Small but Powerful Opportunities for Website Optimization

Collaborative workspace with laptops, mugs and other office supplies with navy blue text reading "small opportunities to optimize your website for local seo"
 

Website optimization can be intimidating. However, by making small tweaks and updates you can improve the overall internal and external quality of your site. First, it is important to optimize your website for conversions and also for search engines such as Google. This will not only provide a great user experience (UX) but will also help your business get higher rankings in search engines, increased traffic, and the overall goal, more conversions! 

What Is User Experience?

“User Experience (UX),” according to usability.gov, “focuses on having a deep understanding of users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations. It also takes into account the business goals and objectives of the group managing the project.” 

When you design and optimize your website through the eyes of the user, you provide them with a valuable, memorable experience that will leave them wanting more. This is represented through the factors of the User Experience Honeycomb:

  • Usable
  • Findable
  • Credible
  • Accessible
  • Valuable
  • Desirable

Now more than ever, consumers notice (and expect) quality user experience design. As you audit your website or design one from scratch, put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. If you don’t feel good about the experience your site provides, why should they?

What Is Search Engine Optimization?

Next, companies who want to be seen need to optimize their websites for search engine optimization (SEO). SEO can seem complicated, but understanding and implementing the basics can truly take your site to the next level. One aspect of SEO involves improving your website’s visibility so users can discover you more easily. It also includes processes for increasing website traffic, optimizing your content to increase conversions, and making sure your website works the way it should (fast, relevant, and helpful). 

How to Optimize Your Website for User Experience and SEO

Now that you know more about user experience and SEO, let’s dive in and learn how you can put them into action.

1. Make sure your website is mobile optimized. 

First, it’s not just important, but it’s now necessary for your site to be mobile-friendly. Did you know that Google switched to mobile-first indexing for all new websites? This means that Google will crawl a new website for mobile optimization before the desktop version. With more users searching on mobile devices than ever before, it is imperative that your website is mobile-friendly.

Mobile-friendliness includes font sizes, button sizes, and how easy your page navigation is for users, among other elements. If you’re wondering exactly how to optimize your website for mobile, we first recommend running Google’s free mobile-friendly test to find out how you score and discover optimization opportunities for your site.  

2. Provide users with relevant content. 

Next, your website should clearly explain who you are, where you’re located, and what you do. Without this key information, how can users understand how you can help them? We also recommend creating specific pages for each product or service that your business provides. This will not only give the reader a better understanding of your services but also provide you with SEO opportunities. For example, if you’re a plumber that provides various plumbing services, you can break down each of your offerings on their own designated pages. By doing this, you have the opportunity to:

  • Target specific keywords on each page
  • Increase internal linking opportunities
  • Provide users with specific, relevant content about your business
  • Provide users with answers to common questions
  • Increase conversions and get more business

3. Prioritize website speed optimization.

Did you know that most users expect websites to load under five seconds? Website page speed is so critical that users will leave a site before waiting a few additional seconds for it to load. Even if they decide to wait, they could still be frustrated and disappointed by slow loading time and abandon your site. Also, Google has stated that website page speed affects rankings, so make sure that your site loads quickly for your users as well as search engines. 

To check your current page speed, use the free PageSpeed Insights tool by Google. There are also small adjustments that you can make to optimize your website speed, including: 

  • Use a reliable host for your site
  • Enable caching
  • Optimize and compress your images
  • Minify HTML, JavaScript and CSS

4. Display clear calls to action.

Lastly, make it possible for users to easily contact you or perform an action, such as signing up for your newsletter, with an effective Call to Action (CTA). This can include form fills, click to calls, learn more buttons, or contact buttons. You should also consider the placement of your CTA. It should be clear, noticeable, relevant to the page’s content, and direct the reader to the right place.

 Ideally, your CTA will be above the fold, or near the top of the page. However, there are instances where placing a CTA below the fold, or further down the page, makes more sense, such as a “Book Now” button after a piece of content discussing a service that you offer. 

