Website Optimization: Why it's Important and Best Practices

by Timothy Trombley Timothy Trombley | Oct 25, 2020 7:48:23 PM

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is important for any website. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s essentially improving your website’s traffic by improving its site ranking. There is a lot going on in the background of your site which contributes to its ranking. I had a unique opportunity to attend inbound 2020 where I got to learn all about website optimization. I attended Lukas Pleva’s panel “How to Optimize your Website like a Pro”. Lukas Pleva is a product manager for HubSpot CMS, he has 7+ years of product management experience. Lukas covered a variety of topics on website optimization including good qualities, the importance of an optimized website, how to check if a site is optimized properly, what HubSpot does to optimize your site and what you can do to optimize your site. We will review all of these topics below.

Good Website Qualities

One of the key qualities of a well optimized site is that it’s fast. It’s important that the site is fast on whatever device the user is trying to access it from. Whether that’s a desktop computer or a cell phone it’s highly important that the site loads quickly. Another key quality is that the site is secure and protects visitor’s data whilst they visit your site. If a user receives an alert that your site is not secure, they will likely leave and be hesitant to return. Third you want your site to mobile friendly and that it looks great and performs great on mobile devices. Lastly you want the site to be SEO optimized which we cover below.

Importance of an Optimized Website

Having an optimized website is highly important. Firstly, every visitor on your site has expectations and one of those is that the site loads fast. 47% of users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or more. If the site doesn’t load in that time, then users will leave and search for their solutions elsewhere. No matter what the objective of your site is you certainly don’t want users to leave. An optimized site also increases conversion rate. Walmart decreased their page load time by one second and saw their conversion rate increase by 2%. Simple changes will go a long way. Another reason why it’s important is decreased bounce rate. 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. We don’t need to remind you why users leaving your site is bad so make sure your site is optimized properly so users don’t leave before seeing your message or offering. Lastly optimizing your site is important because it improves your SEO rank. In January 2018 Google announced that page speed is a factor in their site rankings. Make sure your site is optimized or you run the risk of losing potential customers.

How to check if your site is Optimized

There is a handful of external tools that you can access for free to check if your site is optimized.

A few great tools are

  • Google Pages Speed Insights
  • Pingdom Tools

What HubSpot does to Optimize your Site

Lukas Pleva works for HubSpot so of course he plugged what HubSpot can do for your site. One tool they offer is the Website Grader, it essentially checks your site and tells your what’s wrong with it and how to change it. They have another tool that crawls your site and checks for SEO related issues. There’s code alerts that surface code issues that affect your site performance. They have Global CDN (Content Delivery Network) it creates a network of servers that allows the user to access files from the nearest server not just the home server. They have CSS and JavaScript minification, this removes line breaks, comments, and spaces in CSS and Java making the file smaller which leads to the site loading faster. Another cool tool is advanced caching which uses copies of files from the user’s first visit, this way the user’s computer is redownloading files each time, this means the site will load faster for the user. Lastly HubSpot uses automatic image resizing, this is important because browsers are given multiple options for the image resolution to load so your images will always look their best. Obviously if your site isn’t hosted through HubSpot you won’t have access to these tools, however the tools are out there if you want them.

What you can do to Optimize your Site

One simple way to optimize your site is through your images. On a typical site images make up 48% of a page’s weight. They also make up 39% of requests, bring your image size down or look to remove them if they aren’t necessary. This will make your site faster because it’s loading less. Tracking scripts are also important, the average load time with scripts is 9.46 seconds and the average load time without scripts is 2.69 seconds. Each script you add represents another HTTP request; less requests makes a site faster. Videos play a large role too, if you have HubSpot host your video in HubSpot. Also use videos instead of Gifs and do not auto-play videos on mobile. A few other ways to optimize your site are listed below.

  • Make sure your site is secure
  • Enable 2 Factor Authentication
  • Minimize external scripts
  • Keep external scripts updated
  • Create safe hyperlinks
  • Load assets over HTTPS


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