On the 9th April Google announced (via its blog) that site speed became a ‘new signal’ in its search ranking algorithms

The likelihood is that you always knew that the speed at which your site loaded was important, but could you prove it? The majority of digital marketing professionals believe that measurement is an integral part of delivering performance improvements. How else can you optimise future activity?

Frequently, the missing part of the measurement puzzle is an understanding of site performance, site availability, page/item load speeds etc. Although server measurement and monitoring does happen, it is frequently the domain of the IT department.

Clearly servers aren’t the only things that dictate how quickly your pages load, in fact some studies report that server speeds can account for just 10-20% (rather than issues that are more easily addressed like poor coding, heavy images etc.). Load speeds can be affected by a number of different attributes, but without correct measurement and analysis, these will be difficult to uncover. The first step of resolution is diagnosis.

Modern marketers spend valuable time and money driving high quality traffic through multi-channel campaigns to their sites in order to convert them to sales. Just how quickly would you find out if your site went down or suffered (perhaps due to increased visitor traffic) a significant slow-down in response times causing non-arrival or abandonment rates to increase? Would you be able to directly correlate your web analytics and your site performance metrics together in one place? Would you be able to accurately report on these outcomes and identify wasted budget as a result?

If a company receptionist takes more than 5 rings to answer the phone, haven’t you already got a perception of their ability or of their customer service values? According to a report from Akamai Technologies (September 2010): “Findings indicate 47% of consumers expect an ecommerce page to load in two seconds or less.” The report goes on to say that “40% of shoppers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a retail or travel site.” This impact can even be felt in long term loyalty of customers to both on-line and bricks and mortar stores with 79% of online shoppers who experience a dissatisfying visit claiming they are less likely to buy from the same site again and 27% saying it would make them less likely to visit a physical store.

True online intelligence need not be hard to achieve, an intuitive dashboard where all campaign, web, mobile, buzz and server performance metrics can viewed, analysed and monitored in one place is available from AT Internet. The tools to measure and monitor the impact of your campaigns and site performance are right at your fingertips.
Now that Google has announced that they consider webpage load speed an important element in their ranking of search results there is an even stronger case to both understand and actively manage your website performance.

AT Internet Observer Benefits:

• Free IT from the burden of sharing server performance information
• Understand impact on usability and conversion rates
• Cross-reference results or statistics provided by third parties
• Learn which page elements are slow to download and optimise accordingly
• Compare server response times to identify optimal performance
• Introduce server response/site performance KPIs
• Provide site performance impact analysis to those that need it, with meaningful data
• Receive alerts in real-time providing actionable insight to improve site performance quickly
• Generate easy-to-read reports effortlessly
• Monitor Domains hosted in-house or out-house allowing you to, for example, monitor the response times of landing pages hosted by third-parties in a PPC campaign.

Sources:
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com
http://www.akamai.com/html/about/press/releases/2009/press_091409.html

For more information:
Visit: http://en.atinternet.com/Products/Observer.aspx
Or contact:
Stephen Gardner, Business Development Manager, AT Internet
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7681 4062 or Email: stephen.gardner@atinternet.com

About AT Internet / Company profile
AT Internet is a leading independent Web and mobile analytics solution provider, established in 1995 and with offices in 9 countries worldwide. AT Internet prides itself on its customer centric approach and is able to boast 3,500 clients many of whom are widely recognised brands.

Currently measuring 350,000 Web sites, AT Internet has several awards and distinctions to its name including the 2009 Platinum Distinction for European Seal of E-Excellence 2009 awarded at CeBIT in Hannover, these distinctions underpin AT Internets core values of trust and integrity.

AT Internet offers a robust and reliable best of breed SaaS Web and mobile analytics platform and partners with industry leaders to offer a complete solution to enhance your marketing intelligence and business effectiveness.
www.atinternet.com

Press contact
Claire Thatcher on behalf of AT Internet UK
Phone: +44 7956 315 725
Email: claire.thatcher@atinternet.com

Published on: 3:17PM on 27th May 2010