website optimization

By Anastasia Nenova · Updated January 25, 2023

The process of improving the functionality of your website and raising its search engine rankings is known as website optimization, the goal of which is to increase website traffic and conversions, resulting in more revenue.

With that being said, online marketers and business owners often neglect to thoroughly optimize their websites before moving on to other marketing strategies.

However, you can successfully and efficiently connect with your target market, by optimizing your website, without relying on ad investment alone to drive traffic.

What Is Website Optimization?

The process of improving the functionality of your website performance in order to attract more visitors, improve site speed, boost conversion rates, and increase sales is called website optimization.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important website optimization practices.

The method not only concentrates on getting different pages of your website to rank highly in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for particular keywords, but also makes it possible for prospects to find your business as easily as possible.

On-page optimization is the other important factor in this. This strategy makes sure that your website's visitors have the best possible user experience, encouraging them to carry out the necessary action to turn into paying customers.

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Why Is Website Optimization So Important in the Digital Age?

Any modern digital marketing plan has to include web optimization. A website serves as a company's online home, so it must function well, look good, and be kept maintained.

Sales of e-commerce are projected to reach $6.51 trillion globally in 2023

People are increasingly turning to the web to learn more about local businesses; even if you don't offer your products and services online, you really need to be a part of the space in some way.

Sales of e-commerce

When your website is properly optimized, it works 24/7 to connect you with people who are looking for you online. Your website and business will show up when customers search for relevant terms.

The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to the website optimization process is to optimize for both real people and search engines.

Website Optimization Strategies Every Marketer Should Know

Improve On-Page Search Engine Optimization

On-page SEO is the process of making web pages more search engine friendly. It can be made better to signal to search engines that your website provides answers to visitors' questions.

On-page SEO is a component of search engine optimization that raises the visibility of your website in search engine results (SERPs).

A higher SERP ranking on Google will increase organic visitors. 67.60% of all search engine clicks come from the top five organic results.

The following are some on-page SEO tips:

  • Create blog posts and constantly publish current content to improve search engine ranking. To increase your posts' conversion rates, use SEO best practices for blogs.
  • Conduct keyword research and use those keywords in the content, titles, headings, and alternative text (alt-text). To extend the reach of some information, think about utilizing a broad term. All product pages on an online store should also contain the relevant keywords.
  • Use header tags and make sure your web pages adhere to the header hierarchy.
  • Create your own meta descriptions and titles for each page and post.

Technical Search Engine Optimization

Technical SEO is another aspect of search engine optimization. By improving your website's structure, technical SEO makes it easier for search engines to find your content.

An example of Technical SEO report done by ahrefs:

Technical Search Engine Optimization

When you create a website, search engines send bots to crawl it and rank each page. Here are some ways to prevent common technical SEO issues:

  • To effectively map your web pages, your URLs' structure should be consistent. Consistent URLs also make it easier for website visitors to navigate your site.
  • To make it easier for search engines to index your website, create an XML sitemap.
  • If you want bots to crawl your website more efficiently and precisely, submit it to search engines.
  • Prevent duplicate content and broken links from being indexed by search engines.

Mobile Optimization

Your website has to be user-friendly and attractive on mobile devices in addition to laptops and desktop computers. Currently, just over half of all website traffic worldwide comes from mobile devices.

Mobile Optimization

To check that your site functions properly on mobile, you can conduct a basic mobile usability test using Google's Mobile-Friendly Test website optimization tool.

 Mobile-Friendly Test

Basic guidelines for optimizing your website for mobile are as follows:

  • Make your site responsive to all types of devices, including desktop, mobile, and tablet.
  • In a responsive design, scaling your photos is a must for image optimization, especially for mobile users.
  • Use short meta-titles. On mobile devices, they are easier to read.
  • Avoid pop-ups that obscure your content and keep visitors from getting a view of its main points.
  • On a mobile device, less is more. Long-form content doesn't always translate to greater traffic and higher ranks in a world where mobile devices are the primary search engine.
  • Mobile shouldn't be used as an excuse for cloaking. The content must be the same for both users and search engines.

Voice Search Optimization

Now more than ever, individuals are doing online searches not only by typing, but also by speaking. It's crucial to voice search-optimize your website for this reason. 

