It’s not every day you find watershed improvements in your web data that you can immediately attribute back to 1-3 simple action items you recently took on your website, but since we’re constantly tweaking and testing, it just happened to us, and we feel the need to share it with you right away.
Now, to many of you already familiar with the impact of Page Speed Load Time on SEO Rankings (which goes along with Optimization for Mobile Web), this won’t come as a surprise.
But, in our true style, we don’t just believe all we read. We test, we analyze and we make data driven decisions.
So, here’s what we did to improve our website’s engagement levels by 95% OVERNIGHT.
1. We eliminated some unneeded content on our long scroll homepage. Data showed us originally that the wide format, long scroll homepage was most effective to lower bounce rate, increase pages per visit and average session duration, all of which increase conversions, but when content isn’t being looked at our clicked on (insights we gained from heatmapping data), it needs to go. Seriously. It needs to go because getting rid of it minimizes the amount of images and words that the webpage needs to load, and increases the Page Speed Load Time, which keeps search engines, and most importantly, VISITORS, happy and engaged.
2. We changed a hero image with words at the top of our homepage to JUST WORDS. We got rid of the image. The image wasn’t relevant anymore to our business, and we didn’t have a replacement, so we said “screw it, let’s see if this works,” – well it has, to the tune of a 95% better bounce rate.
Now, we’ve also recommended moving background imagery based on data. Moving background imagery takes up far more bandwidth than even imagery, so this may seem counterintuitive based on other blog posts and reports, but remember, data has to be examined on a case-by-case basis. Every website is different, loads a different amount of content, main navigation items, images, and has a different target audience.
However, regardless of vertical, we know that if your website is loading slowly or has a high bounce rate, implementing #2 on our list will help.
3. We removed a “preloader.” A “preloader” is a fancy graphic that shows before the page loads. We are immediately going to all of our clients with preloaders and sending them this post.
This is typically something easy to turn off. It’s one more thing that the server doesn’t have to load (making the page load faster), and as we all know, every split second that a user has to wait in order to see what they came for increases the chances that they’ll bounce.
Not only have the web engagement numbers been extremely more positive since these changes, but even more leads have come through our website forms, which is what we all need, right?