Web Performance Matters: How To Speed-Up Sites to Increase Digital Marketing Results

Last fall I started to worry about this site’s performance.  The process of posting and viewing pages was becoming alarmingly slow.  Everyone who works on the site noticed it, and I started to wonder if sometime soon I’d sign on to find a major server crash, and potentially tons of lost data to restore.

web-performance-beforeSo I used some of the web performance tools I described in my recent post on how Web Performance helps User Experience.  Yslow showed that my server was quickly responding (thanks ISP) but that page content was delayed.  And Google Webmaster Tools showed that my site had dropped gradually from loading a page in a second or two to subjecting visitors to a ten-second delay.

Fearing that gradual slope might extend for ever, I called up a friend in London who is a WordPress whiz.  She took one look at this chart and responded that “The database needs a rebuild — no problem.” Exactly one day later, here’s what happened.

One Day of Effort Made Useful Arts 80% Faster at Serving Pages
web-performance-after

But What If Your Site Is Already Running Well?
Having seen this improvement on my blog, I turned to improving some of the sites I work on professionally.  The good news is that most of them were not facing a long performance decline.  However, by cleaning up bloated code and compressing web-performance-better-codeimages sizes. I’ve been able to iteratively improve pretty good sites to be over a half-second faster, which yesterday’s post showed was enough to drive business results.

While this wasn’t the only improvement to these sites over the last few months, the improvement in site performance did parallel improving conversion rate.

Today when I make the business case to deploy commercial content management systems for the dozens of sites I work with, I always connect improved site performance with revenue maximization.

Along with faster site requisitioning and enabling teams to create more pages faster, the research showing that fast pages convert better helps make the case for digital marketing as a revenue engine. And for technical acumen as a core marketing skill.  And that’s why page speed matters.

4 Responses to "Web Performance Matters: How To Speed-Up Sites to Increase Digital Marketing Results"

  • Miko Coffey

    September 22, 2010

    Glad to have been of some assistance – and thrilled that a little tidy up had such a huge impact. The really interesting thing to note is that recently Google announced that site loading time was going to play a role in search engine rankings. So there’s even more reason to make sure your site is performing at its best.

    Matt Cutts’ comments on the Google change:
    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/site-speed/

    and Google’s official post which includes links to some handy tools:
    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2010/04/using-site-speed-in-web-search-ranking.html

  • […] a genius with WordPress themes. Remember last year, when UsefulArts