Your website is the face of your brand. People say, “First impressions are the last impressions”, and Forbes says You And Your Business Have 7 Seconds To Make A First Impression. The same article quotes research that showed that as far as websites are concerned, visitors may form that critical first impression in as little as 50 milliseconds!

So what do you do? Optimize your website, of course!

Website optimization is essential for all forward-thinking businesses. Let’s get into the nitty-gritties of what it is and how you can use Qualaroo to ramp it up!

website-optimization
CHAPTER 1

What is Website Optimization?

Website optimization is the bedrock of building a strong online presence. Technically, it is controlled experimentation to improve your website performance in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), customer experience (CX) and overall customer satisfaction (CSAT).

An organized way of getting started with complete website optimization is by planning how much attention these areas of your website need:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Content (Copywriting & Visual)
  • Data Analytics (Visitor Behaviour)
  • User Experience (Frontend Design)
  • Website Performance (Backend Processes)
  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Not just your desktop website, you should optimize your mobile website at the earliest too, because Statista shows that “mobile currently accounts for half of all global web pages served”.

Curious about how website optimization is different from Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

SEO usually involves key ranking factors such as page titles, page load speeds, user experience, keywords, and content. It is an important part of website optimization. Where website optimization goes beyond SEO is in its coverage of other equally important parts of your website, including but not limited to:

  • Creating a delightful user experience (UX)
  • Identifying & targeting visitor intent
  • Increasing conversion/reducing bounce rate
  • Understanding your competitive positioning
CHAPTER 2

Why Do You Need Website Optimization?

Zero website optimization is not an option. Not if you are ambitious about your business. The challenge of rising to the top of Search Engine Result Page (SERP) rankings is already huge.

Web optimization helps you overcome this seemingly insurmountable contemporary challenge.

See how Hootsuite, a leading social media management dashboard software, redesigned their branded landing page that resulted in a 16% lift in conversion at 98% statistical significance.

You, too, can optimize your website and make sure that your brand shows up in the top ranks when interested buyers search for the keywords you target.

Once they start exploring your product or service through your website, they will feel delighted if your user experience is optimized to its full potential, using the most efficient survey recipes.

Converting them from such a positive state of mind with focused conversion rate optimization is a piece of cake!

The benefits of website optimization for your business are not limited to increasing your brand awareness, rankings, and conversion rates.

CHAPTER 3

Benefits of Website Optimization (With Working Examples)

We believe in Show-&-Tell. So, instead of providing only qualitative explanations to the advantages of optimizing your website, we’ll show you some working examples of businesses doing it.

Let’s get started.

1. Increased Website Visibility

By optimizing your website for SEO, you can find effective keywords to rank on the SERPs. As more of your keywords start to rank on the Google results, it will increase organic traffic on those pages.

If you do it right, you can improve the site's visibility and rank on the search engines.

Case Study: Boatsetter

Chris Beck, SEO director at Boatsetter, increased the visibility of their client by Over 1400% in 4 months.

Their client was in the small business lending space that offered business and merchant loans, among other services. But out of 100s of targeted keywords, only eleven were ranking in the top 10.

So they decided to design the SEO campaign to increase website traffic by improving keyword rankings.

They started with the technical SEO audit, keyword research, and on-site content analysis. They also planned to create new landing pages, build off-page links, fix bugs, and improve page hierarchy.

In short, the campaign was aimed at a complete SEO overhaul.

The audit found multiple issues and implemented their improvements.

  • Very thin content was improved on more than 100 pages.
  • Over-optimized and under-optimized metadata were taken care of.
  • They also created new landing pages with previously unused keywords like 'small business loans.'
  • They also optimized the URL structure and submitted a new sitemap.

The result:

The volume of targeted keywords increased by 93%, bringing them within the top 5 rankings on Google. The number of targeted keywords in the top 10 went up from 11 to 130.

The organic traffic also increased on multiple pages by over 100%, with the merchant cash advance page peaking at 408.60%.

Here is a chart showing the steady increase in rankings:

2. More Lead Generation

Optimizing your website not only brings traffic to your website but also helps convert visitors into prospects and customers. Through targeted conversion rate optimization, you can create personalized experiences for different visitor types and help them to complete their goals on the website.

Understanding user behavior is key to generating new leads. And that’s what Goodblogs did to increase their number of signups on their website by 300% using highly targeted branched surveys.

Case Study: Goodblogs

Goodblogs, an online platform for freelance blog posts, wanted to funnel the website traffic into leads. They decided to implement Qualaroo, a customer feedback and lead generation tool, to segment the visitors into prospects and non-prospects.

With targeted surveys on their licensee’s sites, they started screening the visitors.

For example, visitors on horse lover blogs were shown the following survey - ‘Do you own a horse?’

  • If they answered yes, they would be redirected to the email signup page to receive special offers.
  • If they chose no, they were led to a different funnel and encouraged to write for Goodblogs.

The result: By placing a simple survey screen and asking the right questions, they increased the number of signups by 300%.

This is a perfect example of how small incremental changes to optimize your website can bring significant gains.

Bonus Read: Best Lead Generation Software & Tools

3. Improved User Experience

Whether it's desktop or mobile devices, users expect an exceptional website experience.

Visitors may discover your website while using their desktops, create an account, add some product to the cart and leave — only to continue on the mobile website.

Since customer interaction points are scattered throughout multiple channels, creating a streamlined journey experience is imperative.

That is what website optimization helps you to achieve by fine tuning your website across different devices. Optimization strategies like improving page speed, fixing issues, developing responsive designs, providing one-touch checkout on mobile and single page checkout on desktop improve user experience and ultimately conversions.

Related Read: Using User Experience & Funnel Optimization To Improve Conversions

Case Study 1: Walmart

Walmart.ca improved its conversion rate by 20% by adopting a responsive design.

This example shows the increasing adoption of mobile devices for internet usage and the importance of optimizing the mobile experience.

Walmart.ca wanted to capitalize on the mobile traffic to bring in more customers to their website. They saw a significant amount of traffic attributed to tablet devices. So, they decided to go tablet-first with their website.

The two main challenges were the design that could scale up and down according to the user’s device and optimize the page load speed on mobile.

They worked with agile development to run usability for new designs, and A/B tested different elements.

The result:

The responsive design increased the conversions by 20% and mobile orders by 98%.

walmart

Case Study 2: GraphicSprings

GraphicSprings saw an increase of 41% in revenue by understanding user needs.

GraphicSprings, which provides an online logo design tool, wanted to understand its customers and craft personalized experiences for different customer segments. They decided to create a feedback loop using Qualaroo surveys to target three customer attributes -

  • Exit intent
  • User experience
  • Demographics

Using exit-intent surveys, they started collecting feedback and leads from leaving visitors to retarget them with personalized email campaigns. It helped them reduce shopping cart abandonment by 4% in just one week.

Bonus Read: How to Optimize & Increase Ecommerce Conversion Rate

With experience mapping surveys, they learned that users found the color editing function in the tool very tedious and lengthy. This feedback helped them optimize the tool and improve the user experience, resulting in an increase in revenue by 10%.

The user feedback also led to the overhaul of their website design to suit different user profiles.

4. Make Data-Backed Incremental Changes

What would you do if your website wasn't performing as intended?

Where would you start to make the changes?

Doing a complete design change requires a lot of effort, time, and resources. Without any data-backed approach, how would you know if the new design would be better or worse than the original?

That is where optimization testing comes into play. Running website optimization tests, such as A/B tests lets you make subtle changes to the web page ⇒ test them against the original design ⇒ implement the best one. It saves resources and produces data-backed changes for improving conversions.

Even if the test fails, you would know what not to implement on the webpage.

Case Study: TruckersReport

TruckersReport ran successive A/B tests to improve their landing page conversions by 79%.

The landing page of TruckersReport, an online portal for professional truck drivers, had an abysmal conversion rate of 12% (email signups) even though their website had over 1 million monthly visitors!

By using data from surveys, session replays, and heatmaps, they decided to optimize the website using the following strategies:

  • Making the page responsive
  • Improving the design
  • Creating new headlines
  • Adding social proofs

They ran six A/B tests on different website elements to design the perfectly optimized landing page.

  • In the first test, they optimized the lead form on the landing page. The original design (control) outperformed the variation.
  • The second test improved the page content and messaging. The control design again won in this test.
  • The third test was directed at optimizing the job search page.
  • The fourth test optimized the page to a shorter layout. And so on.

The result:

They managed to increase their landing page conversion rate from 12% to 79% in over six months with multiple small tests.

We used this example to showcase the importance of incremental optimization changes rather than a complete overhaul. If you just go ahead and start making changes, it may lead to adverse effects on visitors and conversion rates. That's why a data-backed approach is always rewarding.

Bonus Read: Best A/B Testing Tools

5. Increased Conversions

To risk sounding like a broken record, website optimization brings in more conversions to your website. That is what we have seen from the examples in the previous points.

Improved website ranking + more traffic + optimized webpage + customer support & feedback systems = more conversions

As a final example, here's a look at Hootsuite, which revamped its landing page to increase conversions by 16%.

Its landing page was initially designed with the assumption that people who landed on it knew what Hootsuite was and how it worked. This approach completely sidelined the new visitors or potential prospects.

Hootsuite decided to implement a short on-site survey using Qualaroo to gauge whether the visitors were able to understand the product messaging or not. The results showed that 65% of people wanted more information before making the purchase decision.

So the Hootsuite team decided to optimize the landing page using the insights from the survey data. They A/B tested the new design against the original one. The results showed a 16% conversion lift at 98% statistical significance.

Bonus Read: Best Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Tools

CHAPTER 4

18 Website Optimization Strategies (And Crucial Elements to Optimize)

There are multiple ways to approach website optimization. These strategies are interconnected so optimizing one element may affect other aspects to produce an overall positive effect.

For example:

  • Adding a schema markup and improving page content help optimize user experience, but they also affect SEO indirectly by reducing bounce rate and increasing user engagement.
  • In the same way, the optimization process like keyword research focuses on SEO, but it also optimizes conversions by bringing in more traffic and users.

Let’s quickly learn these website optimization techniques, their uses, and how to implement them on your website.

The top 5 ways to approach this are as follows:

  • Website Optimization for Performance
  • Website Optimization for SEO
  • Website optimization for Mobile
  • Website Optimization to Improve User Experience
  • Website Optimization for Conversions

Website Optimization for Performance

1. Optimize Page Speed

Page load speed is the time taken for the page to display the content fully. Page load speed is a primary step towards optimizing your website.

