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Analytics is the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. Especially valuable in areas rich with recorded information, analytics relies on the simultaneous application of statistics, computer programming and operations research to quantify performance. Specifically, areas within analytics include predictive analytics, prescriptive analytics, enterprise decision management, retail analytics, store assortment and stock-keeping unit optimization, marketing optimization and marketing mix modeling, web analytics, sales force sizing and optimization, price and promotion modeling, predictive science, credit risk analysis, and fraud analytics.

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Believe it or not, the most important thing about the website of your business is not what’s on it but how fast it loads. Yes, that’s right! 

 

As you can see on this infographic (an oldie but goodie!), there is a clear relationship between web load speed and customer conversions. And unless you have money to burn, the assumption is that you’re in business to earn revenue (rather than just having a fancy looking website!).

 

Let’s say this another way. The faster a page loads the more likely customers will be to visit and do business on your site. The inverse is also true. The slower a page the less likely customers will be willing to wait around and engage with your brand.

 

While this seems fairly straightforward, it’s surprising how few business owners really get the importance of website performance and the role it plays in their overall strategy. It might be nice to have a trendy looking website, but if it takes 10 seconds to load visitors won’t hang around long enough to appreciate all the bells and whistles anyway.

 

It’s important that small businesses leverage the latest web performance insights to ensure that things are running as optimally as possible and that your customers are happy. At the end of the day, this is really all that matters!

 

In order to help keep your business in check, we list out below the top 10 things you should know about website performance today.



Website Speed Impacts Conversions & Sales 


There’s a direct connection between web load speed and sales conversions. Consider this metric: 1 in 4 visitors would abandon the website if it takes more than 4 seconds to load. And this one: A 2-second delay during a transaction results in shopping cart abandonment rates of up to 87%.

 

A few years ago e-commerce giant Amazon calculated that a webpage load slowdown of just one second could cost it $1.6 billion in sales each year. Any questions?



“Start Render Time” is a Key Metric 


Start Render Time has emerged as a key metric in web performance and is the first visual cue that something is happening on a website. The following statement gives some words of wisdom on this topic:


The median for Time to Start Render across the web is 2.5 seconds. Shoot for better.  The top 10% of sites on the web start render in less than 900 milliseconds — fast enough that the visitor doesn’t have time to think about the fact that he or she is waiting to see content.  That should be the goal.



Design Best Practices Can Become Your Worst Enemy


Increasing the size of your website’s size, images, third-party scripts, and style sheets come with a heavy price and can adversely affect performance. This is especially true in the world of mobile. Over 50% of all time consumers spend on retails site is on mobile devices, and more than 50% of consumers multiscreen during the purchasing.

 

Some of the worst design practices are evident when web pages are initially blank and then populate, the CTA is the last thing to render, popups block the rest of the page, or when you fail to adopt user experience into your design strategy.

  


Performance Impacts Shopping Behavior 


We get the importance of website speed on customer conversions and sales. But this impact is more systemic than you might think. Kissmetrics shows that 44% of online shoppers will tell their friends about a bad experience online. And 79% of shoppers dissatisfied with a website performance are less likely to buy from that site again.

  


Mobile Unfriendly Sites Drive Customers the Other Way 


M-commerce is huge, which is why having a “mobile first” website is critical to success. Mobile commerce transactions in the United States are expected to total $123 billion in 2016. $76 billion will be from tablets, while the remainder will be from smartphones. These same numbers are replicating themselves globally.

 

A study from Google several years ago showed that mobile-friendliness was a key factor in purchase decisions, with 67% indicating that a mobile-friendly website made them more likely to buy a product or use a service. In addition, 61% indicated that a bad mobile experience made them more likely to leave.

  


You Can Win with Website Analytics 


Web analytics can make all the difference in how you relate to your customers. The ability to track a single customer across your site and across multiple devices will ensure that you can tailor your brand to their needs.

 

For instance, you want to learn more about when and where they’re visiting from, what devices they’re using, what are their online activities, and other key demographics such as age. Gaining these insights will help your organization better understand what’s important to your visitors and how to personalize their experience.