Voice search has rapidly grown in popularity. According to statistics, 71% of customers prefer voice search to typing when making inquiries. It's important to understand that voice search operates differently from text search, though. 

In contrast to text searches, which typically use 2-3 words, voice searches more frequently use longer phrases or even sentences.

Voice Search Optimization

Source: Thrive

When optimizing for voice search, be sure to include the following:

  • Long-tail keywords, or those with more than three words, as well as several keywords with close semantic relationships.
  • Make use of structured data, such as Schema, to assist Google in better understanding the themes and content of a webpage.

Page Speed Optimization

Website speed directly impacts the SEO of your website and is a recognized Google ranking criterion. If you have an e-commerce site, two seconds is ideal, but your website should load in less than three seconds

With Google's PageSpeed insights, you can assess how quickly your website loads. 

Uncompressed JS and CSS files, the absence of a CDN, the lack of page caching, and large, inefficient files are some frequent issues that cause website speed to load slowly.

With extensions or plugins for your CMS, you can quickly fix the majority of these problems.

Page Speed Optimization

There are several ways to improve website speed, including:

  • Delete unnecessary plugins
  • Minimize the size of images
  • Minimize JavaScript and CSS files
  • Enable browser caching
  • Reduce redirects
  • Reduce server response time

Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals are a group of particular elements that Google believes are essential to the overall user experience of a webpage.

The three distinct page speed and user interaction statistics that make up Core Web Vitals are the largest contentful paint (LCP), the first input delay (FIP), and the cumulative layout shift (CLS).

Core Web Vitals are, in essence, a collection of factors that contribute to Google's "page experience" score, which measures the entire user experience of your page.

This data can be found under "enhancements" in your Google Search Console account.

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This metric measures how long it takes for a web page's primary content to load for website visitors. Google suggests an LCP of less than 2.5 seconds.

First Input Delay (FID): FID measures how quickly visitors can interact with a web page after their first visit. This includes button taps, link clicks, and custom JavaScript actions. An FID of < 100 milliseconds is what Google recommends.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This metric measures the number of layout changes that force the web page's main content to move unexpectedly.

These changes impact the way your visitors interact with your site and read the content. A CLS score of 0.1 or less is what Google advises.

The Top 12 Website Optimization Tools

There are numerous website optimization tools available to assist in effectively optimizing your website. Tools for website optimization assist you in identifying your website's strengths and weaknesses.

You can use tools to detect what is slowing down your website and to optimize the content that is already on it. Some of the top website optimization tools are as follows:

Screaming Frog

Overview

Screaming Frog is an essential tool for any marketer. It's impossible to mention all of this tool's features as it has so many.

It gives you a plethora of useful data about your website and can assist you in identifying everything from duplicate content and helping you find broken links, to meta descriptions and page titles.

Having all of this information in one place is quite beneficial for organizing your website optimization efforts.

Screaming Frog can even be connected to your Google Analytics account to retrieve metrics on web traffic and viewer demographics, among other things.

Top Features

  • Run quick SEO audits on your website
  • Find broken links, page redirects, duplicate content, and review metadata
  • To optimize your website, Screaming Frog creates XML sitemaps and visualizes the site architecture
  • You can plan frequent site audits at desired intervals
  • Sync your Google Analytics and Search Console accounts to monitor the success of your SEO campaigns

Pricing

Screaming Frog Pricing

Prices start at $209 a year for one to four licenses. The more licenses you purchase, the cheaper the payment plan gets.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent web optimization tools for identifying technical problems
  • Provides sitemap cleaning

Cons

  • For new users, the UI can be overwhelming
  • Flexibility is required when comparing various URLs for competitive analysis

Product Rating Summary

The existing users of Screaming Frog SEO Audit Tool highly suggest it for crawling a large number of URLs on small to medium-sized websites. Users are afraid to use it on large websites as numerous users claim that the tool frequently runs out of memory.

However, this problem is easily fixed by storing crawling data on drives as opposed to RAM. Overall, the greatest auditing tool to utilize in our opinion is still Screaming Frog.

overall 

4.5/5

Ease of Use

Features

Support

Price

Hotjar

Overview

Your one-stop shop for collecting qualitative data is Hotjar. It comes with a number of features that make it easy to generate heat maps, surveys, user polls, funnel tracking, and everything qualitative.

