The start of a new year often serves as a time for reflection, and for setting new goals for improvement in the months ahead. Though many of us will make easily-broken resolutions regarding exercise or how we spend our free time, this time of year should also serve as a key moment for website owners to re-evaluate how well they are reaching their customers.

After all, delivering a quality user experience is key to gaining new sales and leads through your website. Among the many other goals you may have set for your business in 2019, finding ways to make improvements to your site will have a bigger impact than you might think.

Here are some essential New Year’s resolutions for your site.

1. Speed it Up

Slow loading times can doom even the best-designed of websites. Today’s web users — especially on mobile — don’t have the patience to wait around for your site to load.

Despite this, Google research has found that “the average time it takes to fully load a mobile landing page is 22 seconds… yet 53 percent of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.”

Taking steps to reduce site loading time will be crucial for increasing your conversion rate. Using a high-quality web host and server is a good start, but you can further improve site speed by compressing image files, reducing the number of plugins and redirects on each page, and taking other steps to reduce HTTP requests.

2. Cut Down to the Useful Core

Far too many websites overwhelm their visitors with an overabundance of content — much of which isn’t even related to their core products or services. In other situations, individual pages may have so much text that the core sales message is lost.

While providing additional resources through a blog can be a great way to improve SEO, the rest of your site’s content should be simplified and streamlined. The main experience needs to provide value to the average site user, guiding them through the buyer’s journey.

To keep things simple, evaluate each page on your website. Carefully consider what content is truly needed. In addition to condensing menu options, you may find that some pages can be eliminated altogether. In many cases, content on individual pages can be trimmed to more effectively communicate your core message — helping you find more leads.

3. Leverage Video’s Value

You may not consider yourself to be a video guru, but the value of this audio-visual content can’t be understated. Engaging video content gets viewers to stay on your website longer — something that Google and other search engines view as a sign that your site is relevant and useful. As a result, strong video content can improve your SEO rankings.

Videos can also prove highly persuasive. In fact, one study found that landing pages that featured video content increased conversion rates by a whopping 80 percent. Engaging video content can clearly explain your unique value proposition, further cementing your call to action and enticing users to take action.

Parting Thoughts

2019 will undoubtedly bring new changes to SEO, design practices, and other factors that will impact the effectiveness of your website. By getting a head start with these essential “resolutions”, you will be better equipped to keep your site relevant and useful so it can deliver the results you’re looking for.