Let’s suppose, you have done everything it takes to build up an awesome website. You have hired the best designers to create the layout of your website. You reached out to the best writers for the content. In other words, you have left no stone unturned to make the website an impeccable one. After investing this much time, energy and resources you would expect your website to do well.
But is it actually performing the way you want it to perform? Is the website living up to the threshold of your expectation? Well, these burning questions can only be answered after assessing the website’s performance.
So, here are the top five methods which will help you to track where your website is actually heading in terms of performance:
- Website Speed
A lot of people will abandon your website if it takes more than three seconds to load your web page. It is because the buyers of this day and age are always on the go and their impatience has been increasing with the time. In 2012, buyers could wait for five seconds for a page to load but today the time duration has come down to just three seconds. Times have changed. It is 2019 and people have so many options at their disposal that they would not think twice before saying goodbye to your website.
That’s how site speed influences your visitors
In a nutshell, you don’t even stand in the competition if your website runs at a snail’s speed. Does not matter what your website contains, this first clumsy impression will make the visitors run away from you forever. The takeaway message here is that your website speed is a key indicator of performance so use Google Analytics or other tools to keep in touch with the website speed. If the average page load time is anywhere around three seconds then your bounce rate will stay intact.
The above infographic shows that the page timing is directly proportional to the bounce rate
Here are a few things you can do to elevate the site speed:
- Remove all the unnecessary plugins. Plugins are there to help us in one way or the other but the excess of them can have a dramatically negative impact on the overall site speed
- Don’t go for the cheap hosting option
- Keep conducting website speed test time to time
- Number of New and Returning Visitors
Whatever turns and tricks you apply, they are all because you want maximum sessions to take place on your website. It is important to have new visitors every now and then but it is even more important to have a fair proportion of returning visitors. There is no point in getting more visitors if you can’t retain them. Besides, it is also a well-documented fact that returning visitors tend to stay longer on the website.
So take help from Google Analytics and keep a close look at the number of new and returning visitors. It will spell out how fast or slowly your website is growing. As mentioned above, a mix of both new and repeat visitors would be ideal. Generally, it is considered a healthy sign for a website if the return percentage is around 30%. The percentage varies depending upon the niche. For example, the number of return visitors will be much higher on an e-commerce website compared to an informative website. Therefore, be mindful of your niche before advancing towards this measure.
The above chart in Google Analytics aptly shows everything about total sessions, new and returning visitors
- Bounce Rate
Bounce rate suggests that someone stepped into your website and left it almost as immediately as he could. Yes, that’s a bad sign because the longer someone stays on your site, the higher the probability of conversion rate is. It is all about keeping your bounce rate to the lowest because no website in the world can venture claiming zero bounce rate.
There is no particular yardstick for an ideal bounce rate. Although, as a rule of thumb, the marketing experts consider 26 to 30 percent of the bounce rate as good enough. Anything above the said numbers means you need to find out and address the problem.
Except for slow webpage speed, other factors like poor keyword research, targeting the wrong audience and bad user experience are the most anticipated reasons in terms of growing bounce rate.
You can see Google Analytics showing bounce rate marked by a red circle
- Conversion rate
That’s arguably the most important metric to examine a website’s performance. So important that some website owners don’t even take the pains to measure any other aspect and put all their eggs in the basket of conversion rate alone. It is because, at the end of the day, nothing adds into the bottom line more than the conversion rate.
Conversion can take many forms. For some it could be getting as many leads as possible by subscription forms while for others conversion is all about selling their products. A good conversion rate depends on how high you aim. But a study shows that across all the industries, the average conversion rate was 2.35 percent. So anything near this figure means a job well done. In order to know where you stand regarding the conversion rate, again Google Analytics can give you much-needed know-how about that.
Content is a valuable asset for any website. Regardless of the niche, content is the king. By measuring the popularity of your content, you can easily conclude where your content marketing is heading. So here are a few scales which can give you a clear picture of the published content:
- The first and the foremost, look out for social sharing. How many people have bothered sharing your blogs with friends on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and suchlike platforms. It goes without saying that more shares would reflect the high-quality of your content
- Backlinks are equally important. More backlinks from other websites mean your content is well-researched and trustworthy. Along with Google Analytics, there are dozens of other software which can help you to determine the exact number of backlinks