Hotjar is easy to use, completely free, and provides webmasters and SEO experts with a wide range of tools to work with.

Top Features

  • Uses click data, session replays, and heatmaps to see the paths that customers take around your website
  • Gathers information about every scroll, click, and website interaction
  • Uses session recordings to observe user behavior and identify web page problems
  • Offers a simple-to-use visual builder for making targeted surveys and gathering feedback
  • To encourage unsolicited feedback, a widget can be customized and added to your website
  • Provides comprehensive data analytics to analyze the data in one location

Pricing

Pay yearly pricing
Pay monthly pricing

Hotjar has one free plan and three paid plans starting from $32 billed yearly or $39 billed monthly.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Multiple site optimization tools are available on one screen
  • To categorize feedback, flexible data filtering and sorting options are available
  • The ability to study, edit, and crop behavioral data for improved analysis

Cons

  • There's a lack of customization options for survey themes
  • Mega menu heatmaps can be confusing

Product Rating Summary

Digital marketers can optimize their conversion rates with Hotjar. UX designers, digital analysts, web developers, and product marketers all use this tool. Hotjar is currently a Contentsquare brand after being purchased by the company in September 2021.

Hotjar's innovative screen recording feature stands out as they allow you to record user sessions and pinpoint exactly what is and isn't working. Hotjar was the first to offer this feature and mix a variety of effective feedback collection features into a CRO platform. Now, its competitors are beginning to release features that are similar to it.

overall 

4.5/5

Ease of Use

Features

Support

Price

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test

Overview

The mobile-first strategy is essential for website optimization for both mobile visitors and for boosting your site's SEO. The Mobile-Friendly Test is useful in this situation.

You can test how your website works on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices using this website optimization software.

The test runs in a matter of minutes and yields useful details concerning any issues preventing your mobile phone from successfully loading the web page.

Top Features

  • Checks to see if your website is mobile-friendly within minutes
  • Displays a list page problems (if there are any) that are affecting the website
  • During the test, the program also performs a crawl of your web page, which is crucial for indexing and search engine ranking

Pricing

Google's Mobile-Friendly Test is a free website optimization tool.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Doesn't require additional setup. Copy the URL, then click to go.
  • Free to use and offers insightful information.

Cons

  • The feedback is mostly technical and requires a developer's assistance.

Product Rating Summary

This web-based tool is free and easy to use for identifying problems with mobile usability on any website. It's helpful both during the stages of development and when creating new content.

Google Mobile-Friendly Test is a practical solution for you if you want to improve your website for Google's search results.

Google’s Page Speed Insights

Overview

Since it has an impact on the page's SEO and user experience, page load speed is very important. One of the tools for website optimization to examine and enhance page speed is Google's Page Speed Insights.

Speed tests are available on both desktop and mobile web page versions.

This optimization tool generates insightful data on the possible reasons for the sluggish loading time of a web page. Although the results are very technical, they are nonetheless insightful.

Top Features

  • Tests the page load time of any website
  • Utilizes in-depth reports to analyze the factors and problems affecting the load times
  • Combines data from the field and lab. While the latter discusses performance difficulties, the former compiles actual user experiences
  • Scores are displayed in metric format, including overall performance, areas that need work, technical difficulties, etc.

Pricing

Google Analytics is a free website optimization tool.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Provides thorough insights into load speed
  • Directly contrasts page speed with criteria set by Google

Cons

  • Not very user-friendly
  • If you analyze the same page again, the results may change

Product Rating Summary

As Google shifts to a mobile-first and UX-based search algorithm, it is more crucial than ever to pay attention to your website's speed in order to rank organically. The Core Web Vitals, which affect your organic performance, has given PageSpeed Insights undeniable importance.

Google doesn't want to direct users to slow websites, therefore the faster your site loads and displays content, the higher your search ranking will be.

