The Importance Of Page Performance For Digital Delivery

08 Jun 2018

 Stopwatch

User experience (UX) is critical in today’s digital world and consumers expect sites to load seamlessly and to always be available. Indeed, as many as 53% of mobile customers will abandon slow pages after 3 seconds.

This is of huge significance to businesses and to all organisations with a web presence. If a site cannot handle the volume of traffic that it receives, and hence constantly crashes, then customers are likely to go elsewhere, draining revenue and effectively meaning that the site isn’t fit for purpose (which, in the latter case, is just as import for the public sector as it is for private companies).

We study the digital landscape on a continuous basis and while most websites perform well overall, many suffer from poor performing elements (which are not always immediately visible to those responsible for them).

Poor performance can be due to a number of issues, such as slow server responses and download times, but a particularly common factor is the integration of third-party content (such as ad spots and the use of testing and re-marketing services). The site owner may have little or no control over these elements (short of removing them), and managing them is becoming an increasingly important task for web professionals. Indeed, when installing plug-ins, digital managers should always be aware of the effects that they may have on site loading speeds and therefore on user experience. A case in point is USA Today: to comply with GDPR, they removed all scripts from their site for EU users, dropping page loading time from a reported 45 seconds down to 3.

Third-party plug-ins are also one of the key reasons why it’s impossible to assess performance simply within the CMS, as doing so likely does not represent the page as it exists in the real world, when live, and hence may not pick up issues caused by third-party content. Manual testing is also equally limited, as it is simply impossible for a human being to simultaneously test a page from all locations.

Because of all of this, accurate performance assessment is crucial. There are tools available on the market that offer assessment services but very few check all content across all pages. This means that issues may remain undetected and hence continue to negatively affect user experience, damaging your organisation’s brand and limiting access to its services – and if users find that the site is either unresponsive or extremely slow, there’s a chance they will never come back. The stats speak to that fact: 79% of consumers say they won’t return after experiencing poor performance and some 44% say they would tell a friend about their bad experience.

What’s more, Google now also heavily weights page loading time within its algorithm when ranking sites. In short, if your site doesn’t load quickly then it will become invisible to search, making good performance critically important.

Sitemorse makes it fast and easy to identify where issues lie, providing prioritised recommendations that enable digital managers to rapidly make improvements. By driving checks on content quality, the Sitemorse service can augment your organisation’s content output, helping you to ensure a consistent, high-quality user experience. As our service is also highly intuitive, and comes without the hassle of having to deal with endless reporting, there is little need for training or support, so your users get up to speed faster.

Sitemorse’s service can also assist your organisations with every aspect of digital governance: helping to ensure that your site is accessible, functional, compliant and optimised.

 

About Sitemorse

Sitemorse (www.Sitemorse.com) helps organizations to efficiently drive improved user experience, ensuring that content is always optimised and that compliance requirements are always met. With clients in every corner of the world, Sitemorse (www.Sitemorse.com) sets out to remove endless reporting from Digital Governance and to instead provide actionable insights so that major changes can be made quickly.

The company has now been moving the field of Digital Governance forwards for over 15 years, while remaining privately owned, and continues to provide clients with new tools and capabilities every year. Most recently, this has included a focus on extending capabilities directly within the CMS, as well as addressing the governance / QA service issue of ‘endless reporting’.

Sitemorse (www.Sitemorse.com) helps digital managers to build strong processes and accountability, to minimise risks and to achieve the highest standards of content quality. And with Sitemorse (www.Sitemorse.com), there is no need for the substantial infrastructure, support and accordant costs that are required for manual quality and compliance checks.

Image: Flickr/William Warby