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Website optimization (aka, conversion rate optimization) is a scientific approach to improving the performance of your website. Ideally, any potential customer who visits your site will like what they see and do something (call you, submit a lead form, sign up for a newsletter, etc). These actions are called “conversions” and your “conversion rate” is the percentage of your visitors that actually do what you want them to do.
As you can probably imagine, the better your website meets people’s needs, the more likely they are to convert. So, if you can optimize your website, you can get more value out of the traffic you are already driving to your website!
To put it simply, website optimization is all about improving your user experience so that people will be more likely to convert on your website. Many businesses try to optimize their user experience by completely redesigning their website from time-to-time, but let’s face it, no matter how well you know your target audience, people are unpredictable.
In other words, if you try to optimize your website without good data, you might end up decreasing your conversion rate instead of increasing it.
As a result, true website optimization is a scientific process. You come up with a hypothesis for a change you think will improve your conversion rate and test that hypothesis. If you’re right, you change to your new and improved website design. If you’re wrong, you stick with the original design.
The best part of this website optimization process is that it teaches you about your target audience. You learn what they like and dislike, which allows you to come up with even better hypotheses and tests in the future. Over time, you may end up with a website that you never would have come up with on your own—but it’s a website that is perfect for your traffic.
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