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7 website optimization techniques mid-market companies need to be using

Your website is your most powerful conversion tool. But if it isn’t optimized correctly, you may be pouring hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars into maintaining it each year with very little ROI. 

The right website optimization strategies help you transform your website into a conversion powerhouse that brings in leads, entices them to explore your site, and eventually convinces them to become loyal, paying customers.


Use these seven effective website optimization techniques to create a better user experience (UX) for your visitors—and increase your chances of converting them into satisfied customers.

1. Understand what drives your users: use heatmaps and recordings to understand your users and what’s driving them

2. Optimize content for readers and search engines: follow SEO best practices and formatting rules to make your content scannable to people and machines

3. Establish content authority: create pillar pages and topic clusters to provide relevant, high-quality content that builds trust

4. Perfect your site’s technical SEO: monitor and improve your Core Web Vitals to ensure your site performs at its best

5. Improve UX to boost conversions: explore which elements of your pages and which stages of your conversion funnel are most—and least—effective

6. Listen to actual website visitors: use surveys and feedback to capture voice-of-the-customer insights and understand customer needs

7. Constantly analyze the user experience: stay on top of key UX metrics with dashboards and use A/B testing for continuous improvement

Use the above website optimization techniques to combat the 7 enemies of optimized websites:

  • Slow-loading pages

  • Bugs and broken links

  • Poor SEO

  • Low-quality content

  • Bad UX design

  • Lack of usability across devices

  • Limited user and product knowledge

Use Recordings, Heatmaps, Surveys, and Feedback tools to learn exactly what your users want to see—and optimize your site accordingly. 

7 valuable optimization techniques for creating a high-performing website

Website optimization is the process of maximizing general website performance. This includes processes like fixing bugs and page load time, improving SEO, optimizing usability across devices, and UX design analysis. It’s the key to creating the best possible user experience for your page visitors.

The benefits of website optimization include increased traffic, longer user sessions, higher conversion rates, and more revenue, making optimization a win for both your business and your users.

Let's take a look at seven strategies that will help bring in new visitors and improve the user experience on your site. 

1. Understand what drives your users

Having a deep understanding of your users and product is absolutely crucial to website optimization. This means knowing exactly what your users are trying to do on your site, so you can make it as easy and friction-free as possible for them to do it. 

To develop this comprehensive understanding of user needs and preferences, you need data—not assumptions. User behavior analysis tools (like Hotjar’s—hi there! 👋) give you a first-hand look at how people actually behave on your site and let you tap into what’s motivating them.

  • User interviews let you connect with members of your target audience or ideal customer profile (ICP) to conduct detailed research about their goals, needs, and preferences

  • Surveys ask the right questions at the right time, on-site or in your users’ inbox, gathering actionable data about key topics like your website experience or why they’re leaving

  • Heatmaps are color-coded visualizations of where users click, scroll, and move on your page. This free tool quickly reveals what captures people’s attention, what frustrates them, and what they miss, helping you connect the dots between their intent and your site.

  • Recordings are playbacks of individual (anonymized) users navigating your website. Jump straight from aggregated behavior in heatmaps to specific recordings to zoom in on the details. Use recordings to follow your users’ journey from beginning to end and identify what they’re looking for so you can help them complete their goals.

Hotjar Recordings shows you exactly how users interact with your site from beginning to end, making it easy to identify (and address) user intent

Use the insights from your heatmaps, recordings, and user research to discover more about your users and optimize your website accordingly. For example, you might restructure your page to put key content above the fold, change up your website design to make it easier to navigate, or add more information based on what matters to your ICP.

2. Optimize content for readers (and search engines)

Despite the name, search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t just for search engines. While on-page SEO is important for SERP rankings and organic search, it’s arguably just as important for creating a good user experience. 

That’s because making your content easy for search engines to read also makes it easy for people to read. Use these tips to ensure your SEO writing is on point:

  • Break up long chunks of text to make content more readable using tables, headers, bullet points (like these ones 😉), and images

  • Include plenty of headings and subheadings to create scannable content

  • Employ a well-planned keyword strategy so you know you’re creating content that your users actually want to read (and can be easily found on SERPs)

Remember: your priority should always be to create high-quality content. People are not machines, and they want to get real, actionable value out of what they’re reading. Users can spot keyword-stuffed, low-value content that’s purely produced for SEO purposes—and it pushes them away. On the other hand, content quality and relevance are used as key ranking factors. 

