Get certified as a Hotjar pro! Take our new course to get your official Hotjar certification. Learn more

Learn / Guides / Website optimization benefits

Back to guides

The 8 website optimization techniques you need to be using

Your website is your most powerful conversion tool. But if it isn’t optimized correctly, you may be pouring hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars into maintaining it each year with very little ROI. 

A website that isn’t properly optimized won’t draw potential customers to your page, and the visitors that do make it probably aren’t staying for very long, meaning you’re missing out on valuable user engagement and conversion.  

Last updated

13 May 2022

With the right website optimization strategies, you can transform your website into a conversion powerhouse that brings in leads, entices them to explore your site, and eventually convinces them to become loyal, paying customers. Discover how you can do just this with our list of eight effective website optimization techniques. 

Optimize your website with Hotjar

Use Recordings, Heatmaps, Surveys, and Feedback tools to learn exactly what your users want to see—and optimize your site accordingly. 

Why website optimization is key to maximizing user experience

Website optimization is the process of maximizing general website performance. This includes processes like fixing bugs and page speed, improving SEO, optimizing usability across devices, and UX design analysis. It is the key to creating the best possible user experience for your page visitors.

The benefits of website optimization include increased traffic, longer user sessions, more conversions, and higher revenue, making optimization a win for both your business and your users.

8 valuable optimization techniques for creating a solid website

Let's take a look at eight strategies that will help bring in new visitors and improve the user experience on your site. 

1. Home in on user intent

Having a deep understanding of your users and product is absolutely crucial to website optimization

For an ecommerce website, that may mean having descriptive product pages, high-quality images, and a streamlined purchasing process. 

For a SaaS solution, it may mean providing a clear value proposition on your website, as well as helpful and concise explanations about how your service helps users with their jobs to be done.

But even if you know your users and your product, it can be hard to gain a deep understanding of user intent without taking a close look at user behavior. Use Hotjar Recordings to become a fly on the wall and see firsthand how your users interact with your website. 

You can take these insights and analyze them to discover what user intent is when someone visits your page. This may lead you to modify your call-to-action (CTA) buttons, restructure your page, or do whatever else it takes to give users what they’re looking for. 

#Harness the power of Hotjar Recordings and follow your user' full journey around your website
Harness the power of Hotjar Recordings and follow your user' full journey around your website

2. Optimize content for both readers and search engines

SEO isn’t just for search engines. While on-page SEO is important for SERP rankings, it’s arguably even more important for users. 

Break up long chunks of text to make content more readable using tables, bullet points, and images. Include plenty of headings and subheadings to create scannable content. And employ a well-planned keyword strategy so you know you’re creating content that your users actually want to read (and can be easily found on SERPs).

#Optimizing your website is important for both the user experience as well as search engines
Optimizing your website is important for both the user experience as well as search engines

Remember: even if you nail your keyword strategy and your content is easy to read, nothing replaces quality content. People are not machines, and they want to get real, actionable value out of what they’re reading.  Users can spot keyword-stuffed, low-value content that is purely produced for SEO purposes—and it pushes them away. 

3. Establish content authority

By establishing content authority, you position your website as a leader in your industry. One of the best ways to establish content authority is with pillar pages and topic clusters

A pillar page is a piece of website content that explores a specific topic closely related to your product or service in depth. So if you’re an ecommerce company whose primary product is running shoes, you should have a pillar page about running shoes. 

Topic cluster pages link to each other and back to the pillar page, and they tend to focus on a more detailed, usually long-tail keyword (search phrases with longer word counts) directly related to your pillar page. Topic cluster pages for the running shoes website could include 'best cushioned running shoes', 'best daily trainer running shoes', 'best beginner running shoes', 'best running shoes for long distances', and so on. 

Your website can (and should) have multiple pillar pages and topic clusters. You can even repurpose old content to create this topical organization.

4. Perfect your site’s technical SEO

While improving technical SEO may seem like less of a user-focused task, three web vitals play a crucial role in the user experience: loading speed, responsiveness, and visual stability. These web vitals can be improved by optimizing images, using a browser cache, and removing large page elements.

Tim Parker, director of marketing at IT services and consulting firm Syntax Integration, highlights that “technical SEO makes it easier for search engines to find your content”, which in turn makes it easier for users to find your content.  

He recommends the following actions to improve a website’s technical SEO: 

  • Improve site structure: the format of your URLs should be consistent for you to properly map your web pages. Create an XML sitemap to make it easier for search engines to index your website.

  • Optimize crawling and indexing: be sure to submit your website to search engines so that bots can crawl it more quickly and accurately.

  • Find and fix broken links and duplicate content: prevent search engines from indexing pages that have broken links and duplicate material, which can actually hurt your SERP rankings.

Having a solid backlink strategy is one of the most important things you can do for your off-page SEO. Backlinks, which are links on other websites that refer visitors to a page on your site, are important for growth as they help your users find you on SERPs.

Aside from their SEO benefits, backlinks also help you build relationships with other key players in your niche and establish yourself as an industry authority, which helps to cultivate user trust in your brand and product. 

Watch out: not all backlinks are created equal—and low-quality backlinks can actually hurt your SERP rankings. Avoid links from spammy, low-authority, irrelevant websites, and be aware that backlinks in blog and forum comments, as well as keyword-jammed press releases, won’t help your off-page SEO.

