In business circles, we sometimes hear that today is the “age of the customer.” And so it is. Thanks to the enormous advances over the past few years in consumer technologies such as mobile and social media, customers are the ones who “shop with their voice” so to speak. The world of blog, forums, and numerous other social media channels over the past decade have provided consumers with unheard of power to determine their choice of products, brands, and services. Because of this power customer expectations have also gone through the roof. Continuing advances in technology, along with the “consumerization of IT,” has meant that companies are now expected to offer real-time, 24/7 service to meet the demands of mobile savvy customers.
Today, it’s all about meeting the customer needs and getting them to buy your products. And in order to do so, companies need to ensure their applications and websites are in tip-top shape. Customers simply will not have any patience for a website or application that is error prone or buggy or one that takes forever to load. This is why website performance and application monitoring is so central to your business strategy.
We talk about this subject a lot because it’s really so critical to the bottom-line of a business. And it’s even becoming more incumbent today as the demands of new technologies like the Internet of Things and wearables mean that customers are interacting with companies and their products through more endpoints than ever before. All of these channels require performance monitoring to ensure that things run as efficiently and optimally as possible. At the end of the day, web performance is really about keeping the customers happy.
In what follows, we want to do a reality check by discussing 7 “sure fire” ways to improve your web performance and make sure your customers keep coming back. After all, your business ROI really depends on it!
1. Keep Things Fast!
Research shows a clear relationship between web load speed and customer conversions. The faster a page loads the more likely customers will be to visit and do business on your site. The inverse is also true. The slower a page the less likely customers will be willing to wait around and engage with your brand. While this seems fairly straightforward, it’s surprising how few business owners really get the importance of website performance and the role it plays in their business strategy. It might be nice to have a trendy looking website, but if it takes 10 seconds to load visitors won’t hang around long enough to appreciate all the bells and whistles anyway.
2. Make Your Central Message Crystal Clear
From the moment visitors hit your page you want to give them a clear reason for why they should stick around. To do this you need to deliver your central message as quickly, clearly, and convincingly as possible. Don’t make your home page so convoluted that folks don’t know what action to take. Use large font, go generous on the content, and create clear pathways to the channels they need to purchase your product . . . period, end of story.
3. Give Visitors a Reason to Return
So you’ve got some visitors, now what? Well, that’s only half the battle. Studies show that most will not purchase on the first visit. So you need to give visitors a solid reason to return to your website. Do this by providing them with something useful, something they can’t refuse. Provide practical articles, a regularly updated blog, a newsfeed, or other user-generated content . . . anything that will engage your visitors and provide them with something of value.
4. Check Your Web Hosting
When reviewing web performance one of the first things to check is your web hosting service. It’s surprising how many times this gets overlooked. Even though your provider may offer you unlimited bandwidth, does that mean shared service with other sites that end up affecting your own web performance? Are you frequently experiencing downtime or bandwidth issues? If so, it’s worthwhile to review your hosting options to ensure you’re getting the most efficient service. Don’t be afraid to insist on 99.99% uptime.
5. Use Web Analytics & Gather Metrics
To some, this sounds like a well-worn cliché by now, but it needs to be drilled in more and more. If you’re not tracking the behavior of your visitors with metrics then you’re leaving money on the table. There are many web analytics tools on the market today that can help you closely monitor your customer’s online behaviors. The ability to track a single customer across your site and across multiple devices will ensure that you can tailor your brand to their needs. For instance, you want to learn more about when and where they’re visiting from, what devices they’re using, what are their online activities, and other key demographics such as age. Gaining these insights will help your organization better understand what’s important to your visitors and how to personalize their experience.
6. Take It Easy on Design ‘Best Practices’
Increasing the size of your website images, third-party scripts, and style sheets come with a heavy price and can adversely affect performance. This is especially true in the world of mobile. Over 50% of all time consumers spend on retails site is on mobile devices and more than 50% of consumers multiscreen during the purchasing. According to this slide deck, some of the worst practices are web pages that are initially blank and then populate, pages where the call to action is the last thing to render, popups that block the rest of the page, and designing and testing in a way that the user experience is completely overlooked.
7. Adopt Cloud-Based Website Monitoring
There are significant advantages to offloading your website monitoring to a cloud-based host – cost, scalability, efficiency, to name a few. Not to mention, this frees you up to focus on growing your business, which matters the most anyway.
If you’d like to get onboard with the latest in cloud-based monitoring then you should try a 24/7 monitoring service like Monitis. With its first-class global service, Monitis allows organizations to monitor their network anytime and from anywhere. For instance, with Monitis you can load test your website to determine at what point it starts creating traffic issues. They’ll also send you timely alerts by every possible means (live phone messages, text, email, Twitter, etc.) to keep you apprised about your site performance. If your web hosting services go down then Monitis will be first to let you know.
When it comes to monitoring your website, you don’t want to shortchange yourself. Get the peace of mind you deserve by entrusting your business to a proven industry leader. Go to Monitis and sign up for a free trial today and let them help boost your bottom-line. You’ll be glad you did!