3. Establish content authority

In digital marketing, ‘content authority’ refers to how trusted and valued your content is. By establishing content authority, you position your website as a leader in your industry. 

One of the best ways to establish content authority is with pillar pages and topic clusters. 

  • A pillar page is a piece of website content that explores a specific topic closely related to your product or service in depth. So if you’re an ecommerce company whose primary product is running shoes, you should have a pillar page about running shoes. 

  • Topic cluster pages link to each other and back to the pillar page, and they tend to focus on a more detailed, usually long-tail keyword (search phrases with longer word counts) directly related to your pillar page. Topic cluster pages for the running shoes website could include 'best cushioned running shoes', 'best daily trainer running shoes', 'best beginner running shoes', 'best running shoes for long distances', and so on. 

Your website can (and should) have multiple pillar pages and topic clusters. You can even repurpose old content to create this topical organization.

4. Perfect your site’s technical SEO

While improving technical SEO may seem like less of a user-focused task, three Core Web Vitals play a crucial role in the user experience: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), i.e. loading speed; First Input Delay (FID), i.e. responsiveness; and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), i.e. visual stability. 

Tim Parker, Director of Marketing at IT services and consulting firm Syntax Integration, highlights that “technical SEO makes it easier for search engines to find your content,” which in turn makes it easier for users to find your content.  

He recommends the following actions to improve a website’s technical SEO: 

  • Improve site structure: the format of your URLs should be consistent for you to properly map your web pages. Create an XML sitemap to make it easier for search engines to index your website.

  • Optimize crawling and indexing: be sure to submit your website to search engines so bots can crawl it more quickly and accurately

  • Find and fix broken links and duplicate content: prevent search engines from indexing pages that have broken links and duplicate material, which can actually hurt your SERP rankings

  • Use mobile-friendly design: poor mobile usability and performance can negatively affect your SEO efforts, so ensure your site is optimized for both desktop and mobile users

  • Optimize your page speed: reduce image sizes using image compression or image optimization tools, use a browser cache, and remove large page elements to ensure your pages load quickly

🧰 What tools do you need for website speed optimization?

Use website speed testing tools (like Google’s PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, or Pingdom’s Website Speed Test) to measure your site speed and server response time (also known as time to first byte or TTFB). Then, if you need to reduce page load time and improve site speed, you can

  • ‘Minify’ your code by removing unnecessary characters from your JavaScript source code

  • Enable gzip compression to reduce the file size of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files

  • Use content delivery networks (CDNs) to reduce latency

  • Use tools like TinyPNG to compress images

5. Improve UX to boost conversions

Great UX design helps people reach their goals and find exactly what they’re looking for. Bad UX design causes unnecessary friction—and leads to lost revenue and missed sales opportunities. 

So it’s no surprise that there’s a major overlap between UX design and conversion rate optimization (CRO). CRO uncovers what inspires your users and what stops them from taking action. This gives you the data you need to streamline your website so it meets their needs at every stage and guides them through your funnel until they’re ready to convert.

Here are three ways you can improve UX (and conversions) with Hotjar:

  • Use Hotjar Heatmaps to understand how users engage with your value proposition and CTAs. Monitor their engagement with these key CRO elements—for example, by seeing which CTA buttons get the most clicks or which headers they don’t even scroll to—to understand which parts of your website are (and aren’t) resonating with users. 

  • Map out the user journey with Hotjar Funnels to track how they progress through your conversion flow, so you can quickly spot any blockers or sudden pitfalls affecting your conversion rates. For example, if you spot users dropping off at a certain point, maybe they don’t have all the information they need to make a decision—try adding more content and see if that helps. 

  • To find and fix UX problems like website bugs, broken links, and code issues, filter session recordings in Hotjar by rage clicks (repeated clicks in a short period of time, usually as a sign of frustration), u-turns (quick returns to the previous URL), or errors (sessions where a JavaScript error occurred)

#Use the rage click filter in Hotjar Recordings to quickly find and watch sessions that frustrated users and thwarted conversions
Use the rage click filter in Hotjar Recordings to quickly find and watch sessions that frustrated users and thwarted conversions

When our users have a better experience, it benefits our conversions and ROI as well. Hotjar helps me identify bottlenecks and deliver the experience people want when they visit our website.

Piriya Kantong
Senior Online Marketing Analyst at Zenprint

6. Listen to your website visitors

Aside from watching your users, you should also be listening to them! Hearing directly from your users helps you understand their problems, preferences, and pain points, so you can optimize your website with their needs in mind.

