How to Measure and Optimize Website Performance
Optimization is a large part of the process for creating and maintaining a successful website and ecommerce business. The opportunities for online success through a website are endless. However, there are implementation strategies necessary for giving your customers the best buying experience. Optimization begins with understanding the tools you need to gather the data for strategic planning and execution. The tools and resources in this article will assist you in increasing your website performance while giving your audience something great to look forward to each time they visit your site.
Optimization starts with the 4 D’s:
- Data: Data is the intelligence behind your computer screen. This information is gathered from your website and/or online platforms. This information can include demographics, regional information, website performance, and customer interactions. Data can be collected from analytics tools such as Google Analytics or Jetpack. Each of these analytics tools are designed to mine statistics and intelligence to help you improve your systems and software. Companies such as Coca Cola and WellsFargo are known for using analytics tools to better serve their customers and clients.
- Discussion: Discussion is imperative to transforming the data from #1 into practice for your website. After reviewing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as site traffic, unique visitors, average session duration, and bounce rates, your technology and leadership team should use benchmarks to determine what elements of your website need to be changed, tested, or maintained.
- Determinants: Determinants are factors used to identify how your site will perform based on internal and external data. Internal determinants may include website speed, mobile optimization, redirection links, and HTTP requests. External determinants may include current news, regional concerns such as weather, and demographic behaviors and patterns. When researching the determinants for your website, be sure to identify which elements could be positively affected by AB Testing and other accessible factors.
- Direction: Direction is the path you plan to take to improve your website’s performance. Conversion optimization is important during this stage of the process. Focusing on user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are necessary for improvement. How your visitors experience your site will determine if they transition from website window shoppers to loyal customers. You can significantly shift the direction of your website’s performance by using tools such as the Test My Site software offered by Think With Google. Once you have analyzed data and created alternative ways for your customers to interact with your website, it is important to create a performance improvement plan (PIP) that includes goals for website development, how much traffic you desire to have on the site, what actions you desire your visitors to take, and how you want them to respond to your site.
Identifying how you can transition your website for increased performance begins with a clear plan for improvement. The tools offered are varied and vast these days, but the foundational elements needed to see positive changes in your website’s traffic remain the same.
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