Web page optimization

It is a process of creation and continuous improving of websites to optimize visitor’s experience. This will result in higher visitor’s satisfaction, better user experience, higher amount of repetitive visits and higher conversion rates.

It involves: UX, design and display.

 

SEO

 

Search Engine Optimization involves to make sure that all the information on the website and web site quality are optimized correctly and according to best SEO practices.

It involves: meta tags: title, description.

The difference between web site optimization and SEO:

  • website optimization: deals rather with user experience and making the site easier in use
  • SEO: allows search engines to find and index website content

 

Purpose of web site optimization

  • to increase user’s presence on site
  • provide better user experience
  • lead to more returning visits
  • increase e-commerce sales

Abandonment rate counts for 25% for poor design.

 

Website optimization obviously affects user’s journey

 

Barriers for conversion:

  • confusing navigation: if the user doesn’t know where to find an information, or searched product, likely gets frustrated and leaves the site forever.
  • slow checkout process: this process needs to be fast and maximally simple. If the conversion is not quick, easy and simple, the user is likely to leave before conversion stage
  • unclear benefits of converting: users need to know what is their interest to make purchase or convert at the page of the company. If the information is confusing, or hard to understand, they will leave without a conversion/purchase
  • slow website: it is crucial to have a fast website to avoid delays and customer’s frustration. If website elements do not load quickly, users are more likely to leave

 

Web site optimization affects areas of digital marketing:

  • SEO: poor design and confusing navigation usually make it difficult for search engines to crawl a site to index it. This can affect visibility in search results.
  • graphic design: website optimization and graphic design work hand in hand and affect how a website is laid out, as well as how users can use the website and interact with provided information
  • A/B testing: it is about testing different attributes of the website, like layout color, or CTA button color. It helps to test users metrics like engagement and conversion.
  • email marketing: links used in the email marketing play big role what the user will see on the website. Email design, color, and layout should align to the design of the website. This action creates trust and cohesive experience.
  • social media: the branding should be the same on the page and in the social media. Information shared on social media should be included on the website. It those two are disconnected, it will create a confusion for the user.
  • mobile optimization: the site needs to be optimized for mobile, otherwise the user will not have the same experience switching between mobile, desktop and tablet. Crucial is that the user do not scroll too much meanwhile searching on mobile phone.
  • website page speed: it is a speed of loading of the pages on the website. If it loads too slowly, users simply will leave. Slow site causes mode abandoned carts, higher bounce rate, and lower rate of returning customers.

 

Role of a marketer in website design

  1. Editing and writing
  2. Branding
  3. Collaborating
  4. Optimizing
  5. Engagement
  6. Monitoring

 

Key components of an effective web design: architecture, design, content and optimization

Before all, follow the steps:

  1. Select a hosting provider, domain name and CMS
  2. Install CMS and all necessary plugins
  3. Install theme or build it
  4. Add graphic elements, text and SEO
  5. Test the site
  6. Launch the site
  7. Monitor for bugs

 

Website hosting options

  • shared hosting
  • dedicated server
  • cloud hosting
  • CMS-specific hosting

 

Advantages/disadvantages:

Hosting optionSecurityAffordabilitySupportDowntimeSpecific requirements
Shared4114Hosting provider may ask for specific CMS, website size and monthly traffic to determine specific hosting plan
Dedicated1411Hosting provider may ask for specific CMS, website size and monthly traffic to determine specific hosting plan
Cloud3333Hosting provider may ask for specific CMS, website size and monthly traffic to determine specific hosting plan
CMS specific hosting2222Hosting provider may ask for specific CMS, website size and monthly traffic to determine specific hosting plan

 

WordPress.com: WP sites are free and run on WordPress servers. Domains are usually name.wordpress.com Users can pay for their own domain, but free hosting will put ads on their sites.

WordPress.org sites use WordPress.org CMS which needs to be installed on its self-hosted domain. Each user needs to buy hosting and domain and set it up. A definite advantage for professional sites.

 

How to build a site using WordPress.org?

  1. Buy a domain and hosting plan
  2. Install WordPress
  3. Configure your WP login
  4. Log-in to the panel name.com/wp-admin
  5. Install your theme
  6. Add plugins and format your theme
  7. Write the content and modify necessary settings
  8. Set up GA tracking code
  9. Test and tweak

 

WordPress theme: a set of files containing code and design that creates an overall look of the website.

Types of themes:

  • blog / newspaper
  • business and services
  • e-commerce
  • sports
  • beauty
  • fashion
  • photography

Theme MUST have a responsive design.

 

Verified sources of WP themes: ThemeForest, ElegantThemes, TemplateMonster

 

Design principles

  • first impression: this is your business first impression online
  • information: organized in such way that it makes sense
  • navigation: allows to the user navigate easily
  • content: the content is easy to understand

 

Key aspects of web design:

  1.  It is simple
  2. It is easy to navigate
  3. Has consistency of information
  4. High usability
  5. Has consistency of design (all parts of the website should look the same)
  6. Has concise and honest information (do not overdo with the information and always be honest)

 

Mobilegeddon

It is a switch from Google, which announced that sites non-mobile friendly may not be shown in mobile search results. As Google has mobile-first index, the mobile version is a priority to SEO.

 

Mobile-friendly version: a different version of the same website which displays on mobile devices.

Responsive version: formatted in the way that ideally fits the screen or adjusts to the screen that the user is accessing from.