The reasons being:

  • It’s a vital factor to improve visitor engagement and SEO.
  • It is a direct ranking factor, as indicated by Google’s algorithm speed update.
  • Plus, it also affects SEO rankings by reducing bounce rate and dwell time. If your website takes too long to load, visitors may close the page or switch to another website.
  • Higher load time can decrease the website conversion rate, as shown in the graph below -

But what is the ideal page load speed? According to Google Webmaster expert Maile Ohye, the acceptable threshold is 2 seconds.

According to SEMRush, if your website loads in 2.9 seconds, it is faster than approximately 50% of the web.

Now you’re thinking - How do I reach close to this number?

The first thing to do is evaluate your page speed. Use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to test the loading speed.

It scores your website on a grade of 1-100—the higher the number, the better the page speed. You can use other tools, like Pingdom and Dareboost as well.

pagespeed

The speed test will point you towards all the indicators that might be slowing your webpage.

Once you have the direction, it’s time to optimize the website using the test results. Here are few ways to optimize the page load time:

  • Load CSS and JavaScript files asynchronously to speed the page load time.
  • Improve image loading using lazy loading to delay the population of images on the page to improve performance.
  • Compress the images to lower their size without compromising the quality to promote faster loading.
  • Use a CDN to load media files and scripts.
  • You can also compress the size of your javascript, HTML, and CSS elements.

You can also implement additional measures to gauge user experience as well. Use feedback tools to do usability testing and collect user feedback. It will help align website optimization efforts with user experience to get the best results.

2. Fix Bugs, Errors, and Broken Links

Another strategy to improve site performance is to fix page errors., broken links, and other bugs that may arise unintentionally.

Resolve Loading errors such as 4xx and 5xx.

These errors interrupt user experience and often lead to website abandonment. Use a site crawler to find these pages and add appropriate redirects to resolve the issue. Few examples of these errors are:

  • 404 (not found)
  • 403 (forbidden)
  • 401 (unauthorized)
  • 400 (bad request)
  • 500 (internal server error)

In the same way, issues like uneven load distribution, browser incompatibility, high-resolution images, and crowded server hosting can severely impact your website's performance and user engagement.

Run quality checks on your website and monitor user feedback to weed out these errors and issues in time to optimize your website.

Website Optimization for SEO

The discovery of websites depends heavily on search engines. That's why organic traffic plays a vital role in the growth of a website.

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the process of making your website rank higher on the search results. If your website's SEO is good, it will attract more traffic and produce higher chances of conversions.

But SEO is not just about keywords anymore; it is a combination of different small changes that culminate in optimizing the website for SEO ranking.

Here are a few SEO aspects you can improve on your website.

3. Technical SEO

If keywords represent the front face of your website, technical SEO is the backend process. It is not readable to humans but helps search engines understand your web page's technical structure. It tells what the webpage is about and the hierarchy of the various elements, among other things.

Here are a few things you can do to improve the technical SEO for website optimization:

  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Go to Google Search Console to run the test and make the necessary changes.
  • See if there are any status code errors and correct them.
  • Include a robot.txt file to tell the crawlers which URLs to crawl.
  • Use Google Search Console to check for any issues with your site indexing and fix them.
  • Check for any duplicate title tags and meta descriptions. It may lead to two pages competing for the same keyword, thus dividing the traffic on your website.
  • Fix any broken links as they hinder user experience and can lead to a drop in SEO rankings.
  • Create an XML sitemap and add it to Google using Google via Google Search Console. This file tells Google about your website pages so it can easily crawl them. Here's how you can build & submit your sitemap.

4. Conduct in-Depth Copywriting & Keyword Research

The next step towards optimizing your website for SEO is to do extensive keyword research. It will tell you what your audience is searching for on the internet, the demand for that keyword, and the kind of solution (user intent) they are looking for using these keywords.

Did you know that there is a direct correlation between the keyword match in the title and its page ranking?

Google processes over 60,000 search queries every second. That's why keyword research is essential to create targeted content for your niche. It will help to provide highly relevant content for these queries to the users.

  • You can find the most searched keywords and phrases on the internet.
  • Identify potential ranking keywords for your business.
  • Extract your industry-specific searches to help you design relevant content and web pages.
  • It also tells you what keyword to target for ranking above your competitors.
  • It helps to optimize your online ad campaigns for the targeted keywords.

Using relevant keywords in your content, you can inform site crawlers about your page's topic, increase website traffic, and improve time spent on the page.

How to start with Keyword research for website optimization

  • Suppose you want to write about a topic, say, website optimization.
  • To get a starting point, head to the keyword research tool at your disposal and type the keywords that come into your mind about this topic, say website optimization, optimize your website, website optimization tools, etc.
  • It will help you locate other related keywords on the topic and their monthly volume.
  • You can use many advanced tools, such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, Google Search Console, Google keyword planner, Google Trends, Moz Keyword Explorer, etc. They can display important information like ranking difficulty, top-ranked sites, level of competition, and more.
  • There is a chance that higher the search volume for a keyword, the more difficult it is to rank for it because the top brands would be already competing for that keyword. It is often helpful to go for highly industry-specific and low competition keywords because it is easier to rank.
  • Try using long-tail keywords specific to your audience. For example, if you have an online survey tool, you may want to target 'how to conduct an online survey' rather than 'conduct survey.' These are closer to the user search queries and often less competitive.
  • Another strategy is to select the keyword that your competition is not currently using or ranking for. Or you can choose the keywords that you are already ranking for above your competitors.
  • Type the keywords in the Google search to see which competitors are ranking for them.
  • You can go deeper by targeting location-specific keywords for different towns and cities to reduce the competition further. You can use Google Trends to find out the trading keywords in that region.

It is important to note that it's no more about just doing keyword research, creating some content, and targeting those keywords in that content. Google machine learning algorithms are getting smarter each day to understand what users are looking for under a specific keyword or search query.

With the right keywords at hand, you can create quality content that matches the search criteria of your audience and improve your SERP ranking.

5. Add Schema Markup

Schema Markup is microdata that helps Google create a rich snippet on the search engine for your web page when users enter the relevant search queries.

location

It is code you add to the website that enables Google to show more information about your website to the users on the SERPs.

product

This enhanced description can be the product price, ratings, short paragraph, author, date published, reviews, and other details.

There are numerous markup types to represent different types of data on the SERPs.

structure

Although schema markup is not a ranking signal, it affects your SEO by enhancing user searches. With the help of rich snippets, people can click on results that appear more relevant. This, in turn, helps Google identify user intent and preferences to improve the page's ranking.

How to add schema markup to optimize your website

  • Go to Google's Structured Data Markup Helper and select the markup type.
  • Add your webpage's URL and start adding the markup items to the list.
  • google
  • Once done, generate the HTML and add it to the website's source code.

To know more about schema markup, refer to the following link >> https://schema.org/

6. Link Building or Off-Page SEO

After aligning your website with keyword research, user intent, and high-quality content, the next step is to build quality backlinks that point to your web pages. A backlink is created when your webpage link is added to another page.

off-page-seo

Do you know that link building is one of the three most important ranking factors?

These backlinks establish your page's authority. Each backlink to your website passes a vote of confidence about page content and relevance of user intent.

That's why it is essential to get backlinks from high-authority websites to improve your SEO rankings.

There are two types of backlinks:

  • Follow links - that pass the authority to the linked page.
  • Nofollow links - that don't pass the page authority to the linked page.

Here are some strategies to build quality backlinks:

  • Create backlinks from websites similar to your business to improve user intent.
  • Search the backlinks on your competitor's website, get in touch with those websites and try to get a backlink to your site. You can use tools like Ahrefs to analyze the backlinks.
  • Leverage guest blogging to earn high-quality backlinks to optimize your website for SEO.
  • Track broken backlinks and reclaim them.

To know more about link building, check out this blog on Link Building & Establishing Authority.

7. Optimize On-Page SEO

On-Page SEO makes sure that Google knows that your content reflects the user intent and includes its search keywords. It requires optimizing the content and HTML structure for each page to rank higher on the SERPs.

You can run a quick on-page SEO test using tools like SEMRush to find out the issues and tweak the page as required.

Here are few tips to optimize the website using On-page SEO:

  • Avoid thin content, i.e., creating a different content piece for each keyword. Instead, aim for long-form, comprehensive content on a topic to provide all the necessary information to the users in one place.
  • Use heading tags hierarchy properly to help Google understand the structure of the website. Add h1 to the title, h2 for subheadings, h3 for subsections, and so on.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing, i.e., overusing the target keywords on the page.
  • It is good practice to use your target keyword in the first 100 words.
  • Write a precise meta description with the target keyword in it.
  • If you have cross-domain or internal duplicate content, try using rel=canonical tag. It will point Google to the original page.
  • Add schema markup to your website.
  • Interlink your high authority page to the new pages.

Website optimization for Mobile

As of 2022, mobile's share of world wide web traffic is over 54%, and it is expected to soar with the increase in mobile adoption. That's why it is crucial to optimize your website for mobile devices.

8. Prioritize Mobile-First Experience

Google was smart to announce its rollout of mobile-first indexing in March 2018. It states that Googlebot will prefer the mobile version of the page over its desktop version.

It also acknowledges that the ranking of the pages will not be affected by mobile-first indexing. However, mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor.

So, it is a critical step to optimize the user experience across all the devices.

To get started, use Google's mobile-friendly test to identify the issues with page loading and get a detailed mobile usability report. Once you know where to work, you can fix these issues to optimize the mobile website.

mobile-friendly

Here are some ways to make your website mobile-friendly:

  • Ensure webpages are mobile-responsive, i.e., they adapt to the size of the viewing screen. Mobile responsive pages restructure the content of the page according to the device.
  • Optimize your meta-title for mobile devices. Large titles may appear distorted when viewed on smaller screens, even on responsive designs.
  • Use non-obtrusive banners instead of interstitials or overlay pop-ups to provide an interrupted experience to the users.
  • Ensure the page content is legible on the mobile sites to reduce bounce rate and improve user engagement.

9. Optimize Mobile Loading Speed

Page loading speed is not only important for desktops but also for mobile devices. Mobile page load speed is also a ranking factor as officially announced by Google.

Did you know?

