Your website is your first impression and the foundation of your inbound marketing strategy. An effective website will attract traffic, engage and educate visitors, and convert those visitors into leads, customers, and loyal fans of your business.
There are a number of pitfalls to avoid when it comes to website design. If website pages don’t load quickly enough, visitors bounce to the next result on the SERP. If websites lack the information they’re looking for, users lose interest. If content language isn’t targeted to specific demographics, targeted demographics find a website that does. This is why website optimization is so important.
Website Optimization Is a 24/7 Endeavor
Like inbound marketing strategies, your website should be consistently updated, tweaked and contoured to improve the user experience. This process is called website optimization and it’s a 24/7 experience, something your marketing team should prioritize daily.
An optimized website should:
- Load quickly
- Work on any gadget
- Balance text, white space, graphics & video
- Use best SEO practices to make friends with Google
- Make use of metrics & analytics
It should also:
- Look great and reflect your brand
- Speak directly to the target audience(s)
- Encourage engagement and action
- Overflow with authentic, knowledgeable and expert content
- Be socially active
The tips above are segmented into two aspects of website optimization: the technical aspects of design, and the branding and content creation.
→ 5 content & branding rules all companies should follow
The First 5: Focus On the Technical
The technical aspects of a website are an invisible, but tangible, part of the website user’s experience.
- Quick Loading is Key. How long do you wait for a website to load before you bounce? Exactly. Use Google’s PageSpeed Tool for a little friendly analysis. You can increase page loading times by optimizing CSS and eliminating superfluous codes, enabling compression and caching features, optimizing images and keep scripts below the fold.
- Be Mobile. Make sure your website is designed for mobile users with a responsive design that attractively adapts to the gadget spectrum.
- Create Visual Balance. An overabundance of anything will be overwhelming on a webpage. Strike a balance between visual features (text, white space, graphics, video, etc.) to increase overall appeal and (typically) loading times.
- Use Best SEO Practices. SEO is still alive and well. Paying attention to things like page titles, meta descriptions, ALT tagging images – is still relevant in terms of SERP rankings. Search Engine Land’s SEO Periodic Table is a great reference.
- Use Metrics & Analytics. Don’t let all those numbers remain a mystery. Get cozy with them so they can inform and direct you regarding what site visitors want/don’t want, like/don’t like. The data analytics process allows you to create smarter digital marketing strategies that, in turn, increase ROI.
Those are five technical website upgrades that will tidy things up. Now, let’s move on to branding and content optimizers.