Elements of a Website Performance Test
Conducting a website performance test helps you assess how your company website functions as a sales and marketing tool. In today’s digital-first marketplace, a website is often an organization’s first chance to impress and convert potential customers. Regular performance tests reveal whether your website can meet your business goals and reach the right audiences.
Benefits of a Website Performance Test
The long-term advantages of web performance testing far surpass the time and effort required to run the analysis. A quick performance test can uncover several problems that might be plaguing your site, from content that’s strangling your page load times to CSS files that are negatively impacting how your site renders on end user devices.
Components of a Website Performance Test
There are three main components to any website performance test, including planning, actual testing and analysis, and drawing actionable conclusions from the test results.
- Page Selection: The first step to conducting a valuable performance test is identifying specific pages to analyze. Tracking tools like Google Analytics can determine which site pages are the most popular (e.g., homepages, landing pages), and which have the best and worst conversion rates. Choosing a mix of highly visible, well-performing and poor-performing pages will yield a more robust sample of test results.
- Speed and Load Analysis: Website performance tests measure a number of factors related to site speed and load times. With 40 percent of users abandoning pages that take more than three seconds to load, speed and load times are critical indicators of your website’s ability to attract, retain and convert traffic. Performance tests evaluate pages across multiple metrics, such as time to render (the time elapsed between an end user’s request and when the browser displays certain website elements), time to first byte and time to document complete.
- Optimization Planning and Execution: The final and arguably most important part of performance testing is reviewing the results and creating a plan to close any gaps in your website. Many performance analysis tools provide detailed reports of elements hindering site speed and load times, and sometimes even suggestions for how to remediate the issue. Don’t just glance at these insights, act on them. Whether it’s small changes to your SEO keywords or major modifications to your code, any progress is a positive step in your website’s lifecycle.
Making the Most of a Website Performance Test
A website is a living, breathing part of any business. Conducting a website performance test is one of the most effective ways to keep your website in the best possible shape and ensure consistent traffic and lead growth.
Performance testing, however, isn’t a one-step fix for whatever’s holding your website back. Instead, it’s a means to understanding key improvement areas and next steps for implementing changes.
At Walker Sands, we know how essential your website is to your business. That’s why we offer free, comprehensive reports that evaluate your website’s performance based on a number of factors, such as load times, SEO and even visual impact. Contact us to get started with your website assessment and learn more about how our team can optimize your site for speed, search engines and solid business results.