Simple Ways to Optimize Your Site

Quote image: when things aren't adding up in your life, start subtracting

When a year ends and a new year starts we often reconsider what we’ve done last year and plan for the upcoming year.

Many people attempt to implement huge changes of their life style or business practices.

It’s far better to take small steps right away than to overwhelm yourself with new year resolutions that you can’t really keep.

So I decided to show you a few simple ways to optimize your site. These do not take a lot of time or effort but have a significant impact on your business.

Enlarge your body text and make it more readable

It’s no secret that making your site readable is one of the most important things to make it work.

Yet, most sites are still barely readable and thus ostracize readers or even casual visitors. Readability is about font size, most sites still use too small print (I just increased the size of mine).

It’s about your body text fonts not being fuzzy.

It’s about enough white space for the eyes to rest, including line height and letter-spacing.

Enlarging your body text size is the easiest step of course. It takes a minute. You can do right away. Do it now!

Simplify by removing redundant site elements

Over the past year I have banned Google search on my blog here. Instead of looking up what keywords my users search for I have looked closely at where they come from.

I also checked what they actually do on my site. Most users do not click categories or even use the search input.

New visitors who appear on the site first time sometimes click the recommended articles. That’s all.

I consider moving or even removing some of the legacy blog sidebar elements and finally go one column like many conversion optimization experts preach for years.

You can reach categories, comments etc. from each post anyway, so cluttering the sidebar with them makes little sense. Instead I may be able to make room for even larger and more readable font sizes!

Update existing content and improve its findability

Blogging is nothing new anymore, indeed the Web gets older too. Thus more and more content is online and a lot of it gets stale without ever getting reviewed or renewed. That’s a shame and a waste of resources.

Even in case the existing valuable content is there and it got updated it’s often difficult to locate it onsite. People simply can’t find evergreen content when it’s buried in the “archives”.

I consider making some of my classic resources on URLs more findable for example. They get linked by colleges a lot but its really hard to find them onsite here.

I haven’t embraced tagging on this blog here but I did on other blogs and I see the differences too (hint: tags get used a lot to locate older content).

Add a list of calls to action in your footer

The footer of a site is often a neglected space. Low quality sites tend to stuff it with keywords or barely readable “SEO content”.

Keyword stuffing is nonsense of course. Other sites have no real footer at all. That’s not good either. Why?

Apparently many people who don’t find what they are looking for on your site try to find it in the footer section.

A test has shown an impressive increase in conversions when calls to action have been added in the footer.

Adding a footer CTA is certainly worth a try. Master Your Website has a great example.

Add some brands or website addresses to outgoing link anchor text

Another test has proven that people really like branded anchor texts or destination addresses there.

That means they prefer a book you can buy at Amazon or instead of this cool store or to click here as the anchor text of the outgoing links.

It’s not really hard to implement changes here but obviously it helps with usability and click through rates.

Just imagine you earn money with every outgoing click! How lucrative for affiliate sites for example.

In any case simplicity is your friend when designing and optimizing your site. It’s not about adding features and items. It’s about subtracting actually. Show less but make it more visible.

Do not mimic portals from the late nineties. Make the early Google designs with just the search box your role model.