Want to Improve Your Website or Local SEO? Contact LSM! 

Website optimization can seem like a daunting feat, but knowing the basics will give you a running start. Begin by looking at your website and finding small opportunities to add a CTA, adjust image sizes, or develop a service page to get started. For more help, contact LSM! We provide SEO and Local Search services and would love to create the best strategy for your business. Happy optimizing!

Website Page Speed Optimization Guide

A modern workspace with a laptop and desktop next to a plant and water bottle

 

Website page speed is a critical component of web performance. It can make or break a user’s experience on your website as well as impact conversion rates and sales. Page speed is so important that the first five seconds of a page’s load time has the highest impact on conversion rates! To learn more about page speed, why it’s important for your business and tips for page speed optimization, keep reading.

What Is Page Speed and Why Is It Important?

Page speed measures how long it takes for the content on a page to load. It is also referred to as “page load time” and “time to first byte.” Page speed is a foundational component of web infrastructure. Having excellent page speed can help drive conversions and aid in successful web performance. On the flip side, when a page takes too long to load, visitors are more likely to abandon the site and find information elsewhere, which can lead to higher bounce rates.

Aside from impacting user experience, page speed also affects how search engines crawl, rank and index a website. If a site or page loads slowly, then search engines may not have the crawl budget to crawl all of the content, which can also affect indexation. 

What is the Best Page Response Time?

If you’re wondering how long a page should take to fully load, the simple answer is the faster the better (or under four seconds). According to Moz:

  • 0-4 seconds is best for conversion rates
  • Pages that load under one second convert approximately 2.5 times higher than pages loading slower than five seconds
  • Conversion rates double for sites that load under one second compared to sites with a two-second loading time

As you can see, seconds and even fractions of seconds can affect page speed. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to improve your website page speed, drive more conversions and provide a positive user experience. 

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How to Improve Website Speed in 7 Steps 

First, to analyze your current page speed, you can perform a free website speed test by utilizing Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. From there, we recommend the following best practices to improve website speed and web performance: 

1. Enable compression – Compressing files to reduce the sizing of CSS, HTML and JavaScript files larger than 150 bytes improves page speed.

2. Reduce redirects – When a page redirects to another page on your site, visitors may wait longer while the HTTP request-response cycle completes. Steps to take:

  • Fix internal linking
  • Eliminate redirect chains

3. Remove render-blocking JavaScript – If your browser finds a script while rendering a page, it has to pause and fetch the script before continuing to load. Avoid using render-blocking JavaScript, especially above-the-fold. 

4. Minify JavaScript, CSS and HTML – Optimize your code by removing spaces, commas and other unnecessary characters to improve page speed.

5. Leverage browser caching – Browsers cache a lot of information so that when a visitor comes back to your site, the entire page doesn’t need to reload. 

6. Improve server response time – The optimal server response time is under 200 ms. Server response time is affected by several factors, including the amount of traffic on your site, the type of software your server uses and your hosting solution. 

  • Check for slow database requests, slow routing and lack of memory

7. Optimize images – Make sure that your images are in an appropriate format, no larger than they need to be and compressed for the web. 

  • PNGs are typically better for graphics with fewer than 16 colors
  • JPEGS are best for photographs

Want to Maximize Your Web Traffic? Contact LSM!

Page speed is crucial due to its impact on search ranking, user experience, and can impact overall website conversions. At LSM, we provide search engine optimization solutions, website design and development services, and more to help businesses boost rankings, increase traffic, drive revenue growth and increase conversions. To learn more about page speed optimization and how our digital marketing agency can help your business thrive online, contact us today! 

LSM Recognized at the Nashville Business Journal’s 2018 Small Business Awards

Local Search Masters was selected as an honoree for the Nashville Business Journal’s 2018 Small Business Awards, an award recognizing  small businesses making a big impact in the Nashville business community! Honorees undergo a rigorous judging process in which the judges analyze a variety of criteria, including revenue, marketing plans, employee growth, and overall strategy.

