Website optimisation is the process of using controlled experimentation to improve a website’s ability to drive business goals.
To improve the performance of their website, website owners implement A/B testing to experiment with variations on pages of their website to determine which changes will ultimately result in more conversions (eg. demo requests, increases in organic search results, more purchases, reduced customer service time, etc.).
In this article we look at :
- What are the goals of website optimisation?
- What are the elements of website optimisation?
- Search Engine Optimisation vs Website Optimisation
- How to optimise your website for conversion rates.
What Are the Goals of Website Optimisation?
The goals of a website will vary depending upon the type of business, the business’ target customers, and the desired action of that audience: a purchase, filling out a form, or reading an article. The desired action of a website visitor can also be conversions, or the number of audience members who complete a certain action.
- An online publication practices website optimisation with the conversion goal of increasing the number of articles visitors read.
- An online store optimises its website to encourage completion of checkouts and repeat purchases.
- An online software company optimises its website to improve the rate at which visitors sign up for (or convert to) a free trial of the product.
- An insurance company optimises its website to capture more potential leads for insurance coverage sales.
- A fundraising campaign optimises their donation form to encourage more donations.
What Are The Elements of Website Optimisation?
Depending on the company’s goal, website optimisation could include testing:
- A headline, or key messages related to the company’s value proposition.
- The use of visual media, like photography or a video.
- The length of a form, varying the number of required fields or the order of completion.
- The prominent display of customer case studies that describes their success using your product or service.
- The visual style, text, and placement of a call to action (CTA) button or link.
- The organisation of the website’s navigation.
- The placement of social sharing functionality.
- The appearance and organisation of the webpage for a visitor on a mobile device.
Landing pages for marketing campaigns are also often an area of a website that can be optimised, because of the high-quality traffic that is being sent there by ads, email, or social media.
Website owners can also conduct website optimisation on multi-page processes on their websites, like a free trial signup, a checkout funnel, or any multi-page form.
Search Engine Optimisation vs. Website Optimisation
Website optimisation is also sometimes used to describe the practice of improving the discoverability of a website for search engines, with the ultimate goal of improving search result rankings for key search terms.
The key ranking factors to consider when doing search engine optimisation (SEO) include: changing page titles, decreasing page load speeds, minimising poor user experience, using the right keywords, and producing well-written content.
- Changing page titles – search engines like Google use your <title> tag to understand what your page is about and serve that content to its users. Make sure your <title> tag is less than 160 characters, unique to the page, and click-worthy.
- Decreasing page load speeds – website optimisation can also be connected to improving the site speed and site performance. This is implicitly relevant to the goal of website optimisation as the completion of a desired action on a website. Poor website performance, such as latency or slow page speeds, can prohibit visitors from taking action due to an inability to navigate the website.
- Minimising poor user experience – Google’s latest algorithm updates reveal that user engagement metrics like dwell time–how long someone stays on your website from the Google search engine results page–are being used for rankings. If users are staying longer on your site compared to your competitors, you will see higher rankings.
- Using the right keywords – the core of SEO still depends on the usage of relevant keywords.
- Producing well-written content – at the end of the day, search engines are serving users the best content they can find. If Google directs one of its users to your content and it’s full of grammar and spelling mistakes, then that reflects poorly on Google. Make sure the content you’re crafting is unique, full of value and well-written.
How to Optimise for Conversion Rates?
Optimising conversion rates covers everything you do to give visitors to your site a better browsing and interaction experience. This is a crucial aspect for any e-commerce site.
If you improve the user experience, you will naturally also improve your site’s conversion rate, users are reassured more quickly and gain a better understanding of your added value.
As well as improving your conversion rate, a good user experience (UX) will also increase customer loyalty – your users will be more likely to return and make other purchases.
To improve your UX, you should start by identifying problems by analysing your data. Tools like Google Analytics will help you gain crucial insights into:
- User type (age, location, sex, etc.)
- Bounce rate,
- Conversion rate,
- Abandonment rate.
Of course, there are other data you can use to understand all the UX mechanisms at play on your site, but these four will help you make a start on targeting the biggest obstacles.
When seeking to optimise a site, people will often focus on a single type of optimisation (SEO or UX, for example): this is a common mistake which will not help you to substantially boost your revenues.
If you are not sure about how to optimise your website or if your website needs optimisation, consult us today for a free website audit.