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The Purpose of Optimization

This step explains why website optimization is so important and how website optimization affects the buyer's journey.
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The purpose of website optimization, why is it so important? There’s four main areas. First, it increases user time on site. So when a website is easy to navigate, users are much more likely to stay on the website because they’re finding the information that they’re looking for and they’re interested in what you have to say. The longer time a person is on a website, the more likely they are to make a purchase or complete a conversion like an email sign up. The next is that it provides a better user experience. So users can not only find the information they’re looking for, but they’re also left with a better impression of a company because of their great website.
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A lot of times, users will equate a well designed website with the company’s reputation. It also leads to more return visits so when a website’s easy to use, users are more likely to return. Twenty five percent of users abandon their online shopping checkout because the site is too hard to use. Users just don’t have patience nowadays to go through a poorly designed website. So the easier your website is to use, the more likely users are not only going to convert, but also going to come back and tell their friends about it. And that leads me to the last part, increasing e-commerce sales.
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So, if a website, you know, is really fast, easy to use, people are going to spread the news. They are going to tell their friends and family about the website and the company and that’s going to lead to more sales for you. So, how does website optimization affect the buyer’s journey? There’s five key areas. The first is awareness. So the buyer is aware of a problem they might have and they’re trying to find initial problems and solutions with what they’re going through. So this might be, you know, maybe an air conditioner’s broken but the owner doesn’t quite know how to fix it. Their initial journey is going to be, why is it broken? What’s the noise coming from?
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The next step is interest. So they might have found your company and the services you provide and they’re just finding out more about your company. What’s it like to work with you, maybe some reviews, things that are easily found on a website that it’s your job to show them. The next step is consideration. So they’re considering making a purchase from you, they’re almost there. So maybe having additional marketing materials, testimonials, reviews, things like that that’s going to help your customers find out more about you online. Finally, they go to conversion. So, for some brands, that’s completing a sale on their website. For others, that’s an email sign up, maybe a download of a white paper.
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That means that they either bought something, or they’ve turned into a customer on your funnel. And then the last is retention. So this is going to help keep them active in your company and with your company. So, building a relationship so maybe they’ll continue to buy something, or they’ll continue to download things from you. It’s your job to keep sending them information and products that they’re interested in. The purpose of website optimization is to make it as easy as possible for users to convert in whatever way that is for you.
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So some of the problems that we commonly see in website optimization is maybe a confusing navigation, the user doesn’t know where to go, they’re trying to find the information, they get frustrated, that’s one of the easy problems to solve. It’s just better navigation. If your checkout process is really slow, users again will just abandon their shopping carts, so you need to make it as fast and simple as possible. Users also need to know why it’s in their benefit to convert, or why it’s in their benefit to make a purchase from your company. If the information is too confusing, it’s hard to understand, then they’re likely not going to make a purchase.
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And then finally, you know, we have less and less time nowadays so it’s important to have a faster website, so making sure pages load in seconds or less than a second if possible, and so that all goes into website optimization. So, website optimization, unsurprisingly, affects all areas of digital marketing and SEO, you know, a bad design of a website, it makes it hard for search engines to crawl the site. In graphic design, that’s really important with website optimization because they work together to affect how a website is laid out, and how users can use the site and interact with the information.
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A/B testing, so we’re going to go into that a little bit later, but it’s basically testing different attributes of your website whether it’s CTA buttons, or what have you, to see what’s the best experience for the user. Email marketing, making sure that that’s consistent with the website design, and in overall, good experience. Social media, again, your branding’s going to be the same as the website as it is on social media, and the information that’s shared in social media is also shared on the website. There’s no disconnect and users aren’t getting confused. And then mobile optimization, so making sure that your website is easy to use on mobile.
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Users don’t have a hard time trying to scroll, or find what they’re looking for even though they’re on their phone. And then finally, page speed. So how fast your pages load on your website. That not only is a ranking factor for SEO, but also greatly improves the user experience when pages are loading quickly. So the role of a marketer in website design is really important and really crucial. Not only are they writing and editing the website copy that’s actually going on to the website itself, the information the users are going to read, they’re also collaborating giving feedback on design layouts.
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A lot of marketers have really good experience with what works and what doesn’t with their audience which is really helpful for designers and programmers and SEO professionals to figure out what’s going to work and what won’t. Setting branding guidelines is really important too, making sure that you work with the graphic designer to make sure that your branding guidelines is consistent across social media, any of your digital platforms, business cards, emails, everything is all the same as your website. Optimizing the site to follow best practices. So that means for SEO, making sure that the information is best optimized not only for the user, but also for search engines.
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And then you are going to be working with the developer to optimize that your tracking is all set up for your matrix, which we’ll discuss later. And then any API or software that’s build into your website is working correctly. And then finally, making sure that the best practices of user engagement are being followed so users are not only getting a good experience, but you’re also getting valuable feedback from them.

Website optimization has a key role within your overarching digital marketing strategy. This step explains why website optimization is so important and how website optimization affects the buyer’s journey.

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