Did you know that Google handles more than 1.2 trillion searches every year? Yep - you read that right! With search numbers only increasing every year, it’s never been more important to optimize your website to set it up for success and make it stand out from the crowd!

Thankfully there are a few things you can do to boost the visibility of your website, capture customer interest and drive conversions. That’s what we call website optimization. In the simplest of terms, when you optimize your website you are improving your website’s user experience, traffic and conversions.

It’s a bit of a buzzword thrown in every small business marketing plan, so let’s break down exactly why it should be on your priority list in 2023.

Why is it so important to optimize your website?

Every business owner, marketing director or creative team loves their website when it first launches. After weeks or months spent polishing the copy, design and functionality, it’s equal parts relieving and exciting to see it live on the world wide web. However, websites that are left untouched after launching will rarely perform well.

If users have a negative experience on your website, you don’t just run the risk of losing their business - but they may also spread the word by posting poor reviews, sharing their thoughts on social media or sending frustrated messages to your support team. In a world that relies more than ever on personal recommendations, this is a situation we want to avoid.

Your website has the power to increase traffic, leads and conversions for your brand, so why not look after it? If you’re ready to take your online presence to the next level in 2023 and generate more leads than ever before, here are some of our top tips to optimize your website.

How to optimize your website

Don’t worry, it’s not that complicated! Check out our quick and easy guide to optimize your website today.

1. Give your landing pages some extra love

As the first page someone lands on when visiting your website, your landing page is what people will use to form their first impression of your brand. Think of it like a shop window - your opportunity to draw people in. A shop display that’s inviting, clear and accessible is more likely to encourage customers to go into the store. On the other hand, one that’s cluttered, messy or hard to see is more likely to overwhelm people and deter them from coming inside.

People should be able to understand what your website does as quickly as possible after coming to your landing page. A few simple shifts like eye-catching visuals, snappy headlines and value-driven copy will engage users from the get-go and encourage them to click through to other pages.

You can also optimize your landing page with a short lead form. These forms invite users to share their information (such as name and email address) in return for something of value from the brand. It may be a weekly newsletter, the brand pricing list or even a capability statement. While they feel like they’re receiving something from your brand and spending longer on the page to provide their information, you’re learning more about who your audience is and how you can contact them. Win-win.

2. Use strong calls-to-actions

Now that you’ve created a website that’s highly visible and user-friendly, it’s time to turn those clicks into results - aka ‘conversions’. When we talk about conversions, we’re talking about when users aren’t just looking at your website - but they’re taking action too. What better way to encourage the audience to take action then by telling them exactly what to do!

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are prompts on a website that tells the user to take some specified action. They’re usually written as a command or action phrase such as ‘sign up’ or ‘buy now’. These are typically found in the form of a button or hyperlink.

How to optimize your website

When looking to introduce CTAs to optimize your website, the first step is to consider what you actually want your website users to do. Would you like them to buy a product? Download a file? Read more content?

After you’ve decided on the action, the next step is to use direct, strong verbs to make your message as clear as possible. Words like ‘discover’ or ‘explore’ have proven to increase engagement, particularly when they’re used in conjunction with color or bold designs. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a big, red, flashing button, but it should always be easy to see.

3. Invest in creating your own content

Content marketing is a key component to any marketing strategy in today’s world and original content is a great way to attract people to your website, position your brand as an industry thought-leader and boost your leads. A steady stream of high-quality content shows search engines you’re doing something of value, which will in-turn improve your SEO. If people are already seeking out the information included in your content, they’re far more likely to stay on your website, trust your brand and become a paying customer.

One type of content that may work for your website is a ‘news section’ filled with informative, relevant articles that attract your target audience. It doesn’t necessarily have to reflect your exact brand offering, but it should reflect the interests, lifestyle and behaviors of your ideal customer. For example, a company selling dog leashes may post an article about ‘how to choose the best collar for your dog’. This draws in people who already have or will soon have a dog, and therefore are interested in the products required to take good care of their furry friend.

In the digital age, it’s also important to use quality images and videos. While you can use stock libraries for some marketing collateral, content created exclusively for your brand will always outperform anything else. The beauty of creating your own images and videos is not only that you will share your offering with more people, but they may also share your content with their network - which is a great way to spread the word about your brand.

4. Use functional links throughout your site

Internal links are hyperlinks that point towards another section of your own website. These links are super important as they allow users to make their way around a website, they establish a clear information flow or user journey, and they spread link equity around websites.

While there is no definite answer to how many internal links on a page are too many, Google has suggested that they can crawl 100s of links per page. However, if you want to optimize your website it’s important to consider the user experience and ensure your links pages aren’t too distracting or confusing.

You can also complement your internal links with external links, which is when the hyperlink directs to a URL on a different site. When you add trustworthy and relevant external links, you can improve the credibility of your website, enhance your website’s authority and improve your overall online performance.

5. Use SEO tools

While these tried and proven strategies are bound to optimize your website, it’s also important to monitor the site overtime and make changes in response to your audience’s behaviors, the latest trends and new online features.

There are plenty of tools available online that can help you see exactly what’s working and what elements of your website can be improved. We suggest looking into the plug-in recommended for your website builder, whether it’s WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace, Shopify or another. These tools may pick up blogs that can be finessed to perform better, headlines that can be workshopped to boost clarity or pages that are too slow to perform well.

Make the most of your website with LeadOwl

Social media is the first thing many business owners consider when marketing their business, and it’s important, but it’s not the only way to stand-out online. Your website is a space that you own completely, so it’s important to spend as much time keeping it polished and up-to-date as you would on your social media marketing plan.

Also, it can be tricky trying to stay up to day on everything you need to know, which is why a tool like LeadOwl can really help turn your website into an always-on lead machine.

Not only will LeadOwl give you access to how you or your team is doing with real-time response metrics, you can also opt for instant notifications every time you get a new lead, send personalized messages to users in seconds, and manage all leads in one place.

To learn more about turning leads into customers and for tips to improve your business, follow LeadOwl on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.