Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve seen the studies on the affect of web performance on business metrics. Most of these studies focus on ecommerce sites, but that doesn’t mean non-commerce sites don’t need to be concerned with performance. Recently, a few studies from media and entertainment sites such as GQ and Instagram have been published showing how performance affected their websites and businesses.
Looking at these studies, one thing that jumps out is there is no standard metric, each company focuses on different metrics and that’s ok. With ecommerce, user satisfaction is often measured by conversion rates and revenue. If performance is bad, shoppers will buy less. If nothing is being purchased, other metrics have to be examined and what is right for one organization may not be the right metric for another.
Focusing on changes in revenue makes sense and something most people can easily understand but there are many other ways to measure how engaged. If tracking conversions or revenue doesn’t work for your organization, here are a few other metrics that can be useful to track:
Tracking trends over time can show increased satisfaction or dissatisfaction among different user groups.
- Have the number of unique visitors, return visitors and new visitors changed?
- How have the number of visitors changed in specific geographies?
- Do these shifts correlate to a change in performance (either positive or negative)?
Bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors that view a single page and then leave the site. This can be a tricky metric to track, as a high bounce rate on its own may not signify a problem. Some sites may have a higher bounce rate than others, not because of performance problems, but rather due to the nature of the site. Instead of comparing your bounce rate to other sites, look for changes in historical trends of a single site.
- Has the bounce rate changed from days, weeks or months prior?
- Does the shift in bounce rate correlate to a change in visitors?
- How does the performance of the page correlate to a shift in bounce rate?
Depth of visit
Knowing how many people leave after visiting a single page is important, but what about those that don’t bounce? Depth of visit looks at how many pages a visitor views on a single visit. The more engaged a user is, the more likely they are to click on additional links and spend more time on the site.
- What is the distribution of page views across users?
- Is there a difference in the depth of visit between new and repeat visitors?
- Do changes in depth of visit correlate with similar changes in bounce rate?
- How do changes correlate with performance?
For more information on how performance and new technology can impact your media or entertainment site download our Guide to Web Performance for Media & Entertainment Sites ebook.