  

Speed Increases SEO 


In April 2010 Google started using page speed as a ranking factor, meaning that faster pages would earn higher SEO rankings than slow ones. More recently, Google also announced that it’s moving in this same direction for mobile web pages. The point here is that you get rewarded for offering your customers a better overall experience; faster load time means higher SEO rankings.


  

Mediocre Web Hosting Can Increase Downtime 


When reviewing web performance, it’s important not to forget your web hosting service. Even though your provider may offer you unlimited bandwidth, does that mean shared service with other sites that ends up affecting your own web performance?

 

Are you experiencing downtime or bandwidth issues? If so, it’s worthwhile to review your hosting options to ensure you’re getting the most efficient service. Don’t be afraid to insist on 99.99% uptime.

 


Too Many Affiliate Codes & Ads Drain Performance 


Becoming an affiliate reseller and pushing ads to bring folks in is great, but too much of a good thing can also become bad . . . especially for performance. When you go overboard on ads and affiliate code, this can lead to high bounce rates and, in turn, can adversely impact your overall website performance.

  


Website Monitoring Is Key! 


There are significant advantages to adopting website monitoring – cost, scalability, efficiency, to name a few. Not to mention, this frees you up to focus on growing your business, which matters the most anyway.

 

When it comes to monitoring your website, you don’t want to shortchange yourself. Get the peace of mind you deserve by entrusting your business to a proven industry leader.



Sign up for Monitis FREE 15-day full-featured trial! Premium plan starting from $12/month only!



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This article was originally published on Monitis Blog, you can check it here.



Today it’s fairly well known that high-performing websites and applications bring in more visitors, higher SEO, and ultimately more sales. By the same token, downtime is disastrous for companies and can lead to major hits on a brand, reputation, and overall customer retention.

 

But there’s often a gap between knowledge and theory. In other words, people get the fact that high web performance is critical for revenue. But the reality is that somehow this gets lost in translation when it comes to implementation.

 

To be clear, web performance monitoring is defined as “the process of testing and verifying that end-users can interact with a website or web application as expected. Website monitoring is often used by businesses to ensure website uptime, performance, and functionality is as expected.”

 

If website performance is critically important to the success of your website, then what exactly are the key metrics you need to be tracking in order to measure that success? Let’s take a look at this question in more detail.


 

Page Load Time


This is one of the key metrics in web performance monitoring since everything today is about speed and seconds translate into dollars earned or lost. Page load time measures the time to load every content on a webpage. It’s calculated from the time the user clicks on a page link or types in a web address until the page is fully loaded in the browser.



Unique Visitor Traffic


This important measure tells you how many individual visitors are coming to your site in a predefined timeframe. An upward trend in this area will indicate that you’re providing content that is valuable to your target audience and shows that your marketing campaigns are successful.


  

Start Render Time 


Start Render Time is the first point in time that something is displayed on the screen. It doesn’t necessarily mean the user sees the page content. In fact, it could be something as simple as a background color. But it’s the first indication that something is happening on a website. Start Render Time has emerged as a key metric in web performance.

  


Bounce Rate 


This is a measure of the percentage of visitors to your website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate indicates that visitors are making it to your site but finding nothing of value to keep them there. A good explanation could be that the landing page either has no clear calls to action or else a poor overall design.

 


Direct Traffic


This is a measure of the traffic that reaches your website directly by typing your URL into their browser, using a bookmark, or clicking on an untagged link in an email or document. This measure can indicate that you’re doing a good job of creating original content through email marketing, newsletters, and other channels.

  


Requests Per Second


Requests per second is a key metric which tells you how many actions are being sent to the target server every second. A request can be considered as any resource on the page such as HTML pages, images, multimedia files, databases queries, etc.

 


Throughput 


Generally speaking, throughput is a measure of how many units of information a system can process in a given amount of time. It’s an important metric in web performance because it tells you how much bandwidth is required to handle a load of both concurrent users and website requests. You always want to aim for a higher value of throughput.