Get direct user input by using a combination of surveys and feedback:

  • Hotjar Surveys lets you ask users targeted questions—like “What can we improve?”—that help you meet specific research goals. Create your survey from scratch, use one of our many templates, or let AI generate (and analyze) a custom survey for you, and embed it on your site or send it later via email. 

  • Hotjar Feedback is an always-on widget that can be placed anywhere on your page, enabling visitors to leave specific feedback in the moment. They can also highlight parts of their page to provide extra context for their comments (like “This button is broken” with an image of the button they’re referring to).

Ask the right questions using Hotjar Surveys to discover which website performance optimizations will have the biggest impact on your users

7. Constantly analyze the user experience

UX research is an ongoing process, so even when you think your website is fully optimized, keep digging deeper to see where you can improve. 

With Hotjar Dashboards, you can easily monitor key web performance and user experience metrics to quickly spot user issues you might otherwise miss. Use dashboards to 

  • Stay on top of the data that matters to you, like page issues and feedback, so you can quickly take action

  • Track trends as they emerge to get—and stay—ahead of user needs

  • Share at-a-glance insights with team members and stakeholders to prioritize next steps and get buy-in for projects

Get visual insights with Hotjar Dashboards

💡 Pro tip: you can spend months analyzing user behavior on your website, but that’s no good if you don’t take action! Use A/B testing to find out what works and remember it’s a process of trial and error. We recommend using a tool like AB Tasty or Optimizely to test out different scenarios on your website and discover what resonates with your visitors.

You can even combine Hotjar tools with your A/B testing platform of choice to get deeper insights. Explore heatmaps, watch recordings, and collect feedback to understand not just which variant of your A/B test won, but why.

7 factors that might be tanking your website performance optimization efforts

Having a website that’s easy to find and enjoyable to navigate depends on a number of components. The following are some weak points that may be preventing you from having an optimized website. 

1. Poor website speed and slow-loading pages

Slow websites drag down your conversion rates. If your website takes too long to load, chances are your users aren’t waiting around—leading to a higher bounce rate, lower revenue, and frustrated potential customers. According to Portent, a B2B site that loads in one second has a conversion rate 3x higher than a site that loads in five seconds, and 5x higher than one that loads in 10 seconds. 

2. Bugs and broken links

Are bugs inhibiting visitors’ ability to move around your pages? Do broken links hold them back from browsing other pages on your site? These are simple fixes that can quickly improve UX and website performance. 

3. Poor SEO

If your content isn’t properly optimized for search engines, then it’s probably not showing up in the search queries made by your potential users. Your website should be optimized for SERPs (that includes keyword selection as well as off-page and technical SEO) so your target audience finds you as soon as they search for the type of product or service you offer. 

4. Low-quality content

Is your content and copy hard to understand? Are users missing out on a prominent product feature? Does your content match your users’ intent? Misguided, outdated content is a huge detriment to user experience, and improving your content is one of the best things you can do for your visitors.

5. Bad UX design

Your website’s UX design can make or break your users’ desire to keep browsing and eventually convert. Your website should always be designed primarily with your user in mind, meaning that a visitor’s experience should be enjoyable, valuable, relevant, and intuitive.

6. Lack of usability across multiple devices

Usability across devices becomes more important every year, and in 2020, 68.1% of all website visits came from mobile devices. So if your website isn’t optimized for smartphones, you’re missing out on the potential to improve the experience for a significant number of mobile users.

7. Limited user knowledge

You can’t optimize your website if you don’t understand who your users are. Running regular user research sessions and getting always-on insights (via interviews, surveys, and feedback widgets) is one of the most important—and underrated—website optimization techniques.

Use website optimization techniques that work 

For any website, from B2C ecommerce sites to B2B software solutions and everything in between, optimization should be a part of your regular site maintenance routine. Once you make website optimization a priority, you’ll start seeing benefits like improved user satisfaction, higher SERP rankings, extended time-on-page, and increased conversions. 

Most importantly, an optimized website means happy users who can find your product or service and discover how it can improve their lives. Implement these website optimization techniques to start making your website work for you—and your users.

Website optimization made easy with Hotjar

Use Hotjar tools like Recordings, Heatmaps, Surveys, and Feedback to learn exactly what your users want—and optimize your site accordingly.

FAQs about website optimization techniques