This month at SocialB we’re looking at our favourite free tools and tricks for digital marketing success! Here’s part 2 to the “Free and Simple Ways To Improve Your Website” piece we shared a couple of weeks ago.
Learn More About Your Visitors
Google Analytics is brilliant at telling you what your visitors are doing, but it doesn’t always help you understand why they’re doing it. Hotjar can give you some qualitative info to work with – combine this with Google Analytics and you start to build a comprehensive picture of what is and isn’t working on your website.
Hotjar, and other similar tools like Qualaroo or Clicktale can show you how your visitors are interacting with your web pages through heat maps and even recordings of individual sessions. You can also set up polls and surveys to pop-up after a visitor has spent a certain length of time on your site, so you’ve got a fast way to answer your biggest questions about how your website could be improved.
It requires minimal development work, aside from adding a bit of tracking code to your site. It’s a free tool on a limited plan – paid plans available for additional features, but the basic free version is enough to get you started. For more details on how the tool works, my colleague Paul wrote a really helpful piece on Hotjar last month.
Optimise Your Images
It’s so easy to add images on your website incorrectly that this could be a blog all by itself. The main point is, for each image used on your site, consider the image’s file size compared to the physical space it occupies on your webpage. It can be a tricky balance to strike, but the bottom line is you need to reduce the file size of your image as much as you can without compromising the quality. Doing this will enable your pages to load faster and give a better user experience. You should also try to use PNG files over JPEGs wherever possible.
While you’re at it, make sure all your images have alt-tags, or “Alternative Text”, describing the picture and what it’s meant to show. That way, if an image doesn’t load, loads too slowly, or your website visitor is visually impaired, they can still get an idea of what the image would have been about. It’s also important for SEO: Google places a relatively high value on alt texts to determine what is on the image but also to determine the topic of surrounding text. With that in mind, make sure you include your page’s keyword in the alt tag of at least one of the images used on that page.
Identify And Optimise Your Most Visited Webpages
Whatever your website’s main objective is, make sure your most visited pages are working as hard as they could be to drive those enquiries, downloads or sales. This could be as simple as making sure there’s a call to action – for example, if you’ve got a blog attracting a lot of organic traffic, point the reader to another relevant post they might find interesting. Google Analytics will tell you what your most popular pages are, while Hotjar will help you identify the most popular parts of those pages and what could be improved!