Optimizing your WordPress website for speed and conversion can make a big difference.
Why should your WordPress site be optimized?
Let’s talk about a few reasons.
The first reason you should do this is to ensure that your website is optimized since it creates a better user experience and the second reason is to increase your chances of being found in search engines. With WordPress optimization, you’ll be able to provide your visitors with even more value and grow your business even more. That means everything your business wishes for in terms of conversions and revenue will be well within reach.
So far, it sounds great, doesn’t it? Let’s go one step further and analyze the data.
If your site’s loading time exceeds 3 seconds, over 50% of the visitors will leave the website. By enhancing your site’s performance, you can lower your bounce rate and keep your loading times blazing fast. By delivering such a stellar interface, you can not only leave a great first impression but get more customers as a result of gaining a great user experience. Let’s see that translated into money, shall we?
Taking Amazon as an example, they tested this theory and found that it boosted sales by 1% by decreasing their loading time by one-tenth of a second. Given the profits they earn, these numbers are highly significant.
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When I say “optimize your site,” what does that mean exactly?”
It can be defined in many different ways, but generally, I am talking about factors beyond just beautiful design to create an improved user experience. Here are some questions you should ask yourself regarding your site’s experience:
- Can people find your website organically?
- Is your site easy to navigate with screen readers?
- Do your images load quickly?
- Is your site mobile-friendly?
You’ll discover your site has significant potential for improvement by answering these three questions.
It’s not a question of why you should optimize your WordPress site, but rather how.
What are the features of WordPress that can help you with performance?
It is vital to track your site’s performance before you start working on optimization. Checking your website’s metrics now will enable you to identify what’s performing well and what you can improve on. What metrics to pull from your site depends on your specific business objectives, but here are some I suggest to get you started:
- Average time-on-page
- Bounce rate
- Click-through rate
- Sales and lead conversion rates
- Search results rankings
- Page speed
Considering how your site performs compared to other similar sites, you will want to pay particular attention to page speed and search rankings for your top keywords.
To determine how quickly your website loads, you can run a page speed test on your website. These browser-based tests are simple to run, but they do not always provide a perfect measure of how fast your site loads. They can be great tools to assess the impact of changes on your site.
The best page speed test for me is from Google Insights. It’s super simple: You have to enter the URL of your site, and it will analyze your site, then give you suggestions to make it faster.
You can monitor your site’s performance by using tools like Pingdom Tools and GTMetrix to compare different metrics. Otherwise, you can go to Google Test and see how your site scores.
Now that you have a sense of how your site is currently performing, it’s time to make it even better. There are seven wonders of WordPress optimization:
- Making your site mobile-friendly
- Updating the WordPress core, plugins, and themes
- Keeping track of your plugins
- Caching your site content
- Adding a content delivery network
- Optimizing site images
- Minifying your code
What is the best way to optimize your WordPress site?
It is essential to write your site content in a simple, straightforward manner so both search engines and visitors can understand it. Otherwise, you will not rank well for the specific keywords you desire.
You can download Yoast SEO, a highly effective SEO plugin, from the WordPress Plugin Directory for free, but it’s also available in a premium version if you need more advanced features. Besides the handy suggestions Yoast provides on how to optimize your better site content, the plugin also relies on a host of features that constantly update each time search engine algorithms change.
The WordPress Plugin Directory also includes Google XML Sitemaps for free download on your site. This plugin gives you a sitemap to help the search engines better crawl and index your site, helping you rank your newest pages.
To review, using plugins that do exactly that will help you structure your site content effectively both for your users and for search engines. If you want to maximize your site’s performance, be sure also to add an SSL certificate.