Monitor Your Site Load Times to Maximize Your Web Presence
In the article “Is Your Web Design Hurting Your Website Performance?”, we discussed the fact that you are losing customers if your web pages are not loading fast, in particular people who are visiting your website on their mobile devices, in a growing number.
So, naturally, the next question is: “How do you know what page load times your web visitors experience?”.
Well, Google Analytics provides you with all the necessary data to understand how your website performs, so you can make the necessary adjustments in a very targeted manner, to maximize the important investment you have already made on your website.
Google Analytics Site Performance Data
Google Analytics provides you with tons of data on site performance, and it is not “generic” data on your site performance (like you can get with Pingdom), it is data on the experience of YOUR website visitors. You can monitor load times for the individual web pages of your site, for desktop users, mobile users, and per browser. You can actually cross-tab this data with Google Analytics page views data, allowing you to focus first on the most visited pages and address in priority the “problem” pages with high loading times. As your mobile users might not be visiting the same pages as your desktop users, you can look specifically at page views and load times, for either desktop users OR for mobile users. Talk about actionable data every web marketer wants to see!
Google Analytics also provides you with other site performance data such as average domain lookup time (it’s important to know if your domain lookup settings are right, there is no excuse for having domain lookup affect load times), average server response time and the impact of your caching strategy on load times for “new” versus “returning” visitors.
Adjusting Your Web Pages to Improve Load Times
With that data on hand, visit the “problem” pages on your website and talk to your web designer to understand what is contributing to the high load time: large images, high number of images on page, scripts, flash, etc. You’ll be able to address any problems on each page individually and monitor the impact of your adjustments on Google Analytics later.
Monitoring Your Web Marketing Efforts with Google Analytics
In conclusion, take advantage of the wealth of information Google Analytics can provide your business so that you maximize the ROI on your web marketing efforts.
Does it sound reasonable to spend 5 to 10% of your web marketing efforts to monitor adequately your web presence performance in order to improve it? We think so.
Hey, but make sure your analytics person stays up-to-date with the fast-moving Google Analytics platform. Changes are occurring at an exponentially growing pace, Google is launching new features monthly if not weekly these days, and “Universal Analytics” is just around the corner, which will change things even further…
We’d love to hear from you: How are YOU using Google Analytics data?