When building and maintaining your website, one of the aspects you need to pay special attention to is the performance of your website. After all, not every visitor that comes to your website will have a fast and reliable Internet connection. Different people still have different Internet connection speeds, particularly due to the ever-growing use of smartphones which access websites via WiFi or mobile data.
So here is some insightful information on how you can evaluate the performance of your website and see where you’re at.
Keep Track of KPIs and Features That are Important for Your Goals and Niche
An overarching advice on how to track performance of your website is a simple one: keep track of KPIs that make sense for your industry and business.
And a reminder that KPIs are metrics you use to evaluate what impacts your business and how much.
Now, let’s go over some generally useful KPIs for tracking how your website or web app is doing.
Reach and Impact
To get a feeling of the performance, you need to measure the audience’s reach and impact. Reach is the estimation on how many visitors your website may get. Impact refers to the number of visitors that are converted to customers.
This is most frequently measured using the reliable Google Analytics tool. In its dashboard, you can look at the “number of visits” and “unique visitors” section to find out this useful data.
Using Google Analytics to track these KPIs, you will be able to answer:
- Is your audience growing?
- How fast is your audience growing?
- How many users are coming back, or are new ones arriving?
- Where are all these users in the conversion funnel?
Insight like this can be easily interpreted, so you will know if people are, for instance, thinking about your brand, staying loyal to it, and returning to use your services.
It’s not only important to know how many people are returning or discovering your website. It’s useful to also find out your traffic sources, a.k.a. where are your visitors coming from to your website.
The aforementioned Google Analytics tool has an Acquisition section that sorts visitors into different categories. Some of the criteria it uses are:
- Visitor’s location
- Their interests
- Traffic channels and referrals
- Overall demographics
By delving deeper into your audience and how it behaves, you will start to shape who your potential customer is. That, in turn, will give you more information on how to hone your marketing approach and how your website is doing.
And by tracking where your potential customers are coming from, you will be able to tweak your website’s performance better. Pay attention to which traffic channels your visitors are more likely to flock to:
- Social media platforms
- Directory listing
- PPC ads
And finally, pay attention to which keywords brought the visitors to your website to know how your website is doing in its niche.
Time to Interactive
To move on to more developer-centric means of evaluating the performance of your website, time to interactive (TTI) will tell you the time until the web app is rendered and responds to user input.
The higher your TTI, the worse your website is doing. So TTI optimization refers to lowering the time to interactive. Here are some things that indicate a lower TTI:
- Compressed code: Less load time is needed when your code is minified. That means that web page and script files have minimized code, as well, leading to reduced load times and bandwidth usage.
- Preloads: Using the preload attribute means hinting to the browser how the media file should be loaded and what will give a great user experience (UI) to the visitor.
Time to First Byte
Something not to forget is the Time to First Byte (TTFB), which is the speed at which the first bits of information get to the user.
The action occurs after a server connection has been established. A faulty TTFB means that both your SEO efforts and UX can take a hit. These are some ways you can improve the speed of the information flow:
- Optimizing your code: Getting static caches and dynamic content are great ways to improve TTFB.
- Getting a CDN (Content Delivery Network): Apart from dynamic content, you will also have static content. And static content such as images and scripts gets delivered quicker to users through a web of servers scattered across the globe.
- Lower your queries: Lowering the number of images you load and combining CSS files will help with TTFB and lead to overall better UX.
Optimizing your website and/or your web app is a sure-fire way to better conversion and leading customers down the sales funnel.
What we have here is a useful rundown of various ways to deal with website optimization – through both SEO efforts and web dev efforts. If you feel more sure of leaving this job to experts, then you can always get an experienced team such as these.