The Ultimate Checklist to Optimize Your Website

 

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Websites are getting bigger and more complicated by the day. Video, images, and custom fonts are all great for showcasing your product or service. But the price to pay in terms of reduced page load times and ultimately, decreased sales, could lead to some difficult decisions about what to cut.

 

Web loads speeds are integral factors in determining your SEO and how long customers will stay at your site. But web design, as important as it is for driving traffic, can also get in the way of your ultimate goal of bringing customers and revenue. In other words, you must avoid page bloat at all costs!

 

This is why businesses today, more than ever, must develop a clearly defined web performance optimization strategy. In fact, web monitoring should be an integral part of your web design best practices. To be clear, web performance optimization (or WPO) is the science of making your website perform better so it increases visitor retention, improves SEO, and drives more sales.

 

 

To give a great case study of how WPO works, consider what 37signals (now Basecamp) did with their Highrise marketing website. Using A/B testing, the company did multiple tests to determine the best plan for their landing page. In one case, the original background was white and cluttered with information. A dramatic change was made by replacing this white background with a picture of a person smiling.

 

The new landing page led to an increase in signups at the Highrise site by 102.5%!

 

This list provides another 99 great case studies of how WPO made a huge difference in website conversions.

 

In what follows, we take things further by providing you a brief checklist of the key steps to ensuring your website performance optimization strategy is on track.

 

 

Keep Things Fast!

 

Website conversions are integrally tied to the speed of the site. One second saved in download time can make all the difference between a sale or a bounce.

 

 

Check Your Web Hosting

 

Your web hosting may offer “unlimited bandwidth” but if it involves shared services with other websites that impacts overall performance, then is it really worth it? It’s always a good idea to periodically review your hosting plan to ensure you’re getting the best value for your dollar.

 

 

Make Your Site Mobile First

 

Having a “mobile first” website is critical to success in today’s digital marketplace. If you don’t believe it, just consider that mobile commerce transactions in the United States alone are expected to total $123 billion in 2016

 

 

Image Optimization

 

“Page bloat” – or the practice of cramming websites with high density images – has gotten out of hand and is the number one culprit for long page loading times. Don’t bloat your website! One of the best ways to ensure proper image optimization is to adopt correct sizing and formatting for all your images.

 

 

Go Easy with Affiliate Codes & Ads

 

Ads and affiliate code are good . . . up to a point! But when you go overboard, this can lead to high bounce rates and can adversely impact your overall website performance. Constantly check how third-party applications impact your load speed!

 

 

Cache Often

 

Caching is a mechanism for the temporary storage of web pages in order to reduce bandwidth and improve performance. This saves server time and makes your website faster overall.

 

 

Use a CDN

 

Content Delivery Networks deliver the static files of a website, like CSS, images, and JavaScript, through servers that are in closer proximity to the user’s physical location. Every second that you save in download time is dollars in your pocket.

 

 

Make Your CTA Front & Center

 

Don’t make your landing page a game of “guess where to check-out the merchandise.” Visitors don’t want to spend extra time trying to figure out where to complete their transactions. Your Call to Action should be front and center on the landing page.

 

 

Adopt Cloud-based Website Monitoring

 

Imagine having all of the vital statistics for your website in a nice convenient dashboard, and getting alerts about trouble spots long before they reach impact your customers. Cloud hosted web monitoring is the crucial component in today’s digital marketplace. IT system monitoring is first of all a real time data that can help you respond to problems. You cannot do without monitoring tools, if you hope to optimize and maximize your application’s performance.

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