Simple Ways to Check Your Website’s Performance
Posted on 2nd November 2022
In today’s extremely competitive, busy digital world, your website is your ‘shop window’ to the world.
A large proportion of your customers now come from the online space rather than the high street or at least check your business out online first before walking through the door.
How well your website is performing is a good indicator of how successful it is. But, like many things in business, it’s a constantly moving target. Therefore, it’s important to continually monitor website performance to ensure it is optimised and performs at its best.
So, how do you do that?
Below is a list of simple, easy ways to check how your website is performing regularly.
What is website performance, and why does it matter?
Website performance optimisation (WPO link to Wikipedia for more detail) measures how well your website is performing using a variety of different techniques. The most common metrics to monitor are page loading speed, usability and user experience, site navigation, conversions into sales, visitor retention, mobile optimisation, how your brand is perceived, and SEO capabilities.
Your customers’ expectations are increasing by the day. A slow-loading website, particularly on mobile devices, poor usability, and navigation, a lack of SEO optimisation or if your pages are not keeping your visitors on site can all lead to a poorly performing website. In turn, it could result in your business not being ranked as highly as it could be by Google for search engine results.
A website that is performing well has many benefits, including:
● Better visitor retention.
● Higher conversions, and therefore sales.
● Improved visibility online.
● Increased search engine results.
● Greater engaged sessions/engagement rate (this is your bounce rate, which will change when Google launches Google Analytics 4).
How to check your website’s performance
The good news is that there are a number of really useful tools available that will help you monitor your website’s performance. Did you know that you have just three seconds to load your website on any mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer before your potential customer goes elsewhere (two seconds if it’s an e-commerce site)? Here are our top recommendations.
Most people will have heard of Google Analytics but what they might not know is that Google has been updating the algorithm of their free website tool over the years. Universal Analytics (UA) has been the latest for a while now, but from July 2023, they are introducing Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
Although previous upgrades have kept the same tools we are all familiar with in Google Analytics, GA4 will be different. The main update is that businesses won’t be able to track and record website visitor data. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to track website activity; you will but through a variety of new features and applications that will provide far more in-depth data reports. GA4 and UA will be run simultaneously for a while, but the sooner you can transfer your website analytics to GA4, the better.
How quickly your website pages load, particularly on mobile devices, is one of Google’s top ranking criteria in terms of online searches. A quick and easy way to keep track of page load speeds is by testing them.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights (PSI), another free tool from Google, is a great place to start. It analyses a specific web page's content and gives you a page speed score for mobile devices and desktop computers. One thing to note, though, is that your PSI score is not a ranking factor; it just provides guidance on how to improve your web pages.
At the same time, it notifies you where you can optimise your pages for a faster loading speed and gives you Google’s recommendations. The advantage of PageSpeed Insights over other tools is that it gives you valuable insight into what Google expects of your website pages.
Nowadays, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it is unlikely to appear on page one of Google’s search results. When you consider that 92% of internet users go online via a mobile phone, and 62% of website traffic originates from mobile devices, you can understand the importance of your website being mobile-accessible.
There are a variety of online tools you can use to test how your website performs on mobile devices. A free tool is Google Lighthouse which analyses the mobile performance of specific website pages. It will also make recommendations on how you can improve your website's mobile performance.
How well your website is search engine optimised is crucial to the successful performance of your website. As well as improving page load speeds and ensuring your website is mobile-friendly, every other aspect of your website must be optimised for Google’s search ranking criteria, including content.
Google’s Core Web Vitals – its ranking criteria – play a major role in determining just how high your website features in search engine results. There are plenty of online tools that can measure your website’s SEO performance; some are free, and some are not. ScreamingFrog’s SEO Spider is a website crawler tool that audits your website against common SEO issues. SEOMoz is a helpful SEO tool that offers a free version – Open Site Explorer – which provides you with basic SEO reports. Their professional tool offers you much more information, including link analysis and rank tracking.
SEMRush is a paid-for tool, but it does offer a free report that gives you most of the information you will need to ensure your website is SEO optimised, including keyword ranking.
It’seeze Watford is a web design company that designs professional bespoke websites that deliver results for our clients. We ensure that your website is not only professional and cost-effective, it is also Google-friendly, mobile responsive, SEO optimised, and bespoke to your business.
We keep up-to-date with the latest technology and changes to website services, like GA4, so you can be confident that the performance of your website is always at its peak.
Share this post: