No matter the industry, most businesses rely on their website as their main lead generator and look for ways to enhance the user experience and make it easier for visitors to find the information they need. The challenge for businesses in 2023 is that most of their competitors are also online and working to optimize their websites, and the competition for customers is tougher than ever before.
But what does that have to do with your digital presence and an optimized website? A lot! Basically, it’s a chain reaction: If your website is not optimized for conversions, SEO crawlers, accessibility, and more, your visitors will have a hard time finding the information they need at the moment they need it (which ties back to the inbound methodology). Frustrated visitors will leave and go to your competitor’s website, your digital presence will decrease, and you won’t close deals anytime soon. That’s a really sad scenario.
How can you make your website stand out from the hundreds, thousands, or even millions of websites doing everything they can to get your prospects’ attention? Read on to find out.
Five Key Elements of an Optimized Website
There are many ways to improve a website—and that can be overwhelming. If you’re looking for somewhere to start, consider these five important optimization factors.
Branding, Branding, and More Branding
Consistent branding across your website and other communication channels will make your brand stick in your prospect’s mind, making you the first thing they think of when they need your products/services.
Once your prospect is on your website, you want to make it easy for them to find the information they need. Are they looking for reviews? There’s a page for that. Are they looking for accessibility options? They’re right here, in the header. Are they looking for product pages? They’re easy to find in the main menu.
Make navigation as simple as possible, and always allow visitors to get help from a human being if your process allows.
Responsive and Mobile-Friendly Design
Gone are the days when we all accessed the internet from desktop computers only. Nowadays, we are constantly visiting websites from different devices with different screen sizes. You MUST consider all those different screen sizes if you want your website to be competitive in a sea of options. That can challenge developers and designers—but hopefully a welcome one!
Fast Load Times
Waiting for a website to load? In this economy?
I get it—internet speeds can play a big part in this (as well as having too many Chrome plugins installed, of course). However, you can make things better on your end by working with an experienced developer to ensure, for example, that your website is not overflowing with unused and unnecessary code and that images are compressed. Those small details can go a long way in the overall visitor experience.
This applies to all areas of life, really: If you want something from someone, you gotta ask directly. One of the biggest mistakes companies make is thinking website visitors will naturally know what to do (e.g., visit a related product page) after they’ve read your amazing 800-word blog post. They won’t! If you want your amazing blog post to prompt your reader to download a checklist, make it super clear through a CTA with catchy text and a bright button that states your intention.
Be clear, be communicative, and you shall have your leads.
Growth-Driven Design: A Time-Efficient Solution
Now you know some key things that will make your website stand out. But one downside of website redesigns is that they can take A LOT OF TIME to be completed and fully optimized to go out into the world and get those leads. What can you do to start your website redesign and not wait at least six months to start seeing improvement?
Growth-driven design could be the solution.
GDD is an iterative website design and development approach that focuses on continuous improvement based on user data and feedback. It aims to keep a website updated by using a structured and data-driven process.
The iterative nature of GDD allows for flexibility and responsiveness, resulting in a constantly improving user experience.
The Importance of Prioritizing UX in Your Optimization Efforts
User experience (UX) refers to the overall experience a user has when interacting with a website, application, or any digital product, and it’s a crucial piece of improving your digital presence. By making your website easy to navigate and understand, you can accomplish several things, including the benefits below.
Once the content on your website has been simplified with your audience in mind, they’ll understand where to go to get the information they need. That will, of course, make your visitors spend more time on your website because they just keep finding so much value in the way you’ve structured everything.
Positive Word of Mouth
Think about it: If you have something really good, you want to share it with the world, right? That applies to websites as well. If your product/service is so good that people are looking for it, they’ll naturally talk about how easy it is to get your product/service through your amazing website.
Higher Conversion Rates
Again, it’s all a chain reaction. If people have a better experience on your website, they’ll spend more time there and comment about their positive experiences. Those comments will prompt more people to visit your website. The more people visit your website, the more people will submit forms to download content, subscribe to mailing lists, and request demos ... You’ll see higher conversion rates in no time.
Last but definitely not least, your SEO ranking will increase as a result of good UX. Many marketers fall into the trap of optimizing too much for machines and too little for people. Remember, at the end of the day, users will determine how valuable your content is, and that will combine with web crawlers’ results to determine the highest-ranked domain.
Start Optimizing Your Website Today
Now that you have all these benefits in mind, what should you do as a next step?
Well, if you ask me ... I’d start by determining how reliable and effective my current website is, and I’d make a decision based on that. How impactful are the numbers you’re getting from your current website? How accurate are those numbers—do you even know? These are key questions to ask when making a decision that can alter how your business website functions on a daily basis.
Website trends will keep evolving in the coming years, and it will be increasingly important to keep up with the latest updates in the digital world. Subscribe to the SmartBug Media newsletter to stay on top of the latest digital trends.
About the author
Rodrigo Rivas is a Marketing Strategist. He's been helping companies implement marketing strategies with the help of automation and the inbound methodology. Read more articles by Rodrigo Rivas.