Have you been exploring your website’s performance results and wondering, “is this good enough?”. Do you think your website is performing as well as it should, or is it something you’ve placed on the back burner? How can you tell if your website is performing well? We know these questions are ruminating in your mind, and you probably have even more questions to come. Your website performance impacts your business in ways you might not be fully aware of, from customer experience (CX) and brand perception to conversions and revenue. If it holds that much value, it should be easy to get a hold of, right? Maybe not. Website performance can be a tricky topic and even tougher to improve. Luckily, we’ve got the answers for you.
What defines website performance?
The simple definition of web performance is simply a form of web analytics that focuses on the measurement of how quickly the website pages of a site load, display, and function in a web browser. It’s essentially measuring the perceived user experience of your site. What items are considered when it comes to analyzing your performance are your website performance metrics. These web metrics give you valuable insight into how your website is doing and if there are areas that need improvement to improve your site’s performance. They’re very similar to KPI measurements which measure performance over time towards a specific goal.
Top 5 metrics that affect website performance
1. Page Speed
Page speed is one of the most critical metrics you need to know about. Nobody likes waiting; it’s as simple as that. Keeping your website speed as fast as possible is the best way to retain and grow your audience and lead and sales generation. Speed could be affected by your site’s design, content, and server. Slow page speeds are a fact of Internet life, but if you can avoid it, why wouldn’t you? Slow speeds are one way to quickly turn people away, no matter how impressive your website is.
2. Time to Interact
While we’re on the topic of testing your user’s patience, this metric measures the time to interact; how long it takes before your users can start interacting with your site. This includes actions like clicking links, typing, and scrolling. As we know, people don’t like waiting! If people have to wait longer to start clicking around and exploring your site, they are more likely to leave the page without seeing what you offer. By optimizing your site to boost the time to interact, you’re more likely to gain more leads by getting website visitors to interact quicker and more often, which means more generations of qualified leads and sales for your company.
3. Bounce Rate
Your bounce rate is how many people are “bouncing” away from your site without fully exploring and looking through it or waiting for the page to load completely. Bounce rates can also be a single page visit to your site, where they don’t interact anywhere else, just that one page. A high bounce rate could signal poor load times or an issue on your site. More often, the cause is that your visitors just didn’t find anything interesting on your site, they couldn’t find what they’re looking for, or your site is hard to navigate. This is something to stay on top of because to generate leads, you need people to stay on your site and explore!
4. Error Rate
There are no perfect websites; your site will inevitably have some errors that pop up at some point. Error rate measures the number of errors and how often they occur. A high error rate is usually caused by broken links, blank pages that fail to load, or 404 errors. This metric can help you understand your website's performance by looking at when the errors occur. Maybe you pushed your audience to visit your site at a certain time for a product launch. You could tell if your site became overwhelmed by these visitors or if it was another issue that caused errors. When it comes to your web performance, no user wants to see error pages and won’t have the patience to stick around and reload. So any errors on your site should be fixed ASAP.
5. Conversion rate
This is one of the essential metrics you need to pay attention to. Conversion rate measures how many unique visitors to your site convert to customers. This is an essential metric for lead generation. Your site's user experience, traffic and visitor numbers, and page speeds all play a role in your conversion rate. The important thing is to look at when your conversion rates change. Did you redesign your site or offer a special promotion? Improve your page speeds? Keeping an eye on your conversion rate can help you understand if the changes you’re making to your site are making a difference.
How to measure website performance
The first step to optimizing your website performance is measuring how it’s performing now and analyzing your results. The easiest way to do this is using online tools that are usually free or low-cost. These tools test your website and produce a final aggregate score that rates your site’s performance overall. They’ll also point out areas needing improvement and suggest ways to fix the issues. Google’s PageSpeed Insights and Website Grader are two of the most popular options. They both provide you with an overall score out of 100 and an overview of metrics and suggestions for improvement. Both of these sites give you a basic rundown of your site’s overall performance. If you’re looking for a more in-depth, all-in-one tool, a service like Site Improve could be your ideal option. On top of analyzing your site's overall performance, Site Improve also provides an in-depth analysis of your site overall and specific page insights, as well as detailed suggestions to fix any issues your site has. This service also works to continuously monitor your site, compared to PageSpeed and Website Grader, which are one-time testing tools. By having Site Improve continually monitor your site, you can catch and resolve any issues as soon as they happen.