The same score that Google uses to evaluate your website is provided by PageSpeed Insights, which is really helpful in this instance. Even better, it identifies the specific factors that are holding you down and lowering your score, allowing you to go back and correct the problematic sections.

overall 

5/5

Ease of Use

Features

Support

Price

Google Analytics

Overview

You can use metrics and figures in Google Analytics to evaluate the outcomes of your site optimization strategy.

For the purposes of SEO and marketing, Google Analytics offers statistical and analytical data on the effectiveness of the website.

You can monitor changes in visitor engagement and page rankings over time, measure sources, top-performing content, web page visits, and other metrics on time charts.

The information is displayed statistically so you can instantly get a bird's-eye view of the overall condition of a website.

Top Features

  • Detailed data reports on the bounce rate, conversion rate, time spent on the web page, and page views of a website
  • Utilizes analytical data to monitor marketing campaigns and determine what is effective
  • Creates audience reports to track demographic and geographic data
  • Provides flow visualization reports that maps a customer's activity on a website
  • To extract the user insights you need, you can create custom reports using filters
  • To stay informed, set alerts for sudden changes in goals or traffic
  • Helps predict the outcomes of various strategies through predictive analysis

Pricing

Google Analytics pricing

The free version of the Google Analytics website optimization tool is a freemium service that offers essential analytics for both small and medium-sized businesses.

However, Google 360 costs $150,000 per year or $12,500 per month if you need more advanced features. Google Analytics has two pricing tiers: free and 360.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Benchmarking and competitive analysis among various tools are made possible by standardized metrics
  • Enhances your key performance areas and assists in tracking your target audience

Cons

  • Initial setup requires the assistance of the dev team and technical skills

Product Rating Summary

The most popular online analytics tool in our opinion is Google Analytics. Even as a free product, it's still widely used.

Although it lacks some enterprise-level functionality compared to its rivals in the space, the introduction of the paid Google Analytics Premium edition is likely to close the gap.

overall 

4/5

Ease of Use

Features

Support

Price

Google Search Console

Overview

A set of tools for website optimization called Google Search Console makes it easier to track and fix your site's performance in Google Search results. It is a set of tools for tracking search queries, website traffic, ranking, crawl data, and other indicators for website optimization.

The best thing is that it offers extensive data about the site's visibility on the SERPs and is free to use. Business owners, SEO experts, and web developers can use this tool to understand how Google views their website.

Top Features

  • Keyword analysis can be run through search queries
  • Metrics like total impressions, total clicks, average CTR, and average position can be used to track the website performance report
  • Verify whether Google has indexed your pages or not
  • Manually submit your sitemap and pages to Google for indexing
  • Look for opportunities to build links by tracking the backlinks to your website

Pricing

Google Search Console is a free website optimization tool.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Keeps track of the performance by countries, pages, and queries
  • One tool for both search engine optimization and website optimization

Cons

  • HTML sitemaps cannot be submitted
  • In the performance report, more filter options are necessary

Product Rating Summary

You can use the Google Search Console web optimization tool to submit your sitemap to ensure there aren't any mistakes, check for security, use site analytics to evaluate the performance of your website, set preferred domains, verify robots.txt files, and improve the exposure of your website, just to name a few. All of these make sure your website ranks higher

Google Optimize

Overview

One of the most popular ways to improve your website is through experimentation, and Google Optimize is one of the best website optimization tools for this. To make data-backed decisions, Google Optimize lets you test your website content, layout, and design.

To increase conversions and visitor engagement, you can develop several experiments to test various website features.

Top Features

  • A/B, Multivariate, Split URL, and Redirect tests can be set up
  • Provides a visual editor to quickly create test variations
  • Visitors can be allocated to each variation according to their device, location, source, and other factors
  • During the test, set objectives to compare how the control page and variations performed
  • Uses the Bayesian approach to instantly determine statistical significance, conversion rate, and other test objectives

Pricing

Google Optimize pricing

In our opinion, Google Optimize is the best free website optimization tool on the market right now. The upgraded version of Google Optimize - called Optimize 360 - offers a few additional perks.