  


Error Rate 


This is a measure of the percentage of problem requests in relation to all requests. If you see a spike in the error rate at a particular point in a load test, then it’s a good indication that something is preventing the application from operating correctly. This is valuable information that you need clear insights on.

  


Peak Response Time 


This is a metric that looks at anomalies within the average response time by showing elements that are taking longer than normal to load. This metric offers a very helpful way to pinpoint slower than normal applications that should be investigated further.

  


Landing Page Conversions


This measures the number of visitors who reach your landing page and fill out a form to become a lead. Along with this metric, it’s important to keep eyes on all types of conversions in your marketing funnel (visitor to lead, lead to customer, and visitor to the customer) to ensure that you’re avoiding any roadblocks or bottlenecks that can keep them from converting.



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This article was initially published on Monitis Blog, you can read it here.


When it comes to deciding which approach to website performance monitoring is best for your business, unfortunately, like so many options in life . . . it depends. In this article, we will discuss two major monitoring approaches: Synthetic Transaction and Real User Monitoring.

 

Let’s break out a few points on each approach before discussing specific scenarios about when it makes sense for a business to deploy them.

 


Synthetic Transaction Monitoring 


Synthetic Transaction Monitoring is a form of active web monitoring and involves deploying behavioral scripts in a web browser to simulate the path a customer or end-user takes through a website. Synthetic transaction monitoring is especially important for high traffic sites as it allows webmasters to test new applications prior to launch. Synthetic transactions are scripted in advance and then uploaded to the cloud as a transaction test.

 

Of course, what we really want to know is when it makes most sense to deploy synthetic transaction monitoring in the real world. Here are 5 scenarios when you should be adopting this approach.

  


Entering a New Market


Before introducing a new application to market you want to have line-of-sight on how real users will interact with that application. Synthetic transaction monitoring provides the ability to simulate the projected real-world load to ensure your application can handle the projected load.

 

Another benefit of synthetic monitoring is that it helps you simulate what happens when you introduce your application to a new geography. It allows you to test and fix potential issues related to deployments in new regions such as connection speeds (DSL, cable broadband, fiber optics) before real end users arrive.

 

 

Troubleshooting Issues Before Customers Find Them


Synthetic monitoring helps you to set up baseline tests in order to measure the way your customers will interact with your websites, APIs, or mobile apps. This type of testing can provide direct feedback on performance degradation or availability issues. It also will help your team locate the root cause, engage the right experts, and fix issues before they impact the end users.

  


Testing New Features Prior to Deployment 


Synthetic monitoring is important at any stage of development but is especially useful for testing your web, mobile, or cloud-based applications before deploying new features into production. During this stage, synthetic monitoring can provide a set of baselines and thresholds that reveal any potential obstacles customers may encounter in the real world.

 

Synthetic transaction monitoring would also be most helpful for testing your site to simulate how it performs under peak traffic times. For example, if you’re trying to discover what the website will look like during the holiday shopping rush, then synthetic monitoring is your best bet. 


 

Comparing Your Performance to Your Competition 


With synthetic transaction monitoring, you can set up benchmark scenarios to see how your applications are performing over time. You can also benchmark your company’s performance against top competitors within a certain historical time frame or within a specific geographical region. This approach can be especially important for establishing your organization’s strategic outlook for the year as well as for preserving a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

 

 

Analyzing Your E-Commerce Strategy


If you’re in the ecommerce business, then synthetic transaction monitoring is especially useful for ensuring that your ecommerce strategy is firing on all cylinders. Here’s how one source describes it:

“In the world of e-commerce, a synthetic transaction can be a transaction that continuously tries to place an order and monitors if that order succeeded or not. If it does not succeed, it is an indicator that something is wrong and should get someone’s attention immediately.”

 

By setting up tests with synthetic monitoring you can get apprised, for instance, about when one of the steps in your website’s online transaction process is no longer working properly. By tracking and analyzing every click and swipe, synthetic transaction monitoring solution can help you to identify problems and prioritize fixes in your website to ensure that customers continue to have the kind of experience they’ve come to expect.



