Did you know that slow websites cost businesses $2.6 billion in sales each year? A high-performing website is the backbone of companies in the digital age. With billions of active websites online, it’s imperative to test website performance to maintain a healthy website that gives customers a seamless user experience. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of website performance and five KPIs to optimize it for your business.
What is website performance?
Website performance is the speed that web pages are downloaded and and displayed on the users web browser and a field of knowledge that objectively focuses on the experiences that users have on a website.
Why is website performance important?
Data shows that 88% of online consumers say they wouldn’t return to a website if they had a poor user experience. Website performance isn’t just important - it’s critical. Web performance shows what new and existing customers experience on a business’ page and that can help make better decisions about design, infrastructure, browser and image loading, caching, and encryption to satisfy the needs of your customers, build loyalty, and remain competitive in the industry. Here are a just few reasons why web performance is important.
It allows users to consume more content
When a page is fast, users are more likely to explore all the page has to offer, and therefore, are more likely to make a purchase. Whether you’re a blog, e-commerce site, or service agency, a high-performing website with up-to-date vitals makes it easier to convert new customers and maintain old ones by allowing them to browse a webpage quickly and efficiently.
It dictates the user experience
Website performance directly impacts how a website’s content loads. Browser and image loading, caching, and encryption are huge aspects of the user experience that builds loyalty between a brand and new and existing customers. If the content offered, like blog pages, images, and e-commerce items don’t load when users need them to, they’re less likely to consume them and more likely to abandon the site.
It decreases bounce rates and abandonment
Bounce rate, or abandonment, is when a user gets to a webpage and then leaves without converting. It is a valuable KPI that almost always implies a lack of connection to the audience, a misunderstanding of messaging, or a performance issue. Inadequate mobile interfaces, lagged loading times, poor content quality, and error 404 are all reasons for performance-related bounce rates. When a bounce rate is above 60% this means that your product and service potential isn’t reach customers and needs attention.
It improves search ranking
A business’ success is extremely dependent on its ability to rank and build authority through Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). In July 2021, Google released their new Core Web Vitals (CWVs), a list of new requirements used to measure a web page’s health, assessed by content loading speed, interactivity and visual stability. As more and more businesses move to ecommerce stores and establish themselves online, it’s critical that they measure website performance regularly to make sure that their customers are getting the best experience possible when visiting their website. When page performance is optimal, it allows the SEO, keywords, messaging, and marketing to do their jobs.
5 KPIs to optimize website performance
In order to efficiently utilize KPIs to optimize web performance, it’s important to know and use demographics of your customers and identify areas of slowness for them on the page. While defining baseline metrics is a key step to achieving the goals and objectives you want to see on your website, here are 5 KPIs you can’t go wrong with.
Visits are the number of new and returning guests visiting your website. Measuring visits is a great way to see how often your page is receiving visits and trends on when there is an increase or decrease in traffic.
2. Page views
Page views measure which page on your website is getting the most traffic. This measurement is helpful when considering what visitors are attracted to most on your website and where they’re navigating to after they reach your landing page. For example, if your Services page is receiving the most visitors, then you know most visitors are interested in the services you offer, but you may not have a button or call to action that helps them take the next step to schedule a consultation or contact you directly.
3. Traffic Sources
Traffic sources indicate where your traffic is coming from. Utilizing your traffic sources is especially important when paying for ads or collaborating with another business, because you can quantify how impactful your partnership or investment was in receiving traffic from those channels.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website from search engines. Primarily, this is done through:
- H1 Texts
- Video: Rank higher on search engines
- Site Maps
- Page Speed
5. Bounce Rate (Abandonment)
The bounce rate or average session time is the duration of time a visitor spends on your website. For example, if your analytics show a trend of a high bounce rate on your landing page, your landing page may not be offering users what they need to solve the problem they came to your page with. Using bounce rate is a way to experiment with a call to action or guiding visitors to engage in behavior you want from them.
For new businesses, establishing website performance starts with choosing a modern, performance-optimized foundation or infrastructure. After a high-performing infrastructure is in place, then you should measure performance objectively across multiple devices. On the other hand, existing sites should consider a monthly optimization budget and begin chipping away at the lowest hanging fruit and highest value items as the budget allows. Whether you’re a new or established business, it’s important to be reasonable about the limitations your existing system might have. If you’re at a standstill with your website performance optimization, consider scheduling a consultation with our team of digital experts at Tragic Media!