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Important Website Performance Metrics You Should Monitor
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Everyone knows how frustrating it is to wait for a website to load. In today’s world, users will likely switch to another similar site and take care of their needs at that site. From a business point of view, a website that is experiencing uptime issues or has impaired performance causes financial damage. Over the past few years, it has become more challenging to meet the expectations of the internet users. They want an interactive site with great content, superior graphics and some unique elements on the websites to have a favorable impression. However, the addition of some unique elements especially could lead to the risk of something going wrong with the site or increase the page loading time. Having an otherwise good website that is attractive to users will not help if the site is slow, malfunctions or regularly experiences downtime.
You should keep track of few metrics to know how your website is performingproperly. What exactly you need to monitor depends upon your business. But, here are some general indicators that every website owner should track from time to time to assess the user experience of the site visitors.
This is the most basic and significant part of any website performance monitoring, its purpose is to ensure your website is online and available for users. When your website is down even for a few minutes, it may affect your brand reputation, customer loyalty and sales. The longer the downtime and the more often your site experiences downtime, the more severe are the negative consequences. In today’s business environment to be competitive you have to achieve almost 100% uptime.
Time To First Byte (TTFB)
After initiating a request to the webserver, the time to first byte (TTFB) represents the time taken to receive the first byte of information back from the webserver. This is used to measure the responsiveness of the site. It is also often used to check if the website IT infrastructure has been designed properly.
Page Load Time
The page load time represents the time taken to display all the content of a webpage. This metric is important because even if the TTFB is satisfactory, a visitor to your site can only interact if all the elements of your page are downloaded. For a non-technical person, this metric is what they consider as the speed or responsiveness of the site. The user experience and speed of the site is determined by the speed of the page load time.
Traffic is an important indicator of your online success. Unless there is sufficient volume of visitors, the business objectives or the marketing goals cannot be met. It is also important to ensure that the web traffic is largely relevant to your site. Visitors who are not relevant are of no use to your site and achieving your goals.
This metric is also helpful to assess how many visitors your website can accommodate at a time. You may need to upgrade your servers from time to time to deal with increased traffic; otherwise your website may not function properly due to inadequate infrastructure.
You have designed your website to facilitate the flow of visitors to certain outcomes based on their needs. Different types of users may interact with your site in slightly different ways. For example: some may land on your ‘Home’ page and go directly the ‘Products’ page, while other visitors may check out the ‘About us’ page first. This flow of the visitors through the various paths is captured in an easy to understand process flow illustration called as the user journey
Depending on the website, users have to go through different processes. Your goal should be to ensure that the journey of your user through the website is smooth and they can perform their desired task without any glitches.
In addition to all the technicalities, content quality of a website is the leading factor for conversions. Valuable information that informs and solves the queries / problems of the target audiences leads to successful outcomes on your website. Another dimension of the website quality is the aesthetics of the website. This is a broad topic covering many aspects, but the key thing is that the first impression should create a positive emotion for the user. Such an experience greatly helps to engage the visitors and prevent them from leaving your site. It is good practice to conduct website quality audit from time to time to ensure that it fulfills the need of web traffic.
These are basic metrics that you should regularly keep an eye for your website. Not only that, you should make necessary adjustments to improve your site performance in order to succeed online.
Alertra is a leading provider of web site monitoring and alerting services. We monitor the availability and performance of Internet-connected devices. As part of website monitoring service, we provide timely alert notifications and access to detailed reporting. We offer monitoring service to all sizes of businesses right from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.
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