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Why is website optimization important?
Imagine this scenario: you’ve spent tons of time building a great website, only to discover that no one clicks on it—and those who do, don’t spend much time there.
Why? It’s likely you haven’t optimized your site to create a first-rate user experience (UX). In a competitive online environment, you need to optimize your website to make it SEO-friendly and accessible, spurring users to click and convert.
In this article, we'll explain the significance of website optimization, which businesses need to optimize their website, and examples of how four companies successfully improved their site to reach user and business goals.
What is website optimization?
Website optimization is an experimental, impact-driven strategy that aims to improve your website’s performance, helping users better navigate your site by making sure they can easily find landing pages, product pages, and other key website elements to increase customer conversions and retention, drive more traffic to your site, and boost your ROI.
Optimizing your site is a continuous process.
Whether you're looking to optimize historical content to maintain or improve rankings, or implement loading speed improvements to improve the user experience, you always need to be on your toes.
A comprehensive optimization strategy should involve a variety of roles to ensure your website performs seamlessly, including:
UX and product design
Backend engineering (web development)
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) and landing page optimization
Website optimization is often about making small refinements to parts of your website. These changes might seem like minor improvements on their own, but taken together, they will have a discernible impact on your site's organic search results and user experience.
When done right, tiny changes drive huge results.
The best website optimization efforts put your users or potential users at the heart of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, and end up making a huge difference to the overall product experience.
Benefits of website optimization
Whether you’re part of a startup or large organization with a dedicated product team, you’re probably looking for ways to improve UX on your site, increase sales on your ecommerce platform, or get more website traffic.
Website optimization can help you:
Improve brand visibility
Increase traffic and revenue
Enhance the user experience
Boost brand reputation
Website optimization is crucial for the success of any online business. Without it, websites won't receive the necessary traffic they need to stand out and remain profitable. In addition to helping a website stay at the top of Google Search Engine results, website optimization also helps online businesses collect concrete data that makes it easier to create strategies that will provide a significant return on investment.
Pro tip: use Hotjar Observe tools like Session Recordings to enhance your website optimization process by getting instant visualizations of user behavior. Once you’ve made changes to your website, you can deploy Ask tools like on-site Feedback widgets to see if you’ve successfully implemented your users’ insights.
This speeds up the process of collecting user feedback, giving you direct insight into significant pain points and areas of improvement, which can be used to guide new features or design elements.
An example of a Hotjar Feedback widget
What types of businesses benefit from optimizing their websites?
Website optimization is important for any business selling online and anyone building a brand for themselves through their site.
There are strong benefits to website optimization for many different sectors. Here are some use cases that show the importance of optimizing for different groups:
Freelancers: in the world of freelancing, the quality of your website often dictates your income. Website optimization is necessary for freelancers who are looking to generate scalable income and reach more clients. If you’re a freelancer, consider starting with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There are many different aspects of SEO that can be optimized, including meta descriptions, title tags, and header tags. These are all important aspects of website optimization that can help you rank higher in SERPs, and organically boost your site’s visibility.
Established businesses: an optimized site brings in quality traffic: users who are looking to take action. For established enterprises with different user groups and visitor types, conversion rate optimization (CRO) can help create targeted, personalized experiences to help them complete their individual goals on your site.
Product teams (especially SaaS businesses): optimization is important for product teams that need to know whether their products meet user expectations. With Hotjar’s product experience insights tools, you can build on user insights to identify problems and optimize your site to solve them faster.
Startups: every startup needs to build brand awareness and credibility. By optimizing your website, you’re more likely to reach the right people, saving you time and resources when it comes to your content marketing efforts. Hotjar’s tools offer intuitive, easy-to-understand visualizations of user data, and they start from free—so they’re a great option for smaller teams looking to reap the benefits of website optimization.
What does a successfully optimized website look like?
For a website to be successful, it has to be as appealing to real users as it is to Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). SEO is all about making your page findable by, and valuable to, the real people you want to engage.
Successful websites also incorporate ease-of-use into their design. Once users have found your website, you’ll need a simple, clean aesthetic to make it easy to read and use.
How focusing on user behavior will help you reap the benefits of optimization
A key benefit of website optimization is that it enhances the user experience, which leads to an increased number of conversions. You can leverage insights from user behavior to better optimize your site and reap these benefits.
User behavior describes all user interactions: how many pages they visit, how long they spend per page, and how many actions (like clicking on a video or viewing a specific product) they take.
Tracking user behavior can help you understand where people tend to drop off your website, where they linger, which pages could be more attractive, and where you could improve UX.
Behavior tools like heatmaps help you visualize user behavior by displaying where users move, click, and scroll on your site. This gives you a comprehensive view of which parts of your website attract attention and which you can adjust to maximize customer delight.
With Hotjar Heatmaps, you can analyze heatmaps of various pages, learn more about what’s ‘hot’ and what gets ignored on your site. Use the data collected to better guide your product offering and the product pages themselves.
4 business examples of why website optimization is important
“When a website has been built, it's never finished. You may think you know what works best, but it’s only when a website is online that you can see if this is true,” says Nathan Veenstra, SEO specialist at Optimus Online.
Let's dive into a few examples of companies taking full advantage of continuous website optimization.
Hussle, an online marketplace for gyms and spas, is living proof of why website optimization matters. They’ve achieved great results from constantly monitoring their website and user experience to find out what needs to be optimized. As well as analyzing quantitative web data, they use Hotjar’s Observe tools to spot revenue-damaging bugs and Ask tools to survey every churned user. By turning their insights into website optimizations, they’ve fixed bugs, run smoother product launches, and improved user satisfaction.
Hubspot Academy, the worldwide leader in inbound marketing and sales education, is a working example of website optimization making a difference. They deployed Hotjar's website feedback tools to understand why users abandon their course registration page, which helped them get a 10% increase in sign-ups—all by acting on feedback to make user-driven decisions for winning page redesigns.
DashThis helps companies around the world create automated marketing reports. They rely on website optimization to improve their product and grow by finding several small tweaks to make to help the user navigate through the app. After looking for ways to improve UX, they used Hotjar Recordings and Surveys, which successfully increased their onboarding funnel completion by 50% and their customer satisfaction rates by 140%.
Matalan, one of the UK’s leading family value retailers of fashion and homeware, is proof of the importance of website optimization. They’ve had tangible success improving conversion rates using product experience insights tools like Hotjar. Since implementing tools to monitor and survey user behavior, they’ve improved checkout conversions by +1.23%, and transformed the decision-making process to deliver +400% ROI.