You all know how important it is to have a website that is engaging and responsive to your customer’s needs. Your website is one of the best promotional tools you have at your disposal and if you don’t operate a brick-and-mortar business, it is your main contact point with your customers. However, if you don’t keep your website operating at maximum efficiency it could adversely affect your bottom line. Efficient operation means more than just avoiding downtime – operating metrics, such as page load time, are also crucial in determining the quality of the interactions your customers have with your website. Here are some of the impacts of a poorly performing website and a few suggestions as to what you can do to keep your website running smoothly.
Lower search results ranking
Search engine algorithms use both site downtime percentage and page load time when ranking websites in their user search results. If your site has frequent outages or frequently loads very slowly, it could end up on page 11 of the results. You lose the advantage of having an engaging site if potential customers can’t find you when you’re not prominently displayed in their search results.
Unhappy customers and lost sales
Website outages can be very costly. When Amazon’s site crashed for 40 minutes in August 2013, the Puget Sound Business Journal estimated the company lost $4.72 million in sales. Your company may not be as big as Amazon, but you will lose sales if your site is down for any length of time. Your customers may buy from a competitor during the outage and you may not get that customer to come back.
Slow page loads are also bad for business. PC Magazine gives this definition of the 8-second rule: “Research has indicated that if users have to wait longer than eight seconds to download a Web page, they will go elsewhere.” Your customers (and potential customers) will most likely be frustrated if your site loads slowly and will probably go elsewhere to make their purchases. Not only will you lose sales from existing customers, but you will also experience a lower conversion rate of potential customers and a lower growth rate of revenue and profit.
Mitigating website performance problems
Keep in mind that you won’t ever experience 100% website uptime – no hosting provider can (or will) give you that guarantee, so expect that your website will experience downtime at some point. Therefore, you need to be proactive to minimise the cost to your business when that eventuality occurs. Backup your site daily, and consider using a different provider to host your backups. Having backups available will help you get up and running again quickly if your site goes down. Consider using content delivery network (CDN) services to deliver cached website content during short-duration outages to reassure customers that you will be back online shortly.
StatusCake provides website monitoring services and downtime alerts that can mitigate some of your concerns. We will monitor your site and promptly notify you if your site goes down so you can quickly assess the problem and get back online. We will also check your page load time so you can work with your hosting provider to quickly rectify slow loading time and keep your customers happy. Your peace of mind is our main concern.
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