“We’re thrilled that our dedication to innovation and client services has earned us this recognition for the sixth time.” said Chris Conlee, LSM’s COO. “We’re privileged to be considered one of the best small businesses in Nashville, and we look forward to seeing our fellow nominees at the awards ceremony!”

The awards will be hosted on July 26 at The Listening Room Café.  We look forward to celebrating this achievement at the awards ceremony.

LSM Partners With Waze

Expanding Our Digital Advertising Platform

To increase our clients’ exposure to potential customers, LSM has become a certified Waze partner. Through this partnership, we’ll have access to a Waze account manager who will support the optimization of our advertisements by providing us with strategies and assistance in creating complex campaigns, trainings, and more.

“LSM is ecstatic to be expanding our digital advertising platform capabilities to Waze,” says Leah Harrington, LSM’s Senior Director of Product Services. “It just makes sense in today’s mobile-driven world to be in the palms of our clients’ consumer base.”

About The Waze Platform

Waze’s community-based platform was created as a way of connecting drivers so that they could work together to deliver updates on driving conditions. As a better navigation tool, Waze provides users with accident reports, police traps, and other hazardous conditions.

The Waze app has become increasingly popular as over 80 million active users utilize the navigation app, and recently, Waze began giving businesses the opportunity to advertise on the app. This opportunity puts businesses in front of potential consumers, making those who advertise through Waze likely to gain more customers simply due to the fact that their information is in front of users moment they need it. Waze research shows that 51% of users chose one business over the other because the information provided was useful. With so many consumers valuing quick, helpful information, we believe that our Waze partnership will be another opportunity to increase certain clients’ visibility–especially that of restaurants, beauty franchises, and fitness facilities.

Justin Nabozna, LSM’s Waze representative, says, “Local Search Masters has done great work on Waze, and we’re excited to partner with LSM moving forward!”

Your Opportunity

We are excited to work with Waze to boost our clients’ brands on this platform. If you think that Waze may be a good option for your franchise, contact us today!

LSM Wins ‘Marketing Effectiveness: Campaign – Content Marketing’ Award

Thanks to our work with Brain Balance Achievement Centers, Local Search Masters won the ‘Marketing Effectiveness: Campaign – Content Marketing’ award at the 2018 Communicator Awards. We are excited that our Google advertising and user experience work was such a success!

Founded in 1995 as an international awards program, the Communicator Awards recognize businesses who exhibit excellence in marketing and communication. Sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, the Communicator Awards program receives over 6,000 entries from large and small agencies every year. Winners are determined based on their innovation and craft in the field.

“We appreciate our partnership with Brain Balance Achievement Centers, and I’m thrilled that our work with their brand is being recognized by such a prestigious panel of judges” says Local Search Masters’ CMO, Matt Job.”

By using content marketing and UX optimization, LSM was able to increase conversions for Brain Balance Achievement Centers by 437% and decrease cost per lead by 370%.

Congratulations to our fellow winners like IBM, Deloitte, and Toyota! We are honored to be recognized alongside such prestigious brands!

Google Publishes Case Study About LSM’s Advertising

Last August, we were named the winner of the ‘Growing Businesses Online Award’ in North America at the 2017 Google Premier Partner Awards! The award recognizes the top-performing Google Premier Partner in North America for their contributions to digital marketing, product innovation, and client growth.

A perk of winning the award is Google publishing a formal case study about the services performed and results provided. Check it out below and read how LSM increased Brain Balance Achievement Centers’ PPC conversion rate by 437 percent!


LSM’s work drove a 225 percent increase in website traffic and a 381 percent return on investment for Brain Balance Achievement Centers.

Contact us today and learn how we’ll provide your brand with exceptional results.