What is website performance monitoring?
It is the activity that gathers and analyses data against which the success of a website can be evaluated. This is important to know the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) against which their site is being evaluated. The two most commonly used are:
- Website Activity (traffic)
- Website Feedback Monitoring
Website Activity is a measure of the traffic experienced by a site. The three most frequently monitored figures include:
- Visits: A visit is an instance of a unique visitor accessing a website.
- Visitors: A visitor is the originator of a visit, i.e. the person who browses a website.
- Page Impressions: A Page Impression is a ‘hit’ on a page that contains content. (The recent growth of Rich Internet Applications built on AJAX and Flash means there is now less emphasis on this as a metric of success.)
The Tools of Website Traffic Analytics
These are tools that extract and analyse data about web traffic. Many products of this type are free and can be downloaded from the internet. These come in two forms:
- Standalone Solution: Where software is installed directly on the computer that hosts the website and then analyses its activity logfile, e.g. WebTrends.
- Application Service Provider Solution: Where measurements are gathered over the internet using ‘tags’ that are placed into every page on a website, e.g. Google Analytics.
Website Feedback Monitoring
It is a process for regulating and responding to communications from your site’s visitors in a controlled and timely manner. Customer messages should be acknowledged and responded to in a timely manner. It includes the following:
- Collect the feedback
- Acknowledge receipt of the query
- Investigate (if appropriate)
- Make a full response and manage any follow-up correspondence
The channel through which correspondence is received includes:
- Instant Messaging
- Satisfaction Ratings
Web performance optimization now returns nearly a million Google search results, and its significance is only growing. It improves the user experience, increases revenue, and reduces operating costs.