15 Important Website Optimization Tips for New Site Owners

You put good money in building a site, and seeing it underperform is frustrating.

Lucky for you, following website optimization tips fixes issues many (if not all) site owners experience.

But first… what is optimization?

Optimization applies best practices to improve the performance of something. Engagement leads to conversions, something we want as site owners when selling an offer.

Do you want to know how to improve a website with best practices? Who wouldn’t? Keep reading to learn 15 site optimization tips bound to show positive ROI.

Website Optimization Tips: A Quick Primer

Imagine changing several website elements without tracking. You could only guess what worked because there were too many variables. Optimization works because you’re tracking, not relying on assumptions.

Using website analytics like Google Analytics is how you do tracking. You could use tools like Clicky or Sisense, too. The following site improvements don’t need tracking but efforts improve by doing so!

Your task:

  1. Install an analytics tool
  2. Record a month’s worth of data
  3. Create a ‘baseline’ of your traffic and conversions

Got it? Good! Let’s continue into the tips.

New site owners experience a learning curve as their site matures. Changing elements on a whim is tempting, especially if it’s hyped by marketers. Before long, it’s a mess with elements, plugins, and features deterring performance.

Try one of the 15 optimization tips at a time instead of doing everything you read. Test it against your baseline, discovering how well it works. Then, create a new baseline and move to the next.

Back-end Tweaks to Improve Every Aspect of Your Business Website

Websites are servers delivering files to users. Improving the backend optimizes the frontend, delivering requested files efficiently. Here are several things to change your site visitors won’t see — but will notice.

1. Get Better Hosting

It takes just 2 to 3 seconds before someone decides if they want to stay on your website. People exiting the site before it loads means no possible conversions. Even if they’re patient, an unresponsive site is frustrating and cumbersome.

Factor other issues with bad web hosting:

  • Downtime
  • Lack of security
  • Missing features

Improving the site stability and speed creates a compounding effect on conversion rates. No downtime and responsiveness let users access information and product pages without delay. This retains their emotional state throughout the sales funnel, triggering a buying decision.

Get better web hosting that provides:

The hosting costs more but consider money “left on the table” from lost sales!

2. Secure the Website

Security flaws cause issues preventing visitors from accessing your site and completing transactions. The main issue is an inaccessible website if it’s taken over by malicious groups. Lost site data forcing a server rollback (hopefully you have backups) is another issue.

More than 86% of websites are vulnerable to cyber attacks!

Plug the gaps:

  • Install an SSL certificate
  • Limit user permissions
  • Use site security tools
  • Fix database access
  • Create regular backups

Securing the site keeps it operational while avoiding fall-out caused by security breaches. It’s hard to regain trust if customer data leaks to the Dark Web!

3. Offer Better Customer Support

It’s easy to forget the human element when we’re behind screens. Many people prefer interactions when browsing a site and before completing checkout. This may include phoning in, emailing, or using live chat.

Strengthening your team’s customer service skills improves sales as a byproduct. The visitor receives a pleasant experience, encouraging action like buying products or promotion.

Invest in the following:

  • Robust CRM tools and solutions
  • Customer service training
  • Scripting and protocol

Test and track the customer service the same as your sales funnel. Identify friction points deterring people from doing business. Then, empower the website with rich customer support features on every page.

4. Reduce File Sizes

Many site owners assume broadband connections will compensate their site load time. Yet, 1 in 3 Irish households lacks broadband! This creates a frustrating experience for lots of people accessing your website.

Bloated web design is to blame — with items like:

  • Unoptimized images
  • Scripting issues
  • Sloppy code
  • Uncompressed files
  • Lack of caching

Use tools like Compressor.io for images and CompressMyCode.com for the code. Likewise, fix issues with the site code through validation and removing unnecessary elements.

Two easy fixes include:

  • Installing a caching script/plugin to lessen server load
  • Delivering files based on location through a CDN service

Fast file delivery, like better hosting, creates a solid experience and conversions!

5. Follow Visitor’s Actions

Analytical tools provide data on how users interact with the site. This includes what brings them there and what pages they access. Deciphering the data guides conversion optimization but doesn’t explain what they do in-between.

Enter: Conversion analysis tools.

Tools like CrazyEgg and ClickTale include heatmaps and visitor recording. Heatmaps display where users hover, helping you understand what draws their attention. Recording tools show visitor interaction through video playback.

What can you do with this information?

  • Change the layout, placing “hot” items in better view
  • Remove friction points preventing users from acting
  • Record visual data during A/B testing

You may find it easier processing visual data when making conversion optimization decisions. Get a large data pool by running these tools for a month, then see where you could make site improvements.

Front-end Changes for Better Site Experience, Performance, and Sales

Having the backend performing 100%, it’s time to upgrade the frontend. The frontend is what visitors experience. If the frontend experience is pleasant and engaging, you’ll create conversions!

You’ll find front-end optimization easier than the back-end. The front-end changes rarely need hardware and heavy coding changes. Follow along, applying each item as you see fit.

6. Use Call-to-Actions

Don’t expect users to know what to do. Drive visitors into the next step by using a call-to-action.

Call-to-actions include:

  • Buy now
  • Subscribe
  • Click here

…and other requests.

CTA’s take the form of buttons, links, and site copy. Experiment with each, seeing which tweaks provide better conversion rates. Lead visitors to your desired action by including a CTA on every page.

7. Use Incentives

Place these two call-outs on your site (or site’s banner):

  • Coupons
  • Free shipping

Coupons are an excellent incentive helping push people over their buying threshold. These coupons get shared on third-party coupon aggregates, too, creating new lead funnels. Plus, they provide an opportunity to drop emails without seeming pushy.

Free shipping has a similar effect with incentivizing the offer. Most shoppers look for free shipping and aren’t afraid to look elsewhere if missing.

8. Bounties

Grammar issues and bugs are common since dozens of Web technologies form a website. Plus, copy errors may slip through when content is sourced through various writers. A bounty can help these issues.

Bounties could include finding and reporting:

  • Broken links
  • Grammar mistakes
  • Erroneous data
  • Buggy features

You could incentivize the bounties, paying visitors if they spot and report them. This investment removes friction points throughout the site. Plus, it makes your business appear professional — which increases conversions.

9. Simplicity

Removing page items offers a few benefits:

  • Smaller page size
  • Fewer distractions
  • Streamlined testing

We’ve noted the value of reduced file sizes (above). But, item removal keeps a visitor focused and moving through the marketing funnel. Testing and optimization are easier with fewer variables, too!

10. Trust and Authority Signals

Shopping online is commonplace, but many still have trust issues. Overcome a visitor’s questioning of your trust by adding trust and authority signals.

Signals could include:

  • Security badges
  • Brand mentions
  • Accreditation

Make these items visible on important pages like the products and the home page. Visitors see these items and rest assured they’re in safe hands.

11. Guest Checkout

User info is great for repeat business, but forcing them to sign-up for an account deters many. Offer guest checkout with an optional newsletter sign-up to reduce site conversion friction.

12. Use Reviews and Testimonials

Trust signals (noted above) improve transparency and authority. Reviews and testimonials offer a similar impact but through user submissions.

Use them effectively:

  • Place testimonials on the homepage
  • Place reviews on product pages and in blog posts

These let visitors project what ownership offers through their peers. Suggestions are a powerful influence on sales.

13. Personalize

Pivot from your competition by adding personal elements if applicable. This personalization offers a transparency and authenticity.

Try adding:

  • Personal or user stories
  • Media featuring the team

14. Social Elements

Include social features like:

  • User FAQs
  • Forums
  • Q&As

These social features create “stickiness”. Frequent visitors form a community, this community creates content and referrals. You’ll find a strong community will take to social media to share the brand too!

15. Embrace Mobile

On average, Mobile traffic is 51.2 per cent, meaning half of your traffic is likely using smartphones and tablets. Either offer a mobile-friendly website using responsive design or design for mobile-first.

Mobile design:

  • Strips unnecessary elements
  • Loads faster with tools like AMP
  • Makes the site interactive

Use social and email marketing, pushing followers to mobile sales pages. This creates a sales funnel any time of the day!

Picking the Performance “Low Hanging Fruit”

Spending big money on website improvements isn’t necessary. Sometimes the smallest tweaks make the biggest impact. Better site hosting, for example, impacts all other website optimization tips you follow.

Wouldn’t you know? We have amazing website hosting packages!

Give us a call or send us an email if you’re interested. We’d love to talk about your site’s options and how our services raise your bottom-line.