Real User Monitoring


Real User Monitoring, or RUM for short, is a form of passive web monitoring that has become very popular in recent years. In a nutshell, RUM describes exactly how your online visitors are interacting with your website or application by examining every transaction of every user; it does so by looking at everything from page load times to traffic bottlenecks to global DNS resolution delays. This is the kind of monitoring you need for the day to day, which ensures your business website keeps running optimally and that there are no downtime issues impacting your customers.

 

As with Synthetic Transaction Monitoring, we would also like to know the ideal situations when it makes most sense to adopt Real User Monitoring. Here are 5 scenarios when you should be using this approach.

 


Discover Hidden Performance Issues


Most people have used similar to Real User Monitoring products without even knowing it, such as Google Analytics. 

GA provides a good job of giving you high-level metrics such as page views, click paths, browser versions, and traffic sources. But professional Real User Monitoring is much more oriented towards performance and actual experience of your end-user. Google Analytics isn’t enough if you want a more granular understanding of who is interacting with your website.

 

Here are 10 reasons why it is smart to invest in Real User Monitoring.

 

A more full-featured Real User Monitoring solution will use small bits of JavaScript code to drill deeper and track key metrics across the website and application, including such events as DNS resolution, TCP connect time, SSL encryption negotiation, first-byte transmission, navigation display, page render time, TCP out-of-order segments, and user think time.

 

These metrics provide you with a more detailed picture of your total performance environment. Real User Monitoring is a way of looking at large amounts of data and slicing and dicing it until patterns begin to emerge. RUM can help you find those underlying performance issues that would otherwise go undetected and come back to bite you. 

 


See What Devices Your Visitors Are Using


It’s really helpful to know what percentage of your visitors are coming to your website on mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, and how many are using traditional desktops. Knowing this information can make a difference in how you customize the user experience.

 

For example, if you run an eCommerce website and find that at least half the traffic is coming through mobile devices, then you’re going to want to ensure the page load times are as optimal as possible. Expectations are particularly high on mobile sites. In fact, research shows that 57% mobile customers will abandon a site if they have to wait 3 seconds for it to load.

 

There are thousands of various devices, networks, and operating systems out there. By using Real User Monitoring, you can gather the relevant information on each device type in order to customize a user experience that is extraordinary.

 

Certain RUM platforms can also collect additional important information, such as network provider, OS, browser version, user location, application version, mobile device specs, connection type, network latency, and available end-to-end bandwidth.

 

 

Learn How Visitors Interact With Your Site


Visitors take a variety of paths to get to your website or application. Maybe they found you through some kind of blog or video content, an advertisement, or through social media. Once they land there, Real User Monitoring tells you exactly what they’re doing and how they’re interacting with your brand.

 

This is why understanding page views and load times, site page build performance, and users’ browser and platform performance – all across various geographical regions – are key metrics for understanding how your visitors are doing. This is critical because it provides a ton of useful data for how to optimize your site. By identifying important entry points, such as your eCommerce shopping cart, Real User Monitoring will help ensure the site can handle higher traffic loads – especially during peak holiday shopping times.

 


Discover How 3rd Party Scripts Are Performing


Today’s websites increasingly rely on third-party features such as carts, ads, customer reviews, web analytics, social networking, SEO, video and much more to provide outstanding customer experiences. These tools can be very useful but there’s also a downside. If one of the scripts is unoptimized it can keep your webpages from loading correctly. Another more common factor is that slow scripts can delay the load times of your site.

 

Real User Monitoring can assist in alerting you to potential or real performance degradations and downtime impacts that may result from third party scripts. Being able to monitor the business impact of third party scripts can also provide more line of sight on your service level agreements (SLAs) in order to hold the third-party vendors accountable.

 

 

Find Out How Performance Impacts Your Business Bottom-Line


Even with the shift in recent years to focusing on the end-user, there still tends to be an assumption within IT that application runtime metrics are enough to keep things flowing. It is not, and here’s why. Knowing how a single application is behaving at a point in time doesn’t necessarily give a full picture of your infrastructure. We need optics on the quality of the end-user experience across all applications on all devices at all times. It really comes down to this, as one writer has well summarized: “To translate IT metrics into an End-User-Experience that provides value back to the business.”