What is lead generation? What does web performance have to do with it?
In simple terms, lead generation (lead gen) is getting people interested in your website and business to move them through the process of becoming your paying customers. Basically, the goal is to generate sales. Most websites aim to get people interested and draw them to the point where they want to pay for your products or services. There are a lot of factors that come into lead generation, but digital strategy and UX design are the most important here. There are two main steps in lead generation: getting people onto your site and then getting them to share their contact information (for email marketing, marketing strategies, etc.) to convince them to buy into your services eventually. One of the best ways to achieve this is to optimize your website performance. Your site’s performance can majorly impact whether your site effectively generates leads or not. Without a strong, functioning, and appealing website, people aren’t going to stick around to the point where you’re able to get them interested enough to become interested in your services!
5 tips for lead and sale generation through website performance optimization
1. Improve your page speeds
Improving your page speeds is the first step you should take to optimize your site for sales generation. There are a lot of factors to consider when you’re trying to improve your site speed, from your web host, image sizes, unnecessary code, and browser caching. We know that users don’t like waiting, and speeding up your site means more customers will reach your site's checkout page because they’ll be encouraged to stay on your site longer, explore more, and likely purchase more.
2. Boost your time to interact
Time to interact is one of the best metrics to improve if you want to boost your site’s lead and sales generation. The faster a shopper can interact with your site, the greater potential of boosting your conversion rate and generating more leads and sales. Time to interact has a lot to do with your page speeds, so improving your load times should help your time to interact simultaneously. Making sure your site is easy to understand and navigate can also help improve this metric; if your visitors can easily figure out where to find what they want, the time it takes to interact and explore will improve.
3. Lower your bounce rate
It’s simple: lower bounce rates mean higher conversion rates. The goal should be to get your visitors to visit at least one other page on your site. The more pages they visit, the more likely they are to find something that interests them, which will lead to your site generating more leads and sales. Optimizing your site’s landing page can improve your bounce rate. If your visitors are more intrigued by the first pages they visit, they’re more likely to stick around. Optimizing your keywords on your site and in your meta descriptions can also help boost your search engine rankings, which means visitors are more likely to find exactly what they’re looking for quickly, so they’re more likely to stick around without needing to search through your entire site (which most visitors won’t do).
4. Fix your site’s errors
Your visitors aren’t going to have the patience to refresh or come back to your site after they’re faced with an error page. This is a killer of lead generation. Some errors are inevitable, but any errors should be fixed immediately as you become aware of them. You can run into even bigger challenges by not fixing errors ASAP, like your whole site crashing. You'll improve your bounce and conversion rates by fixing and avoiding errors on your site!
5. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
CRO focuses on maximizing the number of users that convert when they visit your site. This could be someone who purchases a product, adds something to their cart, or sign up for a service. The main factor that comes into play with CRO is whether or not your visitors believe in what you’re proposing and what you have to offer. You also need to make sure that your website is relevant to your target audience, that it’s clear and easy to navigate and understand, and that it matches your visitors’ sense of urgency.
Every business and website has a different approach based on its goals, audience, and industry. Website performance is one instance that doesn’t depend on your industry or design; good website performance is a must-have for all websites, no matter who you are or what you’re selling. Optimizing your website isn’t just a way to make your website faster and function better. It’s also the best way to boost lead generation through your website. Whether you’re looking for sales or B2B lead generation, your performance gains probably won’t happen overnight, but when they do, we know you’ll be thanking us! With Symetris on your side, you won’t have to worry about falling behind the competition. We ensure you stay one step ahead of the “other guys.” Let’s find out how we can take your site to the next level; get in touch!