optimize your content.
Screaming Frog is a website crawler that crawls URLs and returns data that you can use to find and correct technical errors on a website. Marketers can use the tool to check for broken links and duplicate content (both of which are big Google no-nos.)
Ahrefs is a popular SEO platform that allows you to analyze a website’s link profile, keyword rankings, and overall SEO health. It is also a great tool to use to conduct keyword research for Google, YouTube, and even Amazon. You can also use it to find content that has performed well on a given topic or to do competitor research.
Moz is another SEO tool and data management software that helps you with site audits, rank tracking, backlink analysis, and keyword research. It is an excellent all-in-one tool for optimizing your website.
Now that you have the rest of your website optimized, it is time to test it. The best tool for user testing is UserTesting.com. Though you might think that you can catch problems on your website on your own, it is much easier and more effective to have testers do it for you.
There are many different methods that you can use to optimize your website. Here are some top website optimization strategies to consider if you want to consider your website fully optimized:
Your website needs to not only work well and look great on laptops and desktop computers, but also on mobile devices. These days, mobile accounts for a little more than half of website traffic worldwide. You can run a basic mobile usability test on Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to ensure that your site works well on mobile.
These days, more of us than ever are conducting searches online not just via typing, but with our voices. That’s why it is important to optimize your website for voice search.
Page speed is an official Google ranking factor and directly affects your website’s SEO. Your website should load within three seconds, or if you have an e-commerce site, two seconds is ideal. You can check your website’s loading time with Google’s PageSpeed insights. Some common problems that slow down websites include uncompressed JS and CSS files, no CDN, no page caching, and large, unoptimized files. Most of these issues can be fixed fairly easily with plugins or extensions for your CMS.
Now that you have optimized some of the more technical aspects of your website, it’s time to optimize your website’s content. There is a critical connection between content and revenue. First, you need to know which keywords you wish to rank for. The words you use within your website’s content are important for search engines. But it’s more than just the words you use that create well-optimized content. Google also wants to see valuable, high-quality content that is helpful to searchers. So, take the time to invest in high-quality SEO content writing services.
Now, you know why website optimization is crucial in the digital era. Particularly if you are a marketer, knowing how to optimize a website is a critical skill. Learn more about website optimization and other important marketing skills with the American Marketing Association’s Digital Marketing Pro Certification. When you complete the Digital Marketing Pro program, you will become dually certified with the AMA and DMI with two credentials: PCM® Digital Marketing and Certified Digital Marketing Professional. Sign up today!