Website optimization ensures a Webflow website is designed, developed, and maintained to provide the best possible user experience. It involves optimizing all aspects of a website, including page loading speed, usability, content relevance, visual appeal, and mobile responsiveness, etc. Optimization ensures that the website meets all technical requirements, including maximum uptime, search engine indexing, and SSL certificates.
All these numerous, scattered parameters can be grouped into four focus areas to organize your website optimization efforts, namely,
- SEO optimization
- Performance optimization
- Security optimization
- Accessibility optimization
But what are the benefits of website optimization? The following section explores the answer to this question.
Benefits of website optimization
Website optimization can provide an improved user experience and increased search engine rankings, resulting in more website visitors, higher engagement rates, and better conversions.
It also helps to ensure a brand's website is organized and easily navigable, which can lead to improved customer satisfaction. With changing times, your website is the true representation of your business. It's high time businesses understand and perform website optimization actively because it can also act as a competitive advantage in your industry.
Unfortunately, there are some common mistakes that people make while optimizing their websites. This blog covers those common but detrimental mistakes that hurt your website optimization plans. Plus, it also briefs over website optimization best practices.
Common website optimization mistakes
- Lack of a clear website structure and organization
A website should be organized in a way that is intuitive and easy to navigate. Having an unclear structure or too many menus, links, or pages can make it difficult for users to find what they need on the website.
Additionally, having a clear structure will also help search engines to crawl your website's essential pages and index them to rank higher in search engine rankings. Plus, it also helps in increasing the dwell time of users and decreasing bounce rates.
Best practices to fix website structure
- Using navigation best practices like breadcrumbs
- Ensure your website hierarchy is not more than three levels deep.
- Add metadata helps bots to crawl your website.
- Appropriate internal links for guided user navigation
- Slow page loading times
Page loading time is vital to creating a positive first impression in the minds of our prospects. Interestingly, online shoppers view website loading times as 35% longer than they usually are. Hence, not only the actual but also the perceived loading speed is important.
More so, a study indicates that 40% of online shoppers don't wait beyond 3 seconds for an e-commerce website to load.
Here are a few tips to increase page load speed -
- Defer loading of non-critical resources with async or defer directives
- Eliminate third-party code from blocking the main thread
- Use Gzip compressions
- Not utilizing a content delivery network (CDN)
CDNs are a cluster of servers that host the cached copy of website assets and can deliver them quickly over the internet. However, servers host the website assets too.
But, CDNs are distributed geographically and operate closer to the network edge, hence, reducing the network latency. As a result, websites have 50% less loading time.
Other benefits of CDN include increased security posture against DoS attacks and network congestion. The website will have greater uptime and availability for visitors across the globe. Using a CDN will help in all four core areas of website optimization.
If you wish to learn more about website optimization, head over to our comprehensive website optimization guide.
- Not optimizing images and other media
Websites have increasingly become interactive in nature. But that shouldn't hamper the user experience. The key is to optimize images to render to the appropriate size as per the viewport. Other media also needs to be optimized with proper optimization tools and compression techniques.
Recommendations for image and media optimization are -
- Minify CSS files
- Use a CDN to reduce network latency
- Use next-gen formats like WebP, JPEG-XR, or progressive JPEG. However, enable a fallback format if using these modern formats.
- Not implementing a responsive design for mobile users.
A study estimates that by 2025, 72% of internet users will solely use smartphones to access the internet. Now is the time to think forward and ensure that your website is responsive to different screen sizes, especially mobiles.
Tips for implementing responsive design
- Use media queries and appropriate breakpoints.
- Opt for mobile-first designs that scale on other screen sizes
- Focus on ensuring touch targets are functional.
- Not optimizing for search engines (SEO)
A little above 90% of web pages get no organic traffic because they have not been optimized for search engines. Organic traffic is crucial because it has a higher conversion rate than other sources of traffic.
Search engine optimization helps to put your brand at the forefront and attract interested prospects to your website, an integral part of your marketing funnel.
Here are a few tips on how to SEO optimize your website -
- Write with your prospects in mind and include relevant keywords that read naturally.
- Ensure your site schema is properly updated.
- Optimize website performance.
- Build backlinks from authoritative sources
- Ignoring website accessibility
62% of adults facing a disability own a desktop and laptop. Companies need more mature accessibility programs to include these individuals on moral grounds and as part of compliance. More so, accessibility ensures you reach a wider audience, as around 1 billion people worldwide have a disability of some kind.
Recommendations to fix website accessibility -
- Use logical headings and content structure.
- Use captions for your videos and alt text for images.
- Eliminate redundant navigation for screen readers.
- Not implementing proper tracking and analytics.
You can have all the tricks of the trade for website optimization. But, you need to continually monitor website performance, traffic, and other parameters to ensure your website is in an optimal condition at all times. But tracking countless parameters 24*7 is not humanly possible.
The best way to ensure an all-time optimized website is to use an intelligent automated tool.
Here's the solution to tracking and website analytics
- Enable 24*7 monitoring of websites.
- Ensure critical alerts are sent in time to the right person.
- Generate periodic reports.
- Analyze the metrics and fix the issues found.
- Not paying attention to the domain name and SSL expiry.
Website owners tend to forget that their domains will expire at some point in time. The result of this negligence is losing your business's brand name online. Of course, there's a grace period with almost all companies. But nevertheless, it leads to downtime and lost business.
Another such negligence is SSL expiry which can make your website more vulnerable to data breaches or hacking. This can disrupt your business, and also your users may distrust you.
The straightforward solution to this issue is to set reminders before any certificate or domain name expires. And then acting on that timely reminder.
- Not ensuring availability/uptime.
If a website can't provide the requested resource or the entire website isn't available, the site is considered down. A study by Akamai indicates that 1 in 10 users don't return to a website that wasn't available. So, besides immediate losses, downtime also leads to a prolonged negative impact. In fact, if your site is down for several days together, you'll have to restart your SEO efforts.
Here are a few tips for greater availability -
- Use a CDN
- Use dedicated servers
- Fortify website security to prevent cyberattacks
The blog has covered recurrent website optimization mistakes that can defeat the purpose of having a website in the first place. But fortunately, you can choose Optomate and avoid the trap of making these mistakes.
It's a comprehensive tool that offers 360 degrees of website optimization for SEO, performance, security, and accessibility. The tool can function 24*7 and can send automated reports and alerts.
The tool is AI-powered and intuitive, generating accurate results and actionable insights to nail your website optimization. For instance, Optomate has a special provision to set critical alerts to avoid domain name expiry that can put your business at stake.