8 KPIs of a Healthy Website, and How to Improve Them

Whether you’re a small website owner who focuses mainly on local searches and traffic or a large e-commerce site with international traffic, your website’s performance is a top priority. Running a website means you need to keep a close eye on how it’s performing. Your website’s health is crucial for delivering a fantastic user experience, boosting your search engine rankings, and driving those all-important conversions.

In this blog post, we explain what website performance indicators are and why they matter. We’re also going to dive deeper into 8 of the most important indicators, why they’re important, and give you tips on how to improve them. 

If you own, work on, or market a website of any size – stick around to go through our website performance checklist to make sure your site is operating the way it should.

What are website KPIs?

Key performance indicators are a part of every type of marketing. There are content marketing KPIs, social media KPIs, and, for the purpose of this blog – Website KPIs.

Website KPIs are metrics that are used to give all those involved in its maintenance and upkeep insight into its performance. These indicators tell us a lot about the site’s functionality, speed, and overall health. The data also helps make decisions related to SEO and consumer behavior. 

It’s important to understand how efficiently your website is running and how people are interacting with it. 

Why is it important to monitor website performance?

One of the biggest reasons for monitoring website performance is to maintain a good user experience. If people are trying to engage with or navigate your website and experience slow-loading pages, downtime, or multiple errors, it’s guaranteed to turn away potential customers. 

When people regularly visit your site, have a poor experience, and leave it without navigating further, this has a direct negative impact on your SEO and search engine ranking. 

Why? 

Because it creates a high bounce rate that tells Google you aren’t giving people what they want.

In the e-commerce world, website performance is directly tied to revenue. Downtime and delays can have a bigger impact on conversions than many people realize. But, if you’re keeping an eye on the KPIs, you can optimize your site and make adjustments that lead to a better user experience and improve conversion rates and, ultimately, sales. It’ll also be a good indication of which campaigns and initiatives are helping achieve the business’ goals and pinpoint improvement areas. 

8 Important website KPIs you should be monitoring (and how)

1. Page Load Time

What is it?

The page load time is pretty self-explanatory. It measures how long it takes for the entire page to be fully loaded and functional. Websites that take too long to load lead to frustration and higher bounce rates. It only takes 3 seconds of loading to push bounce rates up by 32%.

Improvements:

  • Optimize your code by cleaning up your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to reduce file sizes.
  • Use Gzip or similar tools to compress files.
  • Regularly test your website’s speed for actionable insights. 
  • Prioritize above-the-fold content (content that’s visible without needing to scroll).
  • Use lazy loading to load content as needed. 

2. Time to First Byte

What is it?

Time to First Byte (TTFB) is the amount of time it takes for your browser to receive the first byte of data from your server after making a request. A lower TTFB means that your server is performing well. A higher TTFB could point to issues or high traffic volumes. 

Improvements:

  • Optimize server performance by using faster, more efficient servers.
  • Reduce server response time by optimizing database queries and server-side scripts.
  • Use caching to store regularly requested data to speed up response times.
  • Upgrade your hosting plan – If your current plan can’t handle your traffic, consider an upgrade.

3. Bounce Rate

What is it?

A bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors coming to your site but leaving almost as quickly as they arrived. They don’t perform any action and exit without exploring any other pages. 

A high bounce rate can significantly impact ranking on search engines and your ability to attract more traffic to your site. It’ll show you how people interact with your site. If you keep an eye on high exit pages, you’ll be able to cover gaps in your funnel and optimize your site as a whole.

Improvements:

  • Regularly test your website’s loading speed and make adjustments where necessary.
  • Make navigation easy for users to find what they’re looking for.
  • Use engaging and relevant content that grabs the user’s attention.
  • Optimize your internal linking strategy to guide users through your website. 

4. Conversion Rate

What is it?

A conversion could be someone who performs any desired action. That includes anything from making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, filling out a contact form, or any other goal you’ve set. This indicator directly impacts your business goals. A higher conversion rate means more customers, more subscribers, or more leads.

Improvements:

  • Use clear and compelling CTAs that prompt an action.
  • Display trust signals throughout your website, including reviews and guarantees. 
  • Simplify forms by only asking for essential information. 

5. Error Rate

What is it?

Error rate refers to the frequency of errors encountered by users on your site. These errors could be anything from 404 pages (page not found) to 500 errors (server errors). 

A high error rate can significantly tarnish your website’s user experience. It not only frustrates users but also indicates underlying issues that need attention.

Improvements:

  • Fix broken links by regularly auditing your site for broken links and fixing them.
  • Improve server reliability* by making sure it’s capable of handling traffic loads.
  • Update plugins and monitoring software to prevent compatibility issues.

6. Mobile Performance

What is it?

Mobile performance refers to how well your website functions on smartphones and tablets. This includes everything from load speed and navigation to how your content looks on smaller screens. 

People often make the mistake of overlooking the importance of mobile performance. I say it’s a mistake because 64% of searches are carried out on mobile devices. If you aren’t optimizing your site for these searches, that’s a lot of missed opportunities and potential sales. 

Improvements:

  • Use a responsive design when creating your website to make sure it seamlessly adjusts to any screen.
  • Optimize loading speed (we know, we’ve mentioned this one a few times. It’s a big one). 
  • Simplify your site’s navigation and make it more accessible. 
  • Use touch-friendly elements like links and buttons to limit the need for enlarging. 

7. Server Response Time

What is it?

This is the time it takes for your server to respond to a user’s request. For example, when someone clicks on your website link, the time taken for the server to react and start loading the website is your response time. 

In today’s fast-paced world, people are not willing to wait. 

Improvements:

  • Use a website monitoring tool to continuously monitor your site’s response time. Knowing where the problem is can put you in a better position to address it.
  • Large images can slow down your site. Optimize your images by compressing them to speed things up.
  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) that distributes your content across multiple servers worldwide. This will reduce the distance data has to travel.
  • Minimize HTTP requests. The fewer elements on a page, the faster it can load.
  • Again, use browser caching. This allows returning visitors to load your site faster.

8. Uptime

What is it?

Uptime is the amount of time your website is up and running properly. It’s often expressed as a percentage, with the goal of having a website that’s 100% accessible 100% of the time. Downtime is inevitable, but minimizing it should be a top priority. 

Uptime monitoring is a fundamental factor in your site’s performance. If your website isn’t accessible, visitors can’t engage with your content, products, or services. This in turn leads to a loss of revenue, credibility, and even search engine rankings.

This is where Tethered comes in. This tool provides real-time monitoring of your website’s uptime. It alerts you the moment your site goes down on a platform of your choosing, so you can tackle the issue head-on. With Tethered, you can monitor your site’s uptime 24/7 without having to constantly check manually. This means you get to focus more on creating amazing content or products while Tethered keeps an eye on things.

Key takeaways

We’ve covered a lot of ground and, hopefully, if you’ve reached this point in the blog, you’ve learned the value of monitoring your website’s performance. Optimizing a website isn’t just about having a great layout and good content — it’s about monitoring those important indicators that can really make or break the user experience, your SEO efforts, and your bottom line.

Rather than watching your website around the clock and exhausting manpower and resources in the process, tools like Tethered act as your safety net against downtime. They help you keep an eye on your site’s performance around the clock, so you can spend more time focusing on the strategic growth of your online business. 

By focusing on and fine-tuning KPIs like Page Load Time, Time to First Byte, Bounce Rate, Conversion Rate, Error Rate, Mobile Performance, Server Response Time, and Uptime, you’re setting your site up for success. Think of these metrics as the pulse of your website, giving you insights into what’s working and what needs a bit of TLC.

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