Your company’s website should be the best first impression for your business. When a potential customer finds your site, it’s important for that customer to have a positive experience. How can website owners create a great user experience? Here are five of the most important website performance indicators.

What is your Website’s Uptime?

Uptime is simply the amount of time that a website is available on the Internet. Obviously, any time a website is “down,” no one can access the information on the site, which can bring an e-commerce site’s sales crashing to a halt. The performance indicator for uptime is measured in percentages. The optimum percentage for uptime on a website is 99.999% (also known as the “five nines”,) which means your site in as close to 100% online as it can get. Measure your website’s uptime from a variety of key pages to get a true indicator of its performance.

What is your Website’s Full Page Load Time?

Page load time is defined as how long the website takes to load the source code of specific pages. Short loading time improves the user experience and boosts organic search engine rankings. Remember, Google uses page loading speed as one of its ranking factors, so the faster your website pages load, the better your website looks to Google’s algorithm. If you have pages on your website that load slowly, it may help to reduce the size of the page’s images.

Are there any Broken Links on your Website?

A missing or broken link frustrates site visitors and gives them a negative first impression of your business. It can deter customers from making a purchase and hurts your page rank on search engines. How can you prevent the dreaded “Error 404” message? When you rename or move pages on your website, be sure to redirect the old page or its URL to a destination on a similar topic.

Do you Know the Number of Visitors to your Website?

Web traffic is critical to every website’s success. If you know how many visitors you have to your website, you can track surge times. An upsurge may mean that you have to upgrade your servers; a down surge could indicate a technical problem with your site or a lack of quality content. Google Analytics provides a comprehensive free tool to measure website visitors and get in-depth statistics on website traffic.

Do you Regularly Approach your Website as a First-time User?

Want to know what new customers see? Enter your website as if you are seeing it for the first time. Ask these questions:

–Is my website easy to navigate for a first-time user?

–Is the text easy to read and broken into logical copy blocks?

–If the site is an e-commerce site, does each page provide necessary information for purchases?

–Are the images clear and in focus?

–Is all the contact information current and correct?

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