10 Critical Website Performance Metrics You Should be Monitoring

What you don’t know about your website is hurting your business. Many business owners think that all you need to succeed is a great looking website.

But many owners have no idea whether or not their website is actually working effectively as a marketing tool. To find out how yours is performing, you need to take a look at the metrics.

Yet, not everyone understands what the metrics are telling them. Those that do, realise how much information they are receiving.

In fact, those metrics can help you determine whether your strategies are working. And what to do if they aren’t.

To help you get the most out of your website, here are 10 website performance metrics you need to monitor.

1. Uptime

Uptime refers to your website running properly at all times. This is critical whether you run a small business, a not-for-profit or you have a blog.

When your site is down, you’ve essentially closed your doors.

Uptime is the responsibility of your website hosting provider. If your website is currently experiencing downtime or bandwidth issues, review your hosting options.

Obviously, no hosting company can offer you a 100% guarantee, but you should receive uptime of 99.99%. Uptime is critical, especially if you’re trying to rapidly grow your company.

A good hosting company can help you anticipate your future uptime needs.

2. Error Rate

The error rate measures the percentage of problem requests or errors compared to all other requests. They should be measured with different loads.

These website performance metrics will differ from each company but you can use it to determine when the application will fail.

What this means is that, if the error rate increases significantly at a certain point in a load test, that is the exact point where the application is stressed. Meaning, it’s no longer performing well.

In other words, if 1,000 users are trying to perform the same action on the same website, the error rate shows you when your site will crash.

This information can help you to prevent problems before they happen.

3. Response Time

There are two types of response time used in website performance metrics. Average response time gives you a sense of your website’s performance from the user’s point of view.

Peak response time helps identify areas that need improvement.

The reason both are used is because the average response time might be one second. However, within that average, one element might take 10 seconds to load while all others take less than one second.

Peak response time shows you exactly which elements are slow within the application. You can then easily investigate and correct those problems.

4. Unique Visitor Traffic

When it comes to website performance metrics, it’s important to know exactly how many individuals are visiting your website. That’s what the unique visitor traffic will tell you.

Unique visitor traffic is best when used for a predefined timeframe. It helps show whether or not your content is considered valuable to your target audience.

It also shows whether your marketing campaigns are successful.

5. Bounce Rates Are Important Website Performance Metrics to Understand

Bounce rates are also a highly useful website performance metric to learn how to use.

That’s because bounce rates are a measure of the percentage of visitors to your website who leave after viewing only one page.

What your bounce rate tells you is that if it’s a high rate, your visitors didn’t see the value in sticking around to view the rest of your site.

There are several reasons why your bounce rate is high. Anything from poorly written content to technical issues can cause a visitor to navigate away from your site.

6. Landing Page Conversions

A company creates landing pages to reach a specific niche audience. It also helps them figure out how successful a campaign is.

The conversion occurs when someone reaches that landing page and then fills out a form and becomes a lead.

All your conversions need tracking so you ensure your marketing tunnel is working effectively. The more customers you convert, the more money you make.

7. Requests Per Second

It’s great to know exactly what actions your customers are taking when they reach your site. Requests per second are helpful website performance metrics because they do just that.

It measures how many actions are sent to the target server every second. And it measures it from any resource on the page including images, dynamic resources from databases, and even multimedia pages.

The information varies based on the type of resource requested and how it was processed.

8. Connection Time

Connection time is the time between a request and when a connection is made between the web server and the customer’s browser.

Myriad factors contribute to connection time including heavy server traffic and even where the visitor is geographically located.

To improve your website performance metrics in regards to connection time, try experimenting with load testing tools. WebLOAD from RadView is one such tool that’s quite useful.

9. Third Party Domains

Most of your website’s content is hosted on your web server. But if you look, you’ll probably find a few third-party content site uses such as social media widgets and embedded video.

They are all hosted third-party domains. Since they are stored on other domains, you have limited control over their functionality or loading speed.

You’ll have to perform a waterfall analysis to identify which domains are taking the longest to load. Once you locate them, consider whether you really need the slower-loading asset or it’s best to remove it completely.

10. HTTP Requests

When a customer visits a page on your site, their browser pings your web server. There’s an automatic request sent asking for the files that contain the content of the page.

That includes HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files, icons, other files, and images. All of these requests are known as HTTP requests.

These requests can slow down your website.

Get Help

While it’s important for a business owner to understand website performance metrics, it’s not necessary to know how to fix them. You don’t have the time to become a web designer.

Leave that to the professionals.

In the meantime, keep learning so you hire the right professionals to handle your website needs. The more you learn about marketing, the easier it is to avoid marketing and website mistakes.

Keep coming back to read my blog to learn all about marketing and SEO.

Published: 07/04/2018

Last modified: 15/11/2021

Timothy Oxendale
I'm an award-winning plant-powered (Vegan) freelance WordPress Developer/Web Designer. I work with great individuals, small-to-medium sized businesses and start-ups. I aim to have a great relationship with all my clients where I can add value to their business by being dependable, honest and by doing the type of work that makes a difference.

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