Where advanced A/B test experiment building is required, it performs better than Google Optimize's free version. In order to use detailed customer behavior and segmentation, it also integrates with Google Analytics and Google Analytics 360 (an upgraded version of Google Analytics). Google Optimize costs $150,000 per year or $12,500 per month.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers a Chrome extension that allows you to quickly build variations on the go

Native integration with Google products such as Search Console and Analytics

Cons

  • Unable to segment traffic using attributes from Google Analytics or other tools
  • Only five tests can be put up at once. If you want to perform more tests concurrently, you need to upgrade to Google Optimize360

Product Rating Summary

If you're just getting started with A/B test experimentation, purchasing Google 360 right away might not be economically sustainable for you. Utilize free A/B testing tools, such as the free version of Google Optimize, to evaluate your requirements. If less expensive options don't meet your needs, Google Optimize 360 might be the right tool for you.

Google Optimize 360, on the other hand, is intended for individuals who are familiar with the capabilities of an advanced testing tool and know how to make the most of them. It's perfect for businesses with a big budget who need a tool to manage A/B testing on a regular basis for their optimization efforts.

overall 

4.5/5

Ease of Use

Features

Support

Price

SEMrush

Overview

SEMrush is an excellent SEO tool that provides you with all the crucial information you'll need for to successfully optimize your website and bring in more website visitors. Its link-building and site auditing tools, which provide you with a great 'CRM' style approach to creating backlinks and an incredibly simple checklist of methods to enhance your technical and on-page SEO, are its highlight features in our opinion.

A special mention should go to its "search intent" feature, which enables you to focus on producing content for the target keywords that are most likely to result in sales and conversions.

Top Features

  • Discover the value of particular queries
  • Research the relevant keywords that your rivals are ranking for and the volume of traffic they are getting
  • Discover the backlinks of other websites
  • Study the text and media ads of your competitors

Pricing

SEMrush Pricing

SEMrush have three pricing plans starting at $99.95 billed monthly.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • SEMrush makes an effort to supply as many content marketing, SEO and social media features as it can
  • With 43 trillion URL links, SEMrush is a vast and largely accurate database
  • You can obtain a significant number of reports with SEMrush per day
  • With its extensive CPC competition, ad previews, planning features, and distribution reports, it surpasses other tools in the market

Cons

  • The main drawback to using the SEMrush SEO tool is that each subscription only includes one user account. As a result, you cannot add any team members. Moreover, each additional user would entail a fee of $45 to $100
  • If you have experience with SEO, the tool's user interface and features are easy to understand. Even so, it can still be made much easier for those without experience

Product Rating Summary

SEMrush is a vital tool for businesses that are serious about online presence and website visitors. It offers more than 55 products, tools, and add-ons across online visibility management, including tools for search, content, social media, and market research, data for over 142 countries, seamless integration with Google and task management platforms.

overall 

4.5/5

Ease of Use

Features

Support

Price

Ahrefs

Overview

Ahrefs is an on-page optimization tool and SEO software suite that includes tools for site audits, link-building, keyword research, ranking, and competition analysis.

You can track backlinks on any page, analyze link profiles on your website, search ranking keywords, and more. One of the greatest tools for creating and optimizing website content for SEO and visitor intent is Ahrefs.

Top Features

  • Learn about ranking keywords and other attributes such as difficulty level, search volume, and value
  • Conduct site audits to identify technical problems and backlink performance to improve the pages' performance
  • Assists in conducting keyword research for Amazon, YouTube, and Google
  • Keeps track of the best websites and web pages for a specific keyword
  • Discover the patterns and content behavior surrounding a particular topic
  • Segment, categorize, and export the SEO reports' data into CSV files
  • Utilize the built-in integration APIs to integrate with other tools like Rank Ranger and Tray.io

Pricing

Ahrefs Pay monthly pricing
Pay annually pricing

Ahrefs has four main pricing plans starting at $99 billed monthly, or $83 per month billed annually. There is no getting around the fact that website optimization tools like Ahrefs are quite pricey when compared to many other SEO tools.

That is somewhat understandable, though, with these kinds of solutions, you pay for access to massive amounts of data, including competitor intelligence, in addition to functionality.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Provides insights into the organic search and backlinking profiles of competitors
  • Provides assistance in developing new ideas for website content, blogs, and landing pages

Cons

  • A bit of a learning curve
  • The product menus need inline tips and guides
  • PPC features can be improved even more
  • There's no longer a free trial available

Product Rating Summary

Ahrefs is a well-known SEO software suite with a long list of capabilities, such as technical SEO audits, keyword research, and backlink analysis. Ahrefs has become a market leader in SEO software thanks to its combination of an excellent user interface and world-class data.