  • People with a bad mobile experience are 62% less likely to purchase from a brand again.
  • What's more, a one-second delay can impact mobile conversions by 20%.

That's why it is necessary to improve the page load speed to power your website optimization strategy.

The first step towards optimizing the mobile page load speed is to test your mobile speed. Once the results are in, you can take the steps needed to make it faster.

Here are a few ways to optimize mobile speed:

  • Streamline your HTML code, i.e. remove whitespaces, comments, newlines, etc.
  • Compress images to load the page faster.
  • Use lazy loading to populate the page when required.
  • Enable AMPs (accelerated mobile page) for your web pages. AMP shows minimal versions of the website to improve site performance and load speed on mobile.

Website Optimization to Improve User Experience

10. Install Security Features

Website security is a top priority for Google, and that’s why they have included Https certification as a ranking factor to Google’s algorithm.

What does it mean?

HTTPS is a transfer protocol over the internet that sends the data from one website to another using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption to ensure that data remains private and secure.

In simple words, HTTPS protects user data on your website from eavesdropping, forging of information, and tampering during transmission.

To know if a website is HTTPS enabled, look at the address bar for a lock icon and HTTPS in the webpage URL. For example, https://qualaroo.com/.

Google has been pushing for HTTPS adoption since 2014 to ensure the protection of sensitive information and user data from unauthorized access.

That’s why getting an HTTPS certificate is an important step towards website optimization.

To know more about HTTPS in detail, you can refer to this guide by Google.

If you are already an expert on HTTPS, you can test the website’s security level and configuration using the Qualys lab tool.

11. Map User Behavior

If you want to optimize your website for users, you would need to understand them - how are they engaging with your website elements, what problems are they facing during their journey, and how are conversions getting affected due to these interactions?

There are different methods and tools to draw the behavioral profile of your audience. Let’s look at some of them and understand how you can use them in website optimization to improve customer experience.

Bonus Read: The Ultimate Guide To Customer Journey Mapping

a. Google Analytics (GA)

GA gives a quantitative approach to analyzing your website for optimization. You can see the numbers of different web pages, compare them, spot trends with charts, and filter the data as required.

google-analytics

Using GA, you can compare different data types such as underperforming pages, high bounce rates, or low conversions. You can also track traffic sources that are most effective for conversions, different audience segments on your website, average dwell time, etc.

You can use this as a starting point for your website optimization strategy

b. Surveys

A survey is one of the easiest and inexpensive ways to gather qualitative and quantitative data points. It makes it possible to collect customer feedback, ask them about their issues and problems, identify visitor segments, and gather customer insights about their website experience.

survey

You can place quick surveys at different interaction points to make it easier for users to leave their feedback. Surveys also let you measure customer satisfaction metrics like customer loyalty, retention probability, churn tendency, and others.

Bonus Read: Best Online Survey Tools

c. Heatmaps

Heatmaps follow a different approach than the two methods mentioned above. They are tools that let you visualize the customer behavior directly on the webpage instead of asking them. Heatmaps show the intensity of visitor engagement on a page using a color spectrum. The most interacted sections light up in blue, while the less interacted elements are red, yellow, and other colors.

Heatmaps are great for measuring the placement of your critical page elements like your CTA buttons and forms. You can see how visitors navigate the web page and place these elements for maximum engagement.

d. Session replays

Speaking of behavior visualization, session replays record the visitor movements on your website. You can then view the recording to examine how they interacted with your website to complete the desired goals, such as purchasing a product or filling the subscription form.

It also lets you identify page issues, bugs, and other problems that may ruin the visitor experience and cause page or cart abandonment.

Now that you know about behavior analysis tools, let's take the simplest example:

Suppose you observe that your landing page has low conversions. You head to analytics and see that the page is receiving significant traffic but also experiencing a high bounce rate. The heatmaps show that the CTA placement is ideal, and people are engaging with it.

So what could be the problem?

Using surveys or session replay, you find out the CTA link is broken. When people click on it, it doesn’t work or gives them a 404 error.

Though it is a straightforward case, it does show how you can combine the insights from different methods to understand user behavior and optimize your website to design the best possible user experience.

12. Create High-Quality Content

It's 2022, but the content is still the king.

Content is an integral part of your website optimization strategy. Providing users with valuable, fresh, and high-quality content is essential to improve user engagement and time on page to build trust and credibility.

What's more, it is also one of the three most important ranking signals. Google also emphasizes the importance of quality content in its Search Quality regulator guidelines.

So, it is paramount to create good content not just for user engagement but also to improve the SEO of your website.

How to create high-quality content

  • It should possess a high level of E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness).
  • Create long-form content with high relevance to the target keywords.
  • Provide beneficial information for the users. The main content should align with the user intent and what people are searching for on the internet.
  • Add positive reputation markers such as awards, testimonials, and other recognitions to your pages.
  • Create different content like how-to guides, informative blogs, and contribution articles from SMEs and field experts.
  • Introduce high-quality backlinks to improve credibility.
  • Add author and expert bio on the page to display expertise.

13. Create a Constant Feedback Loop

Feedback systems are suitable to analyze user behavior and pinpoint the difference between the intended and actual customer experience at every stage of their journey. They help you connect the ‘what’ with ‘why’.

You can gather customer insights and implement them during pre and post-development processes on your website to make sure your efforts match with the customers' interests. It can save both time and resources for your teams.

For example:

  • You can test the appeal for a new website feature before committing to it.
  • If you have multiple planned updates, you can collect feedback to see which one the customer wants the most.
  • If you have released an update, you can add a feedback widget to uncover any undetected issues and problems that the users might run into while using it.
feature

Different feedback systems you can use on your website:

  • Online Surveys to collect feedback and suggestions
  • Helpdesk and Ticketing system to address customer grievances
  • Feedback boards to crowdsource ideas and gather feedback
  • Feedback sidebar to elicit unprompted feedback
  • Live chat to assist users in real-time

A feedback mechanism also gives voice to your customers. Did you know only one out of 26 customers express their concerns about a bad experience? The rest take their business elsewhere.

So, collecting feedback can have an overall effect on website optimization, user experience, and conversions.

Bonus Read: Best Customer Feedback Tools

Website Optimization for Conversions

14. Perform A/B Tests

Testing is another vital part of website optimization. Experimentation and testing let you compare different designs for various web page elements to see which performs better. By regularly testing your web pages, you can build to improve user engagement and conversions.

ab-testing

Are you looking to implement A/B testing in your organization?

Check out this complete A/B testing guide to get started.

In A/B testing, you can test slightly different versions of the same webpage to see which one performs better in conversions, user engagement, or any other goals. The original design is called ‘control’, while the altered version is called ‘variation’. There can be multiple variations for a control page, each with a different design.

A/B testing lets you make data-backed small incremental changes to achieve your goals. It is much better than blindly overhauling the website design and hoping it works. It takes the gut feeling out of the equation and replaces it with statistical evidence to support the changes.

You can use other tests depending on the scope of design changes, such as multivariate tests, multi-page tests, and split URL tests.

15. Use Web Push Notifications to Target Users

Web push notifications let you engage users, keep them updated about new releases, retarget customers and deliver personalized content. They are easy to set up and work for both desktop and mobile browsers.

You can use tools like Google Firebase Console to set up web notifications in minutes.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

How to use push notifications to optimize the website for conversions

  • Use personalized notifications to boost the CTR. It can improve the click-through rate to almost twice that of general notifications.

The blue line in the image above shows the CTR for general campaigns that target all subscribers. The orange line shows the results for the personalized campaigns.

  • Use features like drip notifications and segmentation to make notifications more personalized to grab users' attention and improve the clicks.
  • Experiment with the best sending time to achieve maximum delivery rate and conversions.
  • A/B test notification headlines, colors, messaging and offers to see which works best to engage the users.

16. Add Pop-Ups, Banners, and Bars

Just like notifications, pop-ups and banners can engage users to increase conversions. Pop-ups offer an average click-through rate (CTR) of between 3%-10%.

It may not seem much, but if you have 100,000 visitors per day, it translates to a minimum of 3000 conversions or subscribers per day.

Not bad at all.

If you find that pop-ups interrupt the user experience, use the more subtle banner or notification bar. They take less space and don't interfere with the user's actions.

Different ways to use pop-ups and banners on your website:

  • Add discount code, notification for an upcoming sale, new product release update, and other helpful information for the users.
  • Add a redirect link to the pop-up or banner to send the users to the right page.
  • Use targeting options to show the pop-ups to users based on their behavior and actions on the page.

Read Also: 10 Best Exit Intent Popup Tools

17. Use the Live Chat Feature

Live chat offers real-time support to your website visitors. They can click on the widget at any time and get their issues and queries resolved.

According to Forrester, 44% of online consumers say that real-time resolution of their queries while making a purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer,

That's why adding a live chat widget to your website can be a promising step towards guiding your visitors to the end of the conversion funnel.

For example, a customer is about to checkout and has questions about the shipping or return policy. They can connect with the live chat agent and get it resolved quickly. This action would prevent cart abandonment.

In another situation, if the customer needs help with the registration process, you can guide them then and there to earn new leads.

Live chat also offers higher customer satisfaction ratings as compared to email and phone.

Plus, they are inexpensive and a compelling value for money proposition to increase users' time on page, experience, and conversions.

Bonus Read: Best Live Chat Tools

18. Add Testimonials, Reviews, and Customer Stories

Almost 92% of consumers read online reviews and testimonials before buying. Plus, 50 or more reviews per product can increase the conversions on your website by up to 4.6%.

Customer stories, testimonials, and ratings are not only part of creating high-quality content, but they also offer credibility and trust to your website visitors. It optimizes your website to help push them towards the bottom of the conversion funnel.

How to use reviews, ratings, and testimonials to increase conversions

  • Reach out to your customer via on-page surveys, email, or SMS and collect ratings on your product page.
  • You can also ask them to rate your website or product on verified review sites like Capterra and Google.
  • Use the customer feedback to identify happy customers and ask them for a short interview to create testimonials and customer success stories. Add these testimonials to your landing pages using carousels to attract visitors’ attention.
  • Create separate pages for success stories and case studies to build your brand credibility. It will showcase the brands you have worked with and let visitors learn about real-life examples of your products.
CHAPTER 5

Four Steps to Optimize Your Website

Approaches to website optimization would differ depending on the aspect you want to work on. These include improvements in SEO, conversions, performance, and user engagement.

For example, if you want more traffic to your website, you may focus on improving the SEO and content.

On the other hand, if you want to increase the conversion rate from incoming traffic, you may want to run A/B tests, improve page designs, add new elements, improve page speed, etc.

So, let’s plan a broad outline covering all the bases.

Step 1: Collect the Data

Whatever your goal is, start by collecting the data to point you in the right direction. It will help to unearth the areas that need tweaks, slight improvements, and major overhauls.

If you want to improve SEO, run a site SEO audit to spot technical issues and other errors that might be affecting your SEO rankings. You can use tools like SEMrush, Moz, or Spyfu to get a detailed report on your website’s SEO performance.

For optimizing user experience, start with Google analytics to find the insights on your highest and lowest performing pages. You can compare the stats and trends to select the pages for improvements. Then use the user tickets and feedback data for those pages to highlight the problems and issues.

To improve conversions, plan A/B tests by identifying the elements that you can test to improve conversion rate. As mentioned in the earlier section, use heatmaps, GA, and session relay to find the most interacted elements on your landing pages and develop a strategy for your testing process.

Step 2: Plan Your Approach

Once you have data, you can plan the website optimization strategy.

For SEO, analyze the SEO audit report.

  • List down the issues with performance, content, page structure, and other areas — Mark these issues based on their criticality and add notes for the teams to resolve them.
  • If you are planning new content, do thorough research to find the target keywords and user intent for those keywords.
  • Use the Google Search Console to see the performance of current blogs. Some pages may have seen a drop in traffic or conversions over time due to changes in user intent. It would indicate that they need an update.

For conversions, once you have identified the element to test, start creating the design variations.

For user experience optimization:

  • Find the points of friction and delight to target your users accordingly.
  • Use the feedback to categorize your users into satisfied and unsatisfied customers to prioritize negative feedback.
  • Identify various customer segments and compare their experience to come up with personalization ideas.

For example, you can map the interests and preferences of the visitors of the age group 18-25 and then use it to create personalized ads to increase clicks and conversions.

Step 3: Begin the Optimization Process

For SEO:

  • Fix the technical issues, amend broken links and optimize the website performance as indicated in the SEO report. Check for other oversights as well.
  • Create new long-form content with target keywords. Make sure it aligns with your audience and provides in-depth information for their search queries.
  • Update the content of your published pages. Search the top results on the internet and analyze what is missing from your page. Add quality content that provides more value to the users to rank better than your competitors.

For conversions:

  • Use A/B testing tools like Optimizely or A/BTasty to run your test. Test the variations against the original design to see which performs better. You need to wait for the results to reach the desired statistical significance and sample size to make sure they are reliable.

For user experience:

  • Reach out to your unhappy customers to resolve their problems and retain them.
  • Send discount codes and other offers to verified customers to explore reselling and upselling opportunities.
  • Create personalized campaigns to improve user engagement and traffic to your website.

Step 4: Implement the Changes

For SEO:

  • Rerun the SEO audit to see if you have resolved the issues or not.
  • Publish your blogs and articles. Monitor the traffic and other vital page metrics to see if they fulfill the intended purpose. Follow the on-page SEO guidelines to improve the SERPs rankings.
  • Find new outlets for guest blogging and creating quality backlinks for your new and updated content.

For conversions:

  • Implement the winning design in the A/B test on the website. Monitor the conversion rate to see if it performs as indicated by such website optimization test results.
  • You can create a new variation of the same element to run more tests for improving the conversions further or select a new element to design a new test.

Now that you have an idea of what to do, the next step is to choose the right tool. Tools make it all possible. Using the right tools can save time and effort in your optimization process. That's why it is important to know about various website optimization tools available in the market.

CHAPTER 6

20 Best Website Optimization Tools for 2022

We mentioned these tools in the previous sections, but here’s a comprehensive list in one place for you so that you can find the ones that fit your requirements. We have categorized the tool based on their function.

So let's get to it.

Tools to test and optimize web page load time and speed

1. Google Pagespeed Insights

Google PageSpeed Insights is one of the best tools to test the website speed. Plus, it is entirely free. It rates your website on a scale of 1-100. The higher the score, the better. The test results display detailed information about the various elements and point you to recommended actions to improve the speed.

2. Pingdom Website Speed Test

Pingdom is another famous load speed testing tool that allows location-specific testing. It also grades your website on a scale of 0-100 and shows the breakdown of each element's load times so you can make the necessary changes to improve them.

3. Dareboost

With Darboost, you can perform speed tests to detect quality issues and loading time errors. The dashboard is simple to use and provides detailed information about various performance indicators. You can also run comparison tests to see how your website fares with the competition.

4. WebPageTest

WebPageTest is an open-source performance monitoring tool that lets you test your website from multiple locations and over different network ranges. It grades the website from F to A and provides an in-depth analysis of waterfall charts, compression, page size, and other elements.

5. Uptrends Speed Test

Uptrends lets you perform quick page speed tests from over 10 locations for both mobile and desktop. You can track page load time over a period, error types, frontend and backend load time, and other vitals from the dashboard.

6. GT Metrix

With GT Metrix, you can choose the location, connection type, and browser to run the page speed test. The tool is handy in pinpointing the issues on your desktop and mobile website. It also provides suggestions to fix the uncovered problems and errors.

Website Optimization Tools For Improving On-Page & Off-SEO

7. Google Search Console

Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, it is free to use, with a snippet of HTML that has to be installed on your website for verification.

8. Ahrefs

Primarily a backlink analysis tool. Use it for fixing broken backlinks and validating referring domains that link to your site.

9. Moz

Equipped with two very relevant tools: rankings and keyword explorer. It also identifies issues in your website that trip up Google or Bing crawlers.

10. Yoast

The most popular WordPress search engine optimization plugin. It gives you an SEO score and a readability score for your website.

11. Screaming Frog

Comparatively technical tool that helps in optimizing broken links and duplicate content. Its other features include XML sitemap generation and search console integration.

Tools for Mapping and Improving User Experience

12. Qualaroo

One of the advanced feedback and experience mapping tools in the market, Qualaroo lets you gather user insights using its survey Nudges™ that are unobtrusive and contextual. It offers a comprehensive survey editor and automated AI-based feedback analysis techniques so you can create a constant customer feedback loop in your organization.

13. UserTesting

Perfect for running usability tests for your website, product, or mobile app. You define the audience criteria, and the tool finds the matching participants. It helps to collect in-the-moment feedback from participants using video and screen recording features.

14. Inspectlet

The tool offers multiple behavioral analysis features to map visitor experience. It provides session recordings, heatmaps, and surveys to let you collect real-time user feedback. You can also use A/B testing features to optimize the website for conversions. While you don’t get the same commentary as with UserTesting.com, it’s much cheaper.

15. Feng-GUI

Another great usability testing tool, Feng-GUI, uses eye-tracking technology to create gaze heatmaps and gaze plots highlighting the most viewed areas of your web pages. You can easily see which areas attract the most attention from the users to optimize the page design for conversions. This is important because 75% of website credibility comes from design.

16. KISSmetrics

KISSmetrics is a web analytics tool that helps you analyze your conversion funnel and fix the leaks. Its people-level and cohort reporting let you understand what types of visitors are the most valuable and which paths through your website are the highest converting.

17. CrazyEgg

CrazyEgg is another behavioral analysis and testing tool that offers heatmaps and A/B testing to optimize your website. The heat-mapping feature allows you to see where your visitors click and how far down the page they scroll. Using the data, you can A/B test the position, design, size, and orientation of different web page elements to find the combination that maximizes the conversion rate.

Website Optimization Tools To Run A/B tests

18. Optimizely

Test different attributes of your website against one another quickly. Once Optimizely is installed on your website, you can set up as many optimization experiments as you like without needing to know how to code or asking your engineering team to make changes.

Their easy-to-use editor makes website optimization through A/B testing faster.

19. Unbounce

A landing page testing platform that lets you quickly create and test different variations of the landing page to see which performs better.

If you run a lot of paid advertising campaigns, Unbounce is a great way to improve the performance of those campaigns by optimizing the page that visitors originally land on when they come to your website.

20. Visual Website Optimizer

Use it to A/B test different variations of your website elements like copy, images, and call-to-action buttons to see which combinations make your website perform better.

Armed with these tools, your website will perform better over time, provided you and your team are on your toes to keep fine-tuning the website for achieving higher SEO rankings and conversion rates.

CHAPTER 7

Quick Cheat Sheet: Fine-Tuning Your Optimized Website

Here is a quickfire checklist of points to ponder while you plan out how to optimize a website you own. Consider it a cheat sheet, like a shortcut through the website optimization process.

  • Website Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    • Write descriptive URLs/Permalinks that relate to your keywords
    • Use Google Search Console for checking SEO/Sitemap/Indexing errors
    • Research SEO titles to improve CTR in SERPs
    • Embed links that lead to related internal & external pages
    • Update backlinks & seek new ones from authoritative sources
    • Add captions, alt tags & relevant file names to images
  • Website Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
    • Give your web pages visual makeovers to make them engaging
    • Showcase features & solutions to common pain points
    • Gear your web page copy to suit your target customer segments
    • Display genuine social proof prominently
    • Optimize the user experience (UX/UI) for all conversion funnels
    • Theorize, test, measure, improve & reiterate
  • Webpage & website loading speed optimization
    • Keep the number of HTTP requests optimal
    • Reduce page load (specifically for mobile website)
    • Implement caching for both CMS & browser
    • Try out lazy loading of heavy content (like HD images)
    • Consider using a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
  • Web page optimization through copy & content
    • Follow style best practices like headers & subheadings
    • Embed dynamic behavior-based display of media
    • Answer common questions & offer solutions to challenges
    • Use simple language in non-technical content
    • End with enticing CTAs on key conversion pages
    • Keep your forms to-the-point & easy-to-fill/answer
CHAPTER 8

How Qualaroo Helps With Website Optimization

In a nutshell, website optimization begins and ends with the customer. The better you understand your target consumers, the easier it becomes to satisfy them.

Qualaroo helps you do that. Our patented NudgeTM technology never slows down your page. Advanced targeting asks the right user the right question at just the right time. The unobtrusive, delightful in-the-moment survey experience gathers in-context customer feedback that is 10x more valuable than usual after-the-fact email surveys.

See how our customers used Nudges™ to great effect!

Do you want to optimize your website?

Capture customer feedback to optimize website & grow conversions.

Get Started Get a Demo