It is common knowledge that creating a WordPress website is not too difficult. Truth be told, there are other CMS tools but one will have a hard time finding a platform that is more user-friendly. And that is precisely why the popularity of WordPress is still sky-high. However, creating a website is only the beginning. Your next step is to optimize it, which is also very important. What’s more, it is the key to the success of your online business and that is why you should never overlook this aspect.
If a website is not optimized, conversion rates are bound to drop. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to learn how to optimize a WordPress website. This is not a simple issue, so you need to know some of the most important aspects of the optimization process, such as the following:
- hosting plan
- website layout
- CTAs (calls-to-action)
Read on to learn more about each of these steps and optimize your WordPress website for conversions.
No one likes waiting. What’s more, many people simply can’t afford to wait while browsing the web. That is exactly why website load time has to be your top priority when it comes to optimization.
Waiting for a website to load for too long, can turn away many users and cripple the conversion rate. The vast majority of people expect sites to load in two seconds. And if you want fast loading time, a rule of thumb is to avoid using shared hosting plans.
Bear in mind that having a poor hosting plan guarantees a low conversion rate. The solution is to have a reliable website hosting plan so that the server does not take too long to process HTTP/HTTPS requests and MySQL commands. To have an idea of how your website performs in your industry, test its response time and compare it to competitors’ websites.
Also, know that load balancing is crucial for website speed. If you expect your website to have a lot of visitors at once, you will probably need more than one server. With good load balancing, the speed will never be a problem, since the traffic will be equally distributed to the servers, preventing the website from going down.
Code plays a major role when it comes to the quality of a WordPress theme. Using a theme that is poorly coded is something that you cannot afford if you want to create a high-converting website.
Going for a design that is simple but well-optimized for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets is a good start. Do know that search engines favor a mobile-responsive design and never forget that a lot of visitors come to a website from their phones.
Therefore, having a website that is easily accessible from numerous devices increases your chances when it comes to conversions.
If it is possible, test a theme before you actually buy it. Nowadays, a number of developers create demo websites using their own themes to display their features, so you can easily see what they look like on different devices.
Do you really need an endless list of plugins on your website? Many people don’t ask themselves this question and this leaves them with a slow website. It is as simple as that. The more plugins you use, the more performance issues a website will have.
However, it is worth noting that the number of installed plugins on a WordPress website is not always the reason why a website is slow. Sometimes, a single plugin will decrease website speed. That is why doing some research before installing a plugin goes a long way if optimization is the goal.
The way to determine what plugins you should use is to ask yourself the following questions:
- How much CPU does a plugin use?
- Are there too many calls to external servers?
Fortunately, there are quite a few plugins out there that you can use to find out how much of a strain other plugins add to the website. One of them is P3 Profiler, a really popular plugin. This plugin was developed by GoDaddy and it offers exact figures of plugin performance along with a comprehensible chart.
Using P3 Profiler will help you determine how other plugins affect your website load time and whether you should keep using them on the website.
One should not judge a book by its cover. However, humans are visual creatures and when it comes to websites, well, looks matter. A website layout plays an important role when it comes to conversion rates. That is why it is important to keep it as clear and elegant as possible.
The layout includes quite a few elements such as website navigation, page structure, and CTAs. If a user has a hard time navigating through a site, chances are that they will leave it without thinking too much. That is why a person or a team behind every successful website always makes sure that the navigation is easy and that the site is visually appealing.
There is nothing worse than visiting a website and spending half an hour looking for something. Moreover, nobody does that anymore. If your website does not help your visitors find information easily, they will look for the same information on your competitors’ websites. And that is something you probably don’t want to happen, right?
Optimize the layout as much as possible will considerably reduce the chances of people wandering through your website.
In addition, CTA placement has to be optimal. It is not easy to predict how users will behave on your website but there are numerous case studies offering some rather useful insights as to where you should place your CTAs. Some of the most effective places are above the fold and below the fold.
And this leads us to the final tip.
Calls to action are your ultimate weapon when it comes to increasing the conversion rate on your website. And that is precisely why you should go the extra mile in your efforts to optimize them.
There are a number of aspects that you can experiment with in order to optimize CTAs:
- placement (already mentioned above)
Be careful when choosing the shape, size, and color of the CTAs. Even though they always have to be prominent, never go for too bright colors and huge text. The reason for this is very simple – many people will find it repelling and immediately lose interest in converting.
Instead, your call to action has to be prominent but subtle, informative but simple, well written, and of course, in the right position on the page.
The best way to determine what really works is to do some A/B testing. Fortunately, there are CTA plugins which basically run two different versions of a CTA at the same time so that you can see what works best for your audience.
Getting conversions isn’t the easiest thing in the world and you know that. However, a slow and poorly designed website will only make things worse.
Rest assured that you’ll follow the mentioned strategies and successfully optimize the website will bring you new users, a higher conversion rate, and ultimately, more revenue. Still, it is necessary to put enough effort into every single aspect of the optimization process if you want to achieve tangible results.