Tips and Tools to Optimize the Heck Out of Your Website

by: Kathleen Martin

David Drake - Outlier Developer

Web optimization can have many different meanings, depending on the conversation and who’s doing the talking. We optimize websites here at Outlier for a variety of reasons:

And we’re hardly alone. Pushing, pulling, tweaking, updating--whatever your fancy terminology, we know as marketers we’re a little bit like the mythical shark. You know the one that would die if it stopped swimming? Yeah turns out that doesn’t really happen, but for marketers it may hold some truth.

A recent survey from Ascend 2 published on Marketingprofs.com noted that there are several common objectives found to most marketers’ web optimization.

The most common reasons for web optimization?

  • Increase lead generation
  • Increase web traffic
  • Increase engagement
  • Make site "more awesome"
  •  

Ok, maybe that last one isn't official, but we know.

The first three mean paying attention to the marketing funnel, being conscientious about web content that not only engages users, but also helps them move on to the next desired step that moves users to convert them into sales leads. It also means paying attention to design for site usability and to make a user’s next steps incredibly clear. And we mean C-L-E-A-R.

The same survey noted that, among marketers, the most frequently optimized pages included the home page, products & solutions pages, and lead registration forms. These are the pages that give you the opportunity to grab the audience’s attention, tell them about what you do and put them in contact with you so you can continue the conversation.

Sounds easy, right?

“Hahahahahaaaa!”

That was the sound of all marketers everywhere laughing. It’s not easy, in fact it’s actually a LOT of work, and in the spirit of constant improvement it’s a process that never really ends.

The good news is there are an increasing number of tools to help you strategize, test, and then optimize your website for the best results, whether you want to get more users to the site, get them to convert to leads, or to increase your overall engagement with your site.

A couple tools we can attest to here at Outlier include Google Experiments and Optimizely.

Optimizely is an excellent tool for users without a lot of web experience, as it offers a fairly intuitive WYSIWYG, click and edit interface to help change page features. It can be used for both A/B testing and Multivariate Testing, and offers great reporting for businesses.

The downside? It can get expensive. Prohibitively expensive for some businesses looking for a lighter weight option.

Google Analytics’ Experiments, on the other hand, provides many of the same features as Optimizely, and they’re completely free to use. You will have to be able to code to use it however; it’s not for the programmatically squeamish, one might say. That being said, once you have created a new testing page, it’s easy to get up and running using Google Experiments.

We’ve used both of these tools and been happy across the board. Each provide you with the capability to test for many different factors, so you can find out where your site is working and where you need some help.

The sky really is the limit, in other words, when it comes to testing and optimizing your website. Every day you wait you could be missing out on the opportunity to create new leads and increase your web traffic. Time to get a move on web optimization and start converting web traffic to web conversions now!

Outlier

Video, Web, and Design Agency