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Web Performance Optimization

Web performance optimization is the process by which any website improves its visibility on search engines and its overall performance. However, the term has been interchangeably used with the individual aspects of online marketing such as SEO, SEM, and SMO etc.

This is more because the previous conception about Web performance optimization was only limited to the marketing sector. Traditionally, users in order to gain good ranking on search engines would prefer marketing tactics. However, now Web performance optimization has revolutionized and got more focused than that.

While the broader off-site/external aspects like digital marketing are too involved, web performance optimization concentrates on improving the internal metrics of a website to supercharge its speed. The Web leaders of today and especially those who set out the channels of online visibility, tell us that speed of an online presence is what that matters the most.

If it’s a website that a business depends upon, than it’s highly delusional sense of an entrepreneur to underestimate the power of performance optimization. Google, who is literally the king of search engine land, clearly states that fast sites win over the slower ones and only the winners are listed in the prime search engine results.

. If it is fast and ugly, they will use it and curse you; If it is slow, they will not use it. – David Cheriton.

In this post, Cloudreviews with a full focus on web performance optimization will update readers how web performance optimization has evolved, what’s its significance these days and how business can approach a proficient Web performance optimization strategy and increase their productivity.

The Ins & Outs of Web Performance Optimization 

History tells us that the expectations of users in terms of Site Load times have changed significantly. Back in the year 2006, web users were majorly content with the way website loaded. They were happy to wait for more than 5 seconds on a website while it was loading and displaying its content.

By 2009 user’s expectations shifted downwards to 2s. The result to this shift was also similarand the industry started to strive for the 2 second rule. For quite a while, this two second rule prevailed and became the benchmark for web performance optimization. However, as web users started to turn to more speedy websites, it seemed that this rule was not to last.

In an interview with New York Times, Harry Schum, Speed specialist for Microsoft, said that

.The magic number now is now somewhere between 300 to 250ms.

Yes! That’s right. Literally in less than a second a site is open to lose its competitive edge. While the ongoing race of web expectations is running wild, the old 2 second rule has been long gone. For the present generation, waiting for a slow web page to load and deliver content has become an increasingly frustrating experience. And with a slow website, the window of opportunity for businesses that web visitors will stay on their website is very subtle.

. Optimize front-end performance first, that’s where 80% or more of the end-user response time is spent. – Prof. Steve Souders.

Web Performance Optimization – The Verdict

A proper and timely take-on web performance optimization has increasingly put many businesses upfront on search engines. With a great performing website online businesses have not only been able to improve their user experience, but a dramatic increase in their productivity and sales has also been seen.

On the other hand, websites with slow functionality in comparison to the latest trends of website load time have had a hard time balancing their sales withuser experience. Some haven’t even had that much luck. To them it’s the consistent search engine algorithm shift that has been causing such deplorable online visibility, while it’s just the algorithm lashing out at their site’s speed reducing their visibility.

Web Performance by ISP:

web performance optimization

The impact of web performance optimization is big for businesses online.  This is also the confirmation from Velocity™, a renowned web performance and operations conference. To support our piece, we have added some of the web performance optimization related stories by Velocity. However before we would go any further let’s take a look on how slow website hurt business metrics, as studied by major search engine.

  • Bing – a website that was 2 seconds slower had a 4.3% drop in its revenue.
  • Yahoo – delay of 400 milliseconds reduced 5-9% of full page traffic from a website.
  • Google – slowdown of 400 milliseconds resulted in 0.59 % drop in the searches of a user.

On the other hand there are quite many companies who have reaped the fruits out of a sound web performance optimization strategy:

  • Netflix, a leading online streaming service provider improved its website’s speed up to 13-25 % through a single optimization trick i.e. Gzip compression. In this way they were able to cut their outbound network traffic by 50 %.
  • Shopzilla sped up their website’s speed by 5 secondsand as a result they increased their conversions 7-12%. They were also able to cut the number of servers and double their sessions from search engine marketing.
  • Mozilla was also able to increase its download conversions 15.4% just by shaving off a 2.2 second delay form their landing pages. It is estimated that their conversion percentile is going to get them an approximate 60 million more Firefox downloads per year.

WPOWhat Do I Stand To Gain Through Web Performance Optimization?

Just by considering the above mentioned examples of the brands that took benefit from Web performance optimization, it’s hard to understand that what the underlying metrics are that web performance optimization specifically allows you to target.

This is where we come in. See below, as Cloudreviews tells you at what extent web performance optimization is going to bring you a host of important factors.

- Improvement in Search Engine Rankings: Although, its sophisticated algorithms that tend to rank your websites in search results, but through the recent deployments in the algorithm, one thing is certain that site opening speeds matters a lot. If you feel like your site ranks low, in spite of the implementations of all the great SEO tactics, try to see if your site’s speed is the real issue. Once through web performance optimization, you will literally have the rankings you crave.

- Improved Crawl Time:Web performance optimization also tends to increase the crawl time of your web pages so . This is backed by a Canadian based optimization expert that in a study proved that Google bot crawls twice as many pages of a fast website. Crawling is highly responsible for the search engine rankings and traffic of your website. As you can see in the graph that the improvement in web page performance as latency or page load time decreases.

web performance optimization

- Higher Page Views: The number of page views of your website remains as its measurable performance indicator. Many businesses that have undertaken web performance optimization have seen a great increase in their website’s page views. Phil Dixon, VP of engineering at Shopzilla also agrees that web performance optimization has given their website a 25% increase in total page views. Let’s look at the graph.

- Reduced Operation Costs: The reduced operation costs feature of web performance optimization is determined after an in-depth analysis of your existing web performance optimization strategy. However, it signifies that at the server end, a performance optimized website tends to squeeze in lesser computational resources off the server. Now, this attribute might be invalid for users on conventional hosting platforms, but for those who integrate the advanced hosting technology such as Cloud hosting, can increasingly cut short their Resource utilization bills ( in Cloud, resources are rented inmetered manner). Furthermore, fororganization operating their own datacenters, caching optimizations would allow them to save some serious expenditure in terms of power and maintenance.

- Increment in Revenue: A fast and responsive website is the key to online success and great conversion rates. The aforementioned businesses that have displayed quite a show by increasing their sales are some great examples for you to learn from.

What’s Next in WPO?

The present era is all about speed. How fast consumers can explore your realm of offerings, clearly suggests you the number in which they will convert intobuyer. We believe that besides, off page optimization and other marketing tactics, web performance optimization should be foremost thing users need to do in order to improve their user experience.

Anyways, if you want to learn what are those factors that tend to hold back your website’s performance and how you can outmaneuver them? Then stay on with Cloudreviews as our next post will be all about How-tos of Web performance optimization.

Muhammad Ammar Naeem [Striver]

Ammar is a tech-enthusiast who just loves to explore the latest advancements in the technological world. His core interest is more towards various computing models including cloud computing. With his immense knowledge in this field, he shares information and latest updates with others through blogs.

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