Overall, Ahrefs has our highest endorsement. It's one of the leading website optimization tools available right now, in our opinion.

overall 

4.5/5

Ease of Use

Features

Support

Price

(no free trial available)

Moz

Overview

One of the few free website optimization tools that provide in-depth analysis of your site's organic and local SEO is Moz. It emphasizes keyword research to determine customers' intent, increase website traffic, and raise SERP rankings. Moz analysis is an essential component of your website optimization arsenal as it allows you to watch competitors, execute audits, and determine what is working for your website.

Additionally, it offers the Mozbar Chrome addon for mobile SEO metric tracking.

Top Features

  • Finds relevant keywords to raise the SEO and ranks of your website
  • For given keywords, it monitors the monthly volume, organic CTRs, ranking difficulty, keyword suggestions, and other statistics.
  • Keep tabs on your website's ranking, search visibility, keyword rankings, and page views
  • The local listings for your company on Google, Facebook, and other websites can be managed and improved
  • Conduct site audits to identify any problems that are impeding your SEO performance
  • Conduct a competition analysis, customize alerts, and automate insights about your competitors
  • Provides management of customer reviews on Google

Pricing

Moz pay monthly pricing
Moz pay yearly pricing

Each of the four price tiers for Moz Pro provides a different amount of data limits. Their plans start at $99 billed monthly, or $79 per month billed annually.

Like many software providers in today's market, Moz Pro offers a free trial. You need to input your credit card details while signing up in order to access their 30-day free trial.

You will automatically be subscribed to their Medium price plan, which costs $149 per month if you join up for it after the free trial completes. It's vital to remember that other types of plans are not eligible for a free trial.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Helps to understand website visitor behavior
  • Insights about potential link-building opportunities
  • 30 day free trial

Cons

  • Need a thorough training program to guide new users
  • Requires better video SEO analysis tools

Product Rating Summary

The main Moz Pro interface is clean and easy to use. While still part of the Moz Pro suite, it can be disjointed in other areas, with tools like Open Site Explorer providing a separate user experience.

By overlaying information on Google search results while you browse, the superb MozBar Chrome extension integrates Moz Pro's tools into your browser. Any newcomer to the world of organic search should download the Moz SEO toolbar as a minimum standard.

Overall, Moz Pro is among the most user-friendly tools available for beginners who want an overview of key SEO metrics.

overall 

4.5/5

Ease of Use

Features

Support

Price

Optimizely

Overview

The industry-leading platform from Optimizely provides a full suite of technologies for improving the digital user experience, including personalization and experimentation powered by AI that includes server-side testing, A/B testing, and multivariate testing.

Top Features

  • Adjust a number of variables while a hypothesis is being tested
  • Create suggestions and evaluate various algorithms
  • Determine whether a variation has a chance of increasing conversions or not
  • Analyze the behavior of website visitors
  • Use your company's data to identify target markets
  • Create specific criteria for segmentation
  • Using IP addresses as a base to test and target
  • Set up start and stop times for your tests

Pricing

Optimizely pricing
Optimizely pricing plans

Optimizely has four pricing plans. Their Start plan is free and their Manage plan costs $79 per user per month, while their other two plans (Create and Orchestrate) require custom quotes.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • To run tests, you don't need developers.
  • Tests can be run in as little as five minutes.

Cons

  • They frequently alter their prices.
  • Setting up redirect tests is challenging.
  • Making adjustments to a test that is already running is not reliable.

Product Rating Summary

Specifically catering to enterprise customers, Optimizely is an experimentation platform. They provide a robust solution that is aimed at businesses that take testing and personalization seriously and have high-traffic websites.

You can safely run several tests on the same page with their Web Experimentation product.

In order to improve your complete customer experience, you can even use Optimizely outside of your website and on other platforms such as mobile apps and messaging platforms.

overall 

4.5/5

Ease of Use

Features

Support