It’s no longer enough to have a basic online presence; it’s 2020 and your website needs to be optimized for what the modern visitor expects. Page speed, conversion funnels, content, and metadata all play a part in how users interact with your website. When they’re properly optimized for your target audience, you will notice increased traffic and improved conversion rates.
Let’s dive into some of the top website elements you can optimize to boost your online presence in 2020.
1. Page Speed
Improvements in technology and our desire for instant gratification have made us more impatient than ever and website page speed is no exception. The longer your website takes to load, the higher your site’s bounce rate – the percentage of people who leave your site without further navigating it – will become. In fact, if a page takes five seconds or longer to load, bounce rate increases 90%.
The most important metric to pay attention to when analyzing page speed is ‘time to interactive’, or how long it takes before a user can click or further navigate your site. Average time to interactive varies by industry, but generally speaking for desktop it’s 4.7 seconds, while mobile is 11.4 seconds. Other page speed metrics to pay attention to include ‘first contentful paint’ – the time it takes for the first image or text element to appear on the page – and ‘first meaningful paint’ – the time it takes for the primary content to appear.
Mobile page speed specifically needs to become a larger priority for businesses in 2020 as more than 60% of people online are using their phones to access their favorite sites. You can test both your desktop and mobile page speed using Google’s Page Speed Insights. This tool rates your desktop and mobile page speed on a scale of 1-100 and provides suggestions for improvements. Tackling the suggestions from Page Speed Insights will quickly boost your speed scores and lower your bounce rate.
2. Conversion Funnels
Whether you have an eCommerce website, personal website, or blog, your website’s conversion funnels are definitely something to stay on top of and continually optimize. As we hinted at, we’re not just referring to sales funnels; email signups, event registrations, or any other action a user takes on your site could be considered a conversion depending on your site’s goals.
Your site likely has multiple conversion funnels and each should be analyzed and optimized separately. The best way to do this is to set up click tracking in Google Analytics and heat maps on your website using a software like Hot Jar. These tools will allow you to decipher why people aren’t entering your conversion funnel, or where in the funnel users are getting stuck. They also provide helpful information like the most popular places users navigate on the site and how often they navigate between pages.
When it comes to your site’s content, the biggest stakeholders in your optimization efforts should be Google and your target audience. Of course, content should be created for users and not bots, but the more quality content you have, the more Google will favor your site. Creating quality content that appeals to your target audience and to Google all starts with keyword research.
Taking the time to do keyword research ensures that you’re writing content on topics that your target audience is searching for so when they make their next search, your site appears towards the top of Google search results. A new decade is a perfect time to do a content audit and content rewrites to include the relevant keywords you discovered during your keyword research. Once you optimize your site to include the right mixture of keywords, you should see your traffic and rankings improve.
Since you’re already going to do keyword research to optimize the content on your site, it only makes sense that you would also optimize your metadata at the same time. When we refer to metadata, we’re referencing the title tags and meta descriptions of each indexed page on your site. Use this time to ensure that every indexed page not only has metadata, but has relevant metadata – including your target keywords – that describes what the user will find on the page
Title tags should be around 65 characters, while meta descriptions should be around 150 characters; anything too long will get truncated and anything too short is probably not doing an effective job at describing the page’s content.
Oftentimes, the most challenging part of knowing how to optimize your website is knowing where to start or how to do it. While we hope this post has introduced you to optimization efforts you should include in your 2020 planning, if you need some extra help, give our experts at Inventive a call for custom website solutions and optimizations.