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The Essential 5-Step Lifecycle of Website Optimization [Infographic]

The Essential 5-Step Lifecycle of Website Optimization [Infographic] Blog Feature

Justine Timoteo Thomas

Director of Inbound & Content Services, Host of Creator's Block Podcast, 10+ Years of Project Management Experience

December 22nd, 2018 min read

When was the last time you optimized an element or page on your website?

If you had to pause and think about your answer, it’s been too long.

As Growth-Driven Design preaches, website optimization should continuously happen to keep up with current trends, customer behaviors, and help ensure your site is performing at its best.

All too often people misconstrue website optimization with a website redesign, but the truth is, a website redesign is just one possibility and facet of it.

Website optimization encompasses a wide array of ways to improve your website’s performance. From on-page SEO factors to conversion rate optimization, the opportunities are endless -- literally.

In the below infographic from CrazyEgg, you’ll learn the five key stages of website optimization and it’s so important to regularly update and optimize your website:

1. Research and Identify Gaps

First things first, research.

It may seem overwhelming when you are just getting started but know you can’t do everything at once. You need to do some research to identify critical areas you can improve on.

I always recommend starting with some competitive research to get a gauge on how others in your industry are utilizing their website as a reference point.

Look for gaps or areas your competitors are lacking that you could capitalize on.

2. Develop Ideas to Test

Once you finished your research, start making a list of experiments you can test based on what you learned. One of my favorite elements to optimize and test are on-page SEO factors.

If you’re a novice, focus on meta tags like page titles, URLs, and meta descriptions. Map out your entire site and use the keyword research you compiled from step one.

If you’ve already optimized the basics, think about taking it one step further and look at your page load time.

We previously noted a study from Akamai where “about half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less. If it isn’t loaded within 3 seconds, those users tend to abandon the site.” Seeing as the users’ experience is the most important, Google took note and announced page speed was a ranking factor for mobile earlier this year.

3. Run Experiments

Now the real fun begins. Note your starting data or metrics, set goals, and determine what success looks like.

Run your experiment for about 2-4 weeks and then collect your end data.

4. Evaluate Results

Based on your goals, was your experiment a success? If not, don’t get discouraged! Not every experiment you test will end in positive results but all experiments are worth it for learning purposes.

If it was a success, great!

If your experiment was limited to a specific page or part of your site, apply it elsewhere for even more success. For example, if you tested out a new landing page template to see if the layout could increase your conversion rate, you most likely only applied the new template to one particular landing page.

Now that the test was a success, you can apply it to all landing pages and keep tracking results!

5. Apply What You Learn to Future Experiments

Take note of what you learned from your experiment and see if you can build off of it. Then, pick the next test on your list!

Remember to always test one thing at a time so your experiments don’t overlap or muddy the data.

What’s going to be the first you test for your next experiment? Let us know in IMPACT Elite, our online community of ambitious marketers, salespeople, and inbound professionals.

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