April 20, 2021
In today’s highly competitive world, a fast loading website and a good user experience are crucial to getting more traffic, conversions, and a higher customer retention rate.
Powered by a good content strategy, a high performing website is also a good ranking signal for Google crawlers to recognize your website. This is because search engines rank websites according to the user experience they provide. Slow-loading websites mean dissatisfied users and a higher bounce rate.
Google research shows that customer bounce rate increases by 32% if a page load time increases from 1 to 3 seconds. And if the page takes another 10 seconds, you can say goodbye to sales because 123% of the customers bounce off in that case.
Despite there being variables that are outside of your control as a website owner, the majority of the issues that affect website performance are factors that can be fixed at your end.
So what can you do to enhance your website performance in 2021?
Check out these 7 tips you need to consider for optimizing your website performance:
1. Make Your Website Mobile-friendly
According to studies, 72% of all internet users access websites from their smartphones, and to cater to the 80% of top websites are optimized for use on smaller screens.
This is excellent news for your business because all you need is a mobile-friendly website to ensure a continuous flow of traffic and facilitate your potential clientele.
It means that all content on your website – be it images, content or links – looks good on small screens like iPads and mobiles alike.
Here are a few strategies to ensure that your website looks great and performs even better in SEO:
Introduce a Responsive Theme
Choose the one that’s best for your site, and that’s responsive, and install it.
Double-check that your new theme looks great on all devices, and make sure you still follow the rest of the tips below to ensure everything else is up to par.
A responsive website theme will automatically adjust to your user’s screen size making your content look good on all devices. This also improves user experience, making your content rank higher on SERPs.
If you’re using WordPress, you can easily change your theme by typing in ‘responsive’ in the search bar, displaying all responsive themes. What’s even better is that you can also choose websites that are visually pleasing as well.
On average, the ideal JPG image should be around 29 KB, and PNG should be about 16KB.
Another thing that comes to mind when we talk about responsive designs is simplifying your website’s menus. This means that the menu of your website may have more than one category and page. However, remember that this may complicate your users’ screen if they visit your site from their phones.
Avoid menus that may require your visitors to zoom in or zoom out to view specific options, which ruins the user experience.
The key to making your site genuinely responsive is to include media queries into your pages. Media queries not only allow your page to resize according to screen size but also reshape certain elements such as the navigation bar or sidebars.
A Clear Search Button and CTA
An explicitly displayed search button reduces the need for your visitors to navigate your entire website and instead easily find precisely what they’re looking for. In fact, your CTA buttons should also be well-placed and prominent. Your goal should be to convince the visitors to take action.
Your CTA will show them how to do that.
But before placing a CTA on each page, think about your goal for it. Are you trying to redirect them to your social media pages? Are you looking to improve your following?
Your CTA should be catchy and focused on your primary goal.
Some websites even give their visitors a chance to browse an entire database through a search button, like the example below.
Pop-ups can hinder user experience as they can be annoying when they appear on the screen randomly. The problem with pop-ups is that they can be challenging to close, and in their haste to close these pop-ups, visitors can be redirected to a new landing.
2. Improve Website Loading Speed
As we have already read above, a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load can seriously kill your conversions. So here are a few ways you can improve your website loading speed:
Your page speed can also increase by optimizing your code. For starters, remove any unnecessary spaces, code comments, commas, and other avoidable characters.
Cache Your Web Pages
You can then set how long the site data is cached for and when it should be refreshed on the client’s device. Unless your website gets redesigned frequently, you can leave the cache information for as long as a year.
Every time a page redirects from one URL to another, the visitor may have to face additional waiting time for the HTTP request-response cycle to complete. One way of minimizing this is to use redirect links only where it is essential.
Use a Content Distribution Network
Usually, when your browser is loading your site, it may take a considerable amount of time for the server to deliver the content on your page. With a CDN, copies of your site content are stored at different diverse data centers so that users can have faster access to your site.
The second most indispensable aspect you need to focus on is the image size and the src attribute published on your website. It is better to avoid using large images that can considerably impact the loading time of your website. It is also essential to consider the new image formats such as Jpeg XR and RP to resize them.
3. Deliver Engaging Content to Readers
Engaging content provides valuable information to readers.
To make sure that all your content is insightful, make sure that every last bit of it has a purpose. It should be able to generate a response in your audiences and get them to take the desired action.
So, for starters, review the low-performing content on your website. Anything with fewer-than-usual views and relatively fewer likes, comments, shares, etc., has to go.
Then evaluate your high-performing content and see what elements were successful in generating a higher viewership. Duplicate the factors of success across your website.
4. Improve your Backlink Portfolio
Once you complete your keyword research, perform competitor analysis to see who ranks in the top search results for phrases and terms relevant to you. Optimize your website for optimal placement in SERPs by ensuring that there are plenty of links across the internet that point back to your site.
Reach Out to Authority Websites
Article marketing is a brilliant way of increasing the number of backlinks that direct the user to your website and enhances your brand image. Develop high-quality content and issue it to websites like Go Articles, Ezine Articles, and other high-end article related sites to get links.
Business Listings and Directories
Submitting your site to business listings and directories is an effective way to get easy links that point back to your site. These links are of relatively low quality, but when you add your website to directories, it can help you complete your link profile and do so naturally.
Stay Active on Social Media
Building your online presence and brand visibility is imperative for SEO efforts and purposes because it leads to greater brand awareness that drives more website traffic.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (especially if yours is a B2B business), and now TikTok can help you find fans, followers. Use these platforms to engage these audiences and use appropriate ads and captions to get them to your website.
Your social media presence can also be a powerful indicator for search engines that people like your website, which leads to higher rankings in search results.
5. Use the Correct Title, Meta, and H-Tags for Web Pages
Meta tags/descriptions and heading tags are a crucial part of optimizing your SEO strategy. These provide organization and structure to your content that helps Google crawlers understand what your website is about.
For visitors, heading tags can help users navigate a page easily, improving their user experience.
6. Fix Any Broken Links
Whether your website’s visitors arrive on a page from a search engine, any other external link, or another section of the site itself, your job is to make sure that they find what they are looking for.
If they click on a link that doesn’t exist on your site, they’ll be shown a 410/404 error that tells them that the content they are looking for doesn’t exist.
That is a massive waste of time for them and the loss of a potential buyer for you.
So carefully study your link profile to ensure that each link goes exactly where it’s supposed to.
7. Improve the User Experience of the Website
The ultimate goal of your website and marketing strategies is to convert a lead into a buyer and ‘retain’ each customer for a very long time, ensuring that they keep coming back to you. A strong viewership will leave positive reviews and will also recommend your services to other people. Remember, a good user experience can be a reflection of your business and positively impact your customers.
To truly optimize your website performance, conduct website checks regularly and make sure that you don’t lose out on any potential leads due to a slow loading website.
This makes good business sense because Google automatically ranks mobile-friendly sites higher in search results, making for good SEO.
Implement all 7 strategies mentioned above to see a considerable improvement in your website speed for a better user experience and improved conversions.
Gina Brewton is a blogger in Toronto. She is currently working with the digital marketing agency - Noah Digital. She helps provide customized digital marketing solutions to bring quality leads and revenue.