 

For the mobile development it has to be kept in mind:

  • the mobile first experience: always build first for mobile
  • CTAs: use them in focus on mobile users
  • adapted content: use only what the user will be looking on

 

Website copy

  • clear and with straight-forward message
  • enticing: distinguishing from the crowd
  • unique: “we offer what no one other offers”

Website content should be: easy to find and easy to read, and easy to understand. It should absolutely include CTAs on every page and all pages need to work together. Be sure that you use CTAs, where clear and concise commands are used: BUY, 50% OFF. The offer should highlight benefits for the user. Website should demonstrate social proof and a sense of urgency.

 

Cohesive experience

Offers from the home page should be easy to find on the product pages. Key message need to remain the same across all the pages. Voice and tone can’t change: either 1st person or 3rd person, but do not mix.

 

A/B testing

It is simply comparing two different elements of the same page to figure out which one gets more clicks, engagement and conversions. it is useful in tesing:

  • CTAs
  • graphic elements
  • headlines
  • content and wording
  • types of promotions and offers
  • pop-ups

 

Best practices for A/B testing

  1. Pick only one variable to test
  2. Choose a specific goal
  3. Configure the control and challenger
  4. Divide the target groups equally and randomly
  5. Determine the sample size

 

Tools and plugins: NelioABTesting, Optimizely, VWO, SimplePageTester, FiveSecondTest

 

User centered design vs. website optimization

UX: UserExperience is defined as a person’s perception and responses coming from using / anticipated using of a product, system or service. It is defined by an interactive design, it is based on data, user research and emotions, but also on wireframes, site maps and user personas.

UI: is simply the platform where the website and user interact together. Includes all site elements like clickable forms, links and other actions which an user can perform on the website. Involves visual design, and is based on design trends and brand guidelines. Appays specific colors, layout and typography.

UX and UI are crucial to website optimization, as they provide better website overall, giving to the user the information he needs when he needs it. They both increase traffic and time of the user on site, provide more conversions, increase retention, provide deeper emotional connection and better ROI.

The easier the site is to navigate, the more likely it will be shown to users by the search engine and more content will be shared on social media by users and customers. Obviously this leads to more website traffic.

 

Five principles of a good UX and UI

  1. Accessibility
  2. Clarity
  3. Credibility
  4. Learnability
  5. Relevancy

 

Key UX and UI attributes for an  A/B test

  • user intent: is exactly what the user was looking to finish at your page
  • influence of a web design on the UX: poor design always creates a poor user experience, despite of the fact that the web site can be useful and company has good reputation. Usually poor design includes: no CTAs, is not mobile friendly, doesn’t list benefits to users, its contents are deeply nested, menu items are not meaningful to users
  • points of friction: is when the site reveals a high bounce rate (when users close their journeys at a specific page) – this particular page needs to be corrected
  • navigation: needs to balance the brand’s look and feel with an intuitive functional design. Looking statistics in the analytics give a good insight how people navigate the site and in which point they drop off

 

Good website navigation

  • brings more clicks and traffic to interior sub pages. Good navigation helps the user to get around the site in an easy manner, and get to the pages the user was not able to find before
  • increases time on site and decreases bounce rate. Users interact more with the site, click through to more pages and spend more time on each page they landed
  • helps search engines to crawl: is all the pages are added to the navigation, the search engine can index all the pages. The more pages are crawled, the more pages will be indexed and visible in search results.

 

Responsive website

A site which is responsive across desktop, mobile and tablet devices has following benefits:

  • provides better user experience
  • renders higher preference in search results
  • provides better design across devices

User expectation and user intent vary across devices. What the user is looking on mobile may be totally different what is looking on desktop. It is very important to find out points of friction and focus on influence of web design on the UX. An A/B test placement of CTAs, contact information, services, reviews across different devices should give a clear answer which design gets more clicks.

 

CTAs and best practices

  1. Always use action words (Buy, Learn more…)
  2. Create urgency and scarcity
  3. Minimize risk
  4. Put focus on value
  5. invite readers to come inside
  6. Foster curiosity and anticipation
  7. Clearly show benefits and social proof

Always select the best CTAs for your audience by testing different wording, feature boxes, offers and more. There may be differences across devices. Try to align user experience: there are audiences who prefer simple experience, and audiences who prefer a more complex.

 

Page speed

Page speed is a ranking factor. Mobile users leave the site if the load time takes more than 3 seconds. Page speed indicates usually other issues with the website.

Hosting and website design affect a lot page speed and optimization. Four elements are usually affected: hosting provider type (level of service affected), hosted files / code, website elements, images. Elements which do not load correctly lead to empty (broken) areas of the website. Errors in display may affect the way the information is shown to the user.

 

Website metrics

They need to be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timed).

The most useful metrics are:

  • conversion rate
  • return rate
  • referral source
  • time on site
  • bounce rate
  • cart abandonment rate

To evaluate website effectiveness, it is necessary to see if:

  • hits metric goals
  • if the site is viewable and accessible from different devices
  • if anyone can complete the task without a confusion
  • is all desired information included?

Three useful tools for website optimization

  • Google Analytics for metric testing
  • Google Search Console for measuring impact of keywords for organic traffic
  • SemRush for website mapping (or PowerMapper, SE Ranking)

Automated reporting

It is possible to create automated reports in Google Analytics or custom dashboards. It is recommended to build a tracking spreadsheet that will show the progress.