5 Best Practices for Optimizing Your Website

If you’re managing a company website or completely revamping your current site, you know that optimization takes some preparation and thought. 

When you’re a building materials distributor, there are several aspects of a redesign that you’ll want to consider that are specific to the buildings material industry, especially if you run an e-commerce site and want to market the products that you sell. 

There are a few rules-of-thumb to keep in mind, and what follows are a few best practices that building materials distributors should use to make sure they’re providing the best experience to site visitors. 

#1: Always Ask Your Audience

Before you dismantle your entire site, take time to determine what your site visitors actually want when they come to your website.

“The first stage in any new website optimization campaign needs to be focusing on the customer and helping them achieve their objectives and accomplish tasks,” writes Lee Wilson for Search Engine Journal.

And how do you find out what your visitors want? By asking them. You can either reach out directly to trusted customers or send your email list a survey (or both). And you should already have a way to track site analytics, so you’re able to understand which pages or products are most popular. 

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Getting started can be a little daunting, but there are helpful resources that provide guidelines for tracking analytics. Your research should tell you: 

  • Which pages people frequent the most

  • Where people spend the most time on your site

  • Who your users are 

  • How your visitors find your website

The research will take some legwork, but the information gathered will help you deliver optimal solutions for your visitors. 

“You can also discover any actions taken that over-performed in the past, too,” says Lee. Make it as easy as possible for your site visitors to get to the pages they want, and not have to click through your site for important information, like your contact page. 

The ultimate goal is to optimize your site so that visitors want to use it. You want to make sure your audience can get what they want from your site, when they want it. 

#2: Build a Team and Execute Your Plan

Once you’ve done your data collecting, you should have a clearer picture of how your audience is using your current site and what you need to change to improve their experience. This will determine your website optimization plan of action, so that you can set priorities according to what your audience wants. 

Once you determine your overall goals, you’ll want to make sure you have the resources (or team) in place to make those changes happen. Assign a project manager so that you’re not trying to tackle all of the changes at once, and so your team stays accountable. 

And if you’re handling the process on your own or are working with a small budget, don’t fret. “There are plenty of options for building and designing a website for free, many of which require little to no coding knowledge,” writes Caroline Forsey for Hubspot. If you’re working with a professional web developer or team on your site, set expectations for roles and responsibilities on the project. 

#3: Optimize for Search

If you want people to find your website online, you’ll want to make sure you come up as a top result when they do a Google search. 

That means optimizing your site with content and information that your audience wants (and that they’re already searching for) … and it comes down to the keywords that you use. 

Keywords are the most popular search terms or phrases that people use when they find you on Google. Tools like SE Ranking or Moz can help you determine your website’s keywords, so that you’re able to optimize your website (and bring in more visitors). 

“Don’t underestimate the power of optimizing your site for both browsers and humans,” says Denis Pinsky for Forbes. “Develop compelling, readable content for your followers. For the search engines, always include all important on-page SEO tags and elements, including schema and XML sitemaps.” 

These elements make it easier for customers to find you online. They’re like roadmaps for content that you want Google to know about, so by submitting an XML sitemap to Google, you’re giving Google information about the most relevant, important pages of your website. (You can dive even further into this topic on Moz.)

 #4: Keep Conversions in Mind

Now that you know how people are finding your site, it’s time to keep them there so they’ll convert from being a visitor to a lead (or paying customer).  

That means developing “sticky” content and pages that don’t just engage your audience, but compel visitors to stay in touch with you. All of your landing pages, product pages, blog articles, etc. should keep your visitor and their journey through the website in mind. Let’s take a look at how that might work. 

Maybe your audience wants helpful information on fire-rated products for their commercial building. You know this because of your experience with customers, but also because of the keywords that your site is ranking for. 

To keep those visitors interested in your services and products, give them information that helps to answer those specific questions, like Smoke Guard did with this blog article about designing a building with a fire suppression system.

The blog article can link to the products or solutions that you offer throughout the post, and you can include a “call-to-action” at the end of the post so that they’re able to act and contact you directly. 

Make it easy for your visitors to get the information that they’re asking for. This is especially true if you have an e-commerce site where visitors can purchase products: It should go without saying that your site’s checkout process should be intuitively easy (and completely secure). 

#5: Stay Savvy With Today’s Tech

Keeping up with innovations in the construction industry isn’t for the faint of heart, and that goes for digital marketing, too.

Your competitors are going to be fighting for the same visitors that you are, so stay ahead of the game by ensuring the following is in place: 

  • Mobile optimization: There’s a really good chance your visitors are looking at your website on their smartphones, so be sure to optimize your site for mobile use. If visitors open your site on their phone and it doesn’t load, you’ll lose them. (Even free website builders like Squarespace include mobile optimization, so don’t skimp on this feature.)

  • Website speed: Don’t slow down a potential customer’s search with long loading times. When you only have a few seconds to grab the visitor’s attention, you don’t want to waste that time on images taking forever to load: Studies show that 40% of site visitors will leave if the page takes more than 3 seconds to load. 

  • Chat functionality: When a visitor has questions about a product, give them the answers they want as soon as possible. Installing a chat function on your site can help to keep potential purchasers interested in your products and helps with customer service.

If you keep these strategies in mind, you’ll do a world of good for customers or any site viewer that wants information on your products. Give them the content and information that they’re already looking for, in a clear and engaging way, and you’re likely to wind up with devoted and loyal customers. 

Let us know if this article helped!