Many times over, you have read or been told how websites serve as the face of your business. But how do you gauge your site’s performance? What are the essential performance indicators that will tell you how well your website performs? Read on for some helpful information about the key performance indicators that define your website’s performance.
What makes identifying these website performance indicators a difficult job is the fact that most indicators are dependent on what you want to achieve for your business through your website. However, there is a common principle of all businesses that opt to go online that said if your business is inaccessible to your customers, then you cannot expect him to do business with you. A forecast of the number of online shoppers projected that over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online in 2021 (source: Statis).
Following this concept of the growing number of people worldwide who prefer to do business online, this is how we trim down the many varying indicators to 3 key performance indicators that are common to all businesses.
Uptime refers to the period of time when your website is operational. The opposite of uptime is downtime. If your business online presence is a ‘software as a service’ (SaaS) or an e-commerce site, you should know by now that this #1 key performance indicator on our list is the most basic and most important. Your online accessibility says so much about your brand and your reputation as a company. Especially if your site aims to reach a worldwide market, all the more you should watch out for this indicator. For online businesses, it is a competitive advantage to stay online all the time. The world is round, and we all know that. Because of this, the world does not sleep because of differences in timezones. Your potential customers do not sleep, and will potentially make business with you any time of the day. And so should your website!
Your website’s uptime is measured in percentages. The closer you are to achieving and maintaining 100% uptime, the more potential to get high traffic on your website. Ideally, network administrators target to be on the ‘five-nines’ or 99.999% uptime percentage. In face-to-face customer service, businesses strive to serve their customers with utmost satisfaction. In an online setting, customer satisfaction is chiefly influenced by your site’s accessibility anytime and anywhere. That is the power we give our consumers when we opt to offer them our products and services on a digital platform. Imagine, your site experiencing downtime while your customers are browsing for information about your business. We do not want that to happen. This is why website uptime is in our #1 spot. A down site equates to lost opportunity. And the success of your website is measured through the number of opportunities it can bring to your business. These opportunities will translate to business revenues.
The closer you are to achieving and maintaining 100% uptime, the more potential to get high traffic on your website.
2. TIME TO FIRST BYTE (TTFB) AND PAGE LOAD TIME
When you go digital or the moment you decide you want to create a website for your business, it is important to remember that in the online platform, faster is always better, and speed is almost everything. When you win the patience of online customers, that means customer satisfaction and customer delight in one. In fact, 51% of users leave the site if it takes more than three seconds to load. How do we keep these two at a stable percentage?
First, it is best to understand the technical definition of the terms. Time to first byte (TTFB) refers to the calculated time of a web server’s reactivity. It is the measure of a web server’s speed through a data transmission with a user and is measured in milliseconds. IT people used these guidelines to gauge if your TTFB is great or poor:
- 0.1 – 0.2 seconds: very good
- 0.3 – 0.5 seconds: good
- 0.6 – 0.9 seconds: average
- 1 – 1.5 seconds: above the average
- 1.6 seconds or slower: very bad
Page load time is the period of time to download or view the complete page of a website. This begins when a user keys in a web address or clicks a link until the page is fully loaded. Unlike the TTFB that is unnoticeable to the end-users, the page load time can affect the customers. There are two factors that define page load time: internet connection and browser time. It is, therefore, affected by the user’s location, the type of browser, and the device used. The geographical location of users, for example, can slow down page load time. But you do not have to worry about this. We do not present to you problems without solutions. A Content Delivery Network is the solution. CDN is a globally distributed proxy server that maintains the high availability and performance of your website regardless of the user’s location.
Spending on a service that boosts the performance of your website in terms of TTFB and page load time is a very good investment if you want your site to provide a great customer experience without taking too much time to become accessible. Remember the figures, 51% of online users will most likely not buy your products or avail of your services if you have a very bad TTFB and a very slow page load time.
Faster is always better, and speed is almost everything.
3. FIX THE BROKEN LINKS
When your website says “Page cannot be found” or “Page error 404”, these simply mean your products or services are not available to the users. When a user clicks a link to your site or within your site, it is an expression of interest in the products that you sell or the services you offer. Your website content becoming unavailable at the moment your customers need it is not okay. Broken links not only shoo away potential clients but also affects your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or your page ranking on the browser.
Your website content becoming unavailable at the moment your customers need it. It is not okay.
The search engine spiders are your browser’s indexing tool. The entire concept of the World Wide Web is made up of hyperlinks that will lead you to explore all the website contents. Let us correct you if you think that website content is what this web is all about. NO. The browser’s search system is about links. Wherever these links will lead to, the engine spiders follow. And when you lead these crawlers to a broken link, they will stop to follow. And as a result, your content cannot be found by search engines, leading to poor SEO ranking.
Everything boils down to this: a great website is one that makes sure both the user and the technical side of website management are well taken care of. If you invest in uptime monitoring, regular page load testing, and broken links monitoring, you are laying a stable foundation to a high-quality performing website that, in return, provides a great user journey and experience through your site. And everything else will follow.