Five ways to optimise the end user experience
As a digital marketer, you know a site’s speed and performance are critical to the end-user experience.
Your clients need to provide high-quality experiences for their customers to improve retention and the bottom line. But how do you ensure a site is up-to-speed? In the following post, I’ll discuss the ways in which you can optimize your client’s site to deliver a great experience for their customers.
Site speed matters
Here are a few reasons why you (and your customers) should care:
- 46% of users won’t return to a poorly performing website
- 79% of users who are dissatisfied with a website’s performance are less likely to purchase from that website in the future
- A one-second page response delay can lead to a 7% reduction in lead conversions
- Lead conversion rates are highest when a website takes between one and two seconds to load
Just in case you’re not convinced, take Marissa Mayer’s Google experiment: she increased the number of Google search results to 30, and Google’s traffic and revenue dropped by 20%. Why the drop, especially when users had specifically asked for more results? After investigating, Mayer found that increasing the results also increased page load times from .4 seconds to .9 — half a second delay caused a 20% drop in traffic, and directly contributed to user unhappiness.
Make performance a priority
Site speed and performance can have a major impact on how users behave on your client’s site. Here are five ways you can ensure they have a great experience:
1. Deliver content instantly. As noted above, site visitors expect instant results: 40% of users leave a website that takes longer than three seconds to load. With this in mind, make sure your clients have a modern content delivery network (CDN) as part of their application stack. CDNs temporarily store (cache) site data closer to users, making content accessible instantly (within milliseconds, versus several seconds). Modern CDNs like Fastly give technical teams the flexibility to update content — like news or product information — and change configurations instantly (without having to go through support for every change).
2. Personalise content. Amazon provides a custom experience, each shopper receiving personalised recommendations based on previous purchases and browsing history. And, a recent survey shows that 52% of digital marketers agree that “the ability to personalize web content is fundamental to their online strategy.” One way to do this is to target users by their location; using GeoIP / Geography Detection, you can personalise the shopping experience based on location, such as showing local reviews of a product (which has been shown to increase buyer confidence) or product availability by region. Serving localised content to users based on region helps tailor the experience for individual visitors to your client’s site.
3. Cache what you can and accelerate what you can’t. Traditionally, having personalised page content would mean the entire page would have to pass through to your origin server, which would put a dent on site performance. CDNs with features such as Edge Side Includes (ESI), however, allow you to mix and match cacheable and uncacheable elements on a page. You can even accelerate uncacheable content, ensuring a fast user experience even for personalised content.
5. Keep an eye on performance. Tools like CDNs and third-party plugins are great for improving the end-user experience, but it’s also important to monitor how they affect a site. Especially if your team is constantly running campaigns and A/B testing, it’s critical to determine how your work is affecting site performance. Web performance monitoring tools let you monitor all the elements you might be working on across a client’s website and mobile applications, giving you access to analytics and data to determine how these tools are impacting site performance.
To learn more about how Fastly can help optimize online experiences, contact us here.