 

In other words, there needs to be a clear correlation between web performance and business performance. This is where Real User Monitoring can help. RUM can provide useful insights into the relationship between website load times and sales conversions on key pages so that you can prioritize which pages need to be optimized.

 

At the end of the day, what really matters is that your visitors are enjoying a great user experience at your site and converting into paying customers. The elegant website, the advertisements, the images and other the bells and whistles are all well and good. But if visitors are leaving your site soon after arriving, then something is amiss. Real User Monitoring can make the difference between a casual visitor and a paying customer.



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Building a cohesive image for your brand is vital to making an impression on consumers. When the economy is tough, brands do better than unbranded products. This can have a huge impact on your long-term profits, as the economy goes up and down.
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Concerto Cloud Services, a provider of fully managed private, public and hybrid cloud solutions, announced today it was named to the 20 Coolest Cloud Infrastructure Vendors Of The 2017 Cloud 100 by CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company. This annual lineup recognizes the most innovative cloud technology suppliers in each of the following five categories: infrastructure, platforms and development, security, storage and software.

To learn more, visit Concerto Cloud Services. You can also find additional resources on their dedicated Vendor Topic Page.
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Marketers need statistics and metrics like everybody else needs oxygen. In this article we explain how to enable marketing campaign statistics for Microsoft Exchange mail.
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Read about the 3 stages of the buyer's journey: awareness, consideration, and decision.
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Tableau
This article describes how to use the timestamp of existing data in a database to allow Tableau to calculate the prior work day instead of relying on case statements or if statements to calculate the days of the week.
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Author Comment

by:Brian Pringle
Comment Utility
Tableau does not have a good set of business days.  It will calculate today and yesterday or a range of dates relative to today, but calculating based on another anchor date is not intuitive.  There are numerous questions on the Tableau Web site asking for this.  The reason that we are not using an actual table to store the dates is that we may not always have business on the weekend and other times might.  The intention of this procedure is to let the system figure out when the last business date was from the data rather than a set calendar.

The data set has a large amount of data that gets imported during each business day.  I can query the database to get the distinct list of dates and then calculate from there.  The LOD functions in Tableau are the closest thing to getting that information.
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Expert Comment

by:Jim Horn
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Very well written.  Voting Yes.
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Why would you want to link Google Analytics to Google AdWords? After linking them, you can:
  • Import goals and transactions from Analytics 
  • View  site engagement data from Analytics in AdWords
  • Create remarketing lists in Analytics to use in AdWords for ad targeting 
  • View your AdWords CPC data together with your Analytics site engagement data
Before you start the process of linking your Google Analytics account to your AdWords account, you will need to verify you have admin access for your AdWords account (located in account settings) and edit permissions for your Google Analytics account (located in Admin-> User Management).

1. Sign in to your AdWords account and click the “Tools” tab in the top menu. Select “Google Analytics” from the dropdown menu. 
ADW-tools.png2. Google Analytics will open in a new tab.  In this new tab, click on “Admin” in the top menu.
3. Under the Account column, choose the account you want to link to your AdWords account. In the Property column, choose the Analytics property you want to link and click “AdWords Linking”. Check the box next to the AdWords account you are linking with your Google Analytics property and click “Continue”. 
Google-Analytics.png4. Under the ‘Link configuration’ section, enter a unique name to identify your linked AdWords account and select the Analytics views in which you want the AdWords data to be available. Note: Most users will only need  to …
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Analytics

403

Solutions

11

Articles & Videos

578

Contributors

Analytics is the discovery and communication of meaningful patterns in data. Especially valuable in areas rich with recorded information, analytics relies on the simultaneous application of statistics, computer programming and operations research to quantify performance. Specifically, areas within analytics include predictive analytics, prescriptive analytics, enterprise decision management, retail analytics, store assortment and stock-keeping unit optimization, marketing optimization and marketing mix modeling, web analytics, sales force sizing and optimization, price and promotion modeling, predictive science, credit risk analysis, and fraud analytics.