6. Keep conversions in mind

Users need more guidance than most businesses expect, so if you aren’t clearly laying out the steps that they should take when they visit your site, you’re missing out on big conversion and sales opportunities. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is all about understanding what inspires your users, as well as what stops them from taking action. 

Is your value proposition clearly stated on your site? Are your CTAs enticing and obvious? These are all elements that you can analyze with Hotjar Observe tools like Heatmaps, helping you understand what users do on your website—where they click, how far they scroll, and what they look at or ignore. Viewing actual user activity on your page will give you insight into what parts of your website aren’t resonating with your customers so you can address them in the best way possible. 

#With Hotjar Heatmaps, you can see what parts of your website draw users in and where they’re falling off
With Hotjar Heatmaps, you can see what parts of your website draw users in and where they’re falling off

7. Listen to actual website visitors

Aside from watching your users, you should also be listening to them! Getting user feedback is a key element of knowing the strong and weak points of your website.

With Hotjar Surveys and Feedback tools, you get real-time opinions from users while they are still on your website. That way, the opinions they’re sharing are as fresh as possible. Furthermore, with Hotjar’s Ask tools, users can even highlight the parts of your website that they like or don’t like, so you know exactly what needs to be addressed. 

#Hotjar’s Feedback tool allows you to get inputs from website visitors in real time
Hotjar’s Feedback tool allows you to get inputs from website visitors in real time

8. Constantly analyze the user experience

UX research should be an ongoing process, so even when you think your website is optimized, keep digging deeper to see where you can improve. Hotjar Heatmaps and Recordings help you continuously discover what’s making visitors stick to your page and where they drop off, letting you spot user issues you might otherwise miss. 

Some Hotjar users make viewing Session Recordings a regular event. At Spotahome, the engineering and product teams get together for regular 'Hotjar parties' (complete with expensed pizza and drinks), where they can stay up to date on user experiences and stop blockers and bugs that could be creating a frustrating product experience. 

UX research never ends, and with the right tools, it can be an incredibly powerful strategy for website optimization.   

Watch out: You can spend months analyzing user behavior on your website, but that’s no good if you don’t take action! Use A/B testing to find out what works and remember it’s a process of trial and error. We recommend using a tool like Google Optimize to test out different scenarios on your website and discover what resonates with your visitors.

“When optimizing a website, you should always be looking to ask yourself how much business impact the work you're doing is going to have. That impact could be measured in a number of ways, but will likely come down to revenue growth and new customers. And while it's imperative to improve these metrics through website optimization, you should also take care to place your users and potential customers at the heart of any decisions you take.”

Sean Potter
Content and SEO Strategist at Hotjar

What’s holding you back from having an optimized website?

Having a website that’s easy to find and enjoyable to navigate depends on a number of components. The following are some weak points that may be preventing you from having an optimized website: 

  • Slow-loading pages: if your website takes too long to load, chances are your users aren’t waiting around. According to Portent, the first five seconds of loading have the highest impact on conversion rates, as conversion rates drop 4.42% with each second of load time during those first five seconds. Make sure your visitors are finding value in your page by designing it to load as quickly as possible.

  • Bugs and broken links: are bugs inhibiting visitors’ ability to move around your pages? Do broken links hold them back from browsing other pages on your site? Bugs and broken links are simple fixes that can quickly improve website performance. 

  • Poor SEO: if your content isn’t properly optimized for search engines, then it’s probably not showing up in the search queries made by your potential users. Your website should be optimized for SERPs (that includes keyword selection as well as off-page and technical SEO) so your target audience is finding you as soon as they search for the type of product or service you offer. 

  • Poor content quality: is your content and copy hard to understand? Are users missing out on a prominent product feature? Does your content match your users’ intent? Misguided, outdated content is a huge detriment to user experience, and improving your content is one of the best things you can do for your visitors.

  • Bad UX design: your website’s UX design can make or break your users’ desire to keep browsing and eventually convert. Your website should always be designed primarily with your user in mind, meaning that a visitor’s experience should be enjoyable, valuable, relevant, and intuitive.

  • Lack of usability across multiple devices: usability across devices becomes more important every year, and in 2020, 68.1% of all website visits came from mobile devices. So if your website isn’t optimized for smartphones, you’re missing out on the potential to improve the experience for a significant number of users.

  • Limited user and product knowledge: you can’t optimize your website if you don’t understand who your users are. Similarly, you can’t properly market your product if you don’t have a clear-cut vision of what it does, who it’s for, and why it stands out from your competitors. Understanding your users and product is one of the most important steps in building an optimized website.

Use website optimization techniques that work 

For any website, from ecommerce sites to software solutions and everything in between, optimization should be a part of a regular site maintenance routine. Once you make website optimization a priority, you’ll start seeing benefits like improved user satisfaction, higher SERP rankings, extended time-on-page, and increased conversions. 

Most importantly, an optimized website means happy users who can find your product or service and discover how it can improve their lives. Implement these website optimization techniques to start making your website work for you—and, more importantly, your users.

Website optimization made easy with Hotjar

Use Recordings, Heatmaps, Surveys, and Feedback tools to learn exactly what your users want to see—and optimize your site accordingly. 

FAQs about website optimization techniques