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Top 10 website performance indicators you should monitor

Our website is the face of your business. Therefore, maintaining the website’s good performance is essential because visitors expect a fast, good-looking, and user-friendly service.

Choosing the “right” performance indicators for your website is a challenge. On the one hand, you want to be up to date on every potential problem with your website, but on the other hand, a flood of alerts about minor problems can obscure important issues. For example, warning about every broken link or minor decrease in site speed is overkill.

Exactly what you should monitor depends on your business and your website. However, here are ten general indicators that every website owner should monitor to ensure a great user experience.

1. Uptime

Uptime Stock Illustrations – 273 Uptime Stock Illustrations, Vectors &  Clipart - Dreamstime

Uptime is undoubtedly the most critical performance indicator of your website.

Most business models depend heavily on their websites. If your site is down for more than a few minutes, it can lose revenue. In addition, an unavailable website can lead to disrupted workflows throughout your organization. The longer the downtime is, and the more frequently it occurs, the more it puts your company’s reputation at risk.

Uptime is usually measured as a percentage. You should aim for “five nines,” or 99.999% uptime for your site. To get a complete picture of your site’s uptime, it’s a good idea to check the uptime of your most essential pages from different locations.

2. Time to first byte (TTFB)

What Is Time to First Byte (TTFB) and How to Reduce It

Many Internet users are impatient: 40% abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. 

If your site doesn’t load fast enough, they’ll abandon before your great content entices them. You can check how fast your web server responds by sending requests from different locations. A standard metric for determining a web server’s responsiveness is time to first byte (TTFB). 

The duration of 3 actions impacts the TTFB

  1. Sending a request to the server
  2. Processing and generating the response
  3. Returning the response to the client

3. Full page load time

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Another important measurement is the load time, which indicates how long it takes to download the source code of a given page.

The load time of your source code gives you a first indication of the speed of your website. But these two worths are only half the story. A site visit to your website can only interact with your offerings if your entire page, including all elements like images and videos, has loaded.

But how can you improve loading time?

A straightforward way is to reduce the image size. Many image editing programs include the choice to reduce the file size of photos. Another option is to host your site on a content delivery network (CDN).

4. Broken links

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The entire web is built on hyperlinks. But sometimes links lead nowhere, and you get an excellent 404 error page.

Perhaps you misspelled the destination URL, or the linked page no longer exists. Whatever the factor for broken links on your website, be aware that they are bad for your business:

  • Broken links frustrate your visitors and hurt your reputation
  • Broken links provide the impression that you don’t do “regular housekeeping.”
  • They could hurt your conversion rate if it’s a sales page.
  • Your page ranking could deteriorate.

In short, neither your users nor Google like broken links! So make it a habit to check your website for broken links regularly. Online tools like the W3C Link Checker will do the work for you. If you run a large website, look for a professional tool that runs regularly and notifies you of broken web linksWhenever you rename or delete pages, ensure you redirect the old page or URL to a destination on the same or similar topic.

5. User journey

44,939 Consumer Journey Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images -  iStock

Depending on the website, there are different processes that your visitors may go through. You ensure that your customers can act as desired by monitoring key workflows. The best method to do this is to use an automated testing system that provides the ability to track a specific sequence of URLs. 

For e-commerce websites, a well-functioning checkout process is essential for business. Make sure that your website visitors go through the entire process without issues.

Similarly, check that your newsletter signups are working correctly. A mistake during the signup process can cost you a lot of leads (and potential customers).

Website login for clients or registered users is another necessary process that should work flawlessly. Persistent login issues can discourage customers from buying or frustrate your users.

6. Database performance

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Many websites contain dynamic content that is retrieved from a database. To ensure a smoothly functioning website, you should keep an eye on the performance of your database. Sometimes the reason for a prolonged responding website is a poorly performing database. Therefore, it is helpful to monitor the response times for your data source queries. Find out which questions are taking the most time and attempt to optimize them. You should also monitor the overall performance of your database to find out if it is a bottleneck. It is also recommended to create alerts if the results of your queries contain error messages or return results outside the expected values. 

7. Geographical performance

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Check the speed and availability of your website from different parts of the world and make sure that your customers can access your service from anywhere and experience good performance – regardless of their location.

Use your analytics data to decide which locations you should focus on. Especially if you are a global company or have customers from different parts of the world, monitoring your geographic performance is essential. Or monitor your performance around the world.

8. Your web server hardware

133,440 Web Server Cliparts, Stock Vector and Royalty Free Web Server  Illustrations

Log files, data source entries, photos, and video files can take up significant space on your web servers. To avoid data writing errors or data loss, you should monitor free disk space.

A common cause of website failures is the high CPU utilization. Too many operational procedures overload your CPU and slow down the entire server. There are numerous reasons for high CPU usage: maybe a new application is responsible for the increase, or many visitors visit your website

If you monitor CPU usage regularly, you can prevent many web server failures. If you notice high CPU usage for an extended period, you should consider upgrading your hardware.

It would be great if you also kept an eye on your web server’s memory usage and storage space.

9. Visitors to the website

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The more visitors a brick-and-mortar retail store has, the more sales it usually makes. And so it is with your website: Traffic is an essential performance indicator for the success of your web presence. Of course, you must create a good user experience and optimize conversion rates, but without website visitors, it’s a wasted effort.

Steadily increasing visitor numbers could be a reason to upgrade your web servers. Moreover, knowing the number of visitors will help you assess the load on your website. If the number of visitors is going straight down, you either have a technical problem with your website or your content is of poor quality.  

Google Analytics is a comprehensive free tool that allows you to measure your website traffic and get detailed statistics regarding website traffic. 

Maybe your web servers can handle site traffic most of the time, but what if many people want to visit your website simultaneously? A publicity push after your business is mentioned in the media or an extensive advertising project can lead to a sharp increase in site visitors

To plan for traffic spikes. Load Impact is a great tool that allows your website up to 5 free stress tests.

10. Website quality

20 Amazing Websites to Download Free Vector Images | by Amy Smith | UX  Planet

In addition to monitoring all technical performance indicators, you should also keep an eye on the quality of your website. Should perform the website quality audit should operate manually and regularly. 

Valuable content that assists your visitors and a good user experience is the foundation of a successful website. Google is also putting more and more emphasis on usability and content. Make sure you provide quality content and a good user experience and make your visitors AND Google happy!

Here are some questions you might consider for your “quality audit”

  • How intuitive is it to navigate your website?
  • Does each page have a clear purpose?
  • Is the text well structured and divided into small, readable sections?
  • Are colors used harmoniously, and are text size and color easy to read?
  • Is the writing style appropriate for your target audience?
  • Is the information provided valuable to your visitors?

You should also regularly check your website for spelling errors or outdated content.

You lay the structure for a high-quality website by monitoring these performance indicators. Your customers will have fun visiting your website, and if problems occur, you’ll be able to respond quickly.

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