What is website optimization?
November 14, 2022
Website optimization is a term used to describe improving your website’s performance. There are three main ways to optimize your website;
1. Usability Optimization
Your visitors should be able to easily navigate the website, read your content and get to their destination page in as few clicks as possible. There are countless ways to accomplish this, but we recommend focusing on the following:
- Keep your main navigation to fewer than 7 items
- Make sure your website design remains familiar. This includes using consistent visual elements like colours, font styles, and reusing the same layouts where possible throughout your website.
- White space is very important and allows the eye to not get overwhelmed. This includes making sure there is a enough line height spacing between text, text doesn’t span the full width of the screen and different sections on the page are clearly distinguishable.
- There should only be one ‘call-to-action’ per section. If a section contains more than one button the user would have to stop and think about which button to press. It’s important to keep your website simple and help direct your audience to their goals.
2. Accessibility Optimization
Optimizing your website to be accessible for users with all abilities will help your business reach a larger audience. Here are a few key items to ensure all users can access your website with ease:
- Your website should be compatible with screen readers so users who are visually impared can understand the content on every page.
- Many users may be unable to use everyday tools like a keyboard or a mouse, so ensuring that all links or items with interactions can be tabbed to in an organized order can allow all users to navigate through your website with assistive devices.
- Users who are colour blind may struggle to see elements on your website if there isn’t enough contrast, like navy text on a black image or yellow text on a white background.
- Videos loading directly on your website should be transcribed so users with hearing issues can access the content.
3. Search Engine Optimization
Once your website is optimized for usability and accessibility, you then need to find ways to get users to visit your website. You can do this by implementing proper search engine optimization (SEO), which will allow you to appear on search engine results pages (SERPs) like Google. There are many ways to optimize your website for search engines, but here are a few priority items we especially recommend:
- By reusing key terms within your content as reasonably often as possible, your website will likely rank when the user is searching for them. If you run a web design company (like we do!), you likely would want your website to appear in the search results when someone searches for key terms like “Toronto web design” or “custom websites in Toronto”.
- Make sure your website loads quickly. Website visitors are impatient and studies show that if they have to wait for more than 5 seconds for your site to load, they will likely drop off. Try to keep your website’s load time to 3 seconds or less.
- Make sure your images have ‘alt’ attributes. This is content that describes your images for search engines, so they can know what each image is about. This is also a prime area to add your key terms and shows that you’re committed to making your site accessible to all users!
- Make sure every page has one unique ‘title’ and ‘description’ tag. If you have a WordPress website, you can likely control these settings on every page using a plugin like Yoast.
Properly optimizing your website is the key to your business’s success. There is a lot more to optimization than what is written in this article, so we recommend reaching out to us at 416-347-9883 and we would be happy to help you improve your website design and performance.