In this post I’m breaking down website optimization - what it is, key things to focus on, and how to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to optimizing your website.
And FYI, I'm not talking specifically about search engine optimization - this is more about the on-page user experience that your website visitors have when visiting your store. But - and this is awesome - improvingthat will actually benefit your SEO too. So, it’s kind of like two for one, right? ;)
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What Is Website Optimization (in Simple Terms)
It’s important to talk about what website optimization is, and I want to break it down into simple terms because the technical definition is, ahem, a little technical!
Website optimization is a process of using tools and advanced strategies to improve the performance of your website, drive more traffic and increase conversions to grow revenue.
There is a heap more to it than that, buthere is what you really need to know: website optimization is just anything that you do to your website to improve the odds of your customer or your visitors making a purchase. This can range from a huge entire revamp of your whole site to very small, minor tweaks that can make an impact.
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There are a million ways that you can optimize your website, and you can definitely go down a rabbit hole which can get very overwhelming, so the main point I want to make here is don’t overthink it. There are so many tweaks you can make, but try this:
☞ just do one thing at a time
☞ don't get ahead of yourself
☞ and don't worry about all these other things that you could be doing.
If you just do one small thing at a time, you can measure the impact or the difference that that improvement makes. If you try and change 5 things at once, you’ll never know what actually worked.
Where to Start with Optimizing Your Website
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to website optimization, because it just depends on your site, your store, and your data analytics. Yep, you guessed it. Using Google Analytics or Shopify analytics is your new best friend.
So take a look at your analytics, and then the best place to start is to start asking some questions:
Are you getting enough traffic in the first place to see trends?
Where are people dropping off from your website?
Where is your traffic coming from?
What is the Behavior Flow? How are users navigating and interacting with your site?
Where are people dropping off in the sales funnel or sales process?
Answering these questions can give you hints about where to focus: whether you need to improve your conversion process, or sales funnel, or the site navigation such as menus or information or blog posts being in the right place?
And I always mention traffic, because if you aren’t getting enough traffic to your site to get any meaningful inference from, then you need to start there. Focus on your website traffic before you focus on website optimization because having low traffic numbers is not going to give you enough data to make a decision on, and you want to get traffic - done is better than perfect, if you know what I’m saying.
If you want to know more about driving traffic, I recommend checking outthis post!
So, once you have the answers to some of these questions, you can start to prioritize areas for website optimization.
And remember, once you do review your data and you figure out some goals and priorities, you still can't do it all at once.
My highest recommendation is to focus on one objective at a time, for example, improving conversion rates, and then improving average cart total. If your traffic is low, focus on improving traffic first before driving website optimization.
Once you have answers, you can prioritize areas for website optimization.
Getting User Experience to Test Website Optimization
A really useful way that you can test your website to start to identify priority areas for optimization is to ask a friend (or pay someone!) to navigate your store and give you feedback. I like to say get your grandma to navigate your store ;) You want to know if they can find what they're looking for, are there a ton of loopholes that they have to go through to actually check out, and where do they get stuck. Then you can make incremental changes based on the feedback that you're getting one thing at a time.
And then from there, it's just testing and tweaking! Just like the rest of business - this is trial and error. And the more you do it, the better you will get - so don’t let the fear of making a mistake stop you from getting out there!
Okay, so that's the down low on website optimization!
Optimizing your website should be one of your top priorities, but it can be so overwhelming and honestly, we see so many business owners either get really caught up in this or just ignore it altogether.
If it helps, remember that at the end of the day, your customers are humans just like you, and really website optimization is all about making visiting your store just a nice experience for them. Good luck my friends! And if you have more technical questions or you want to just get some help from a professional, go ahead and reach out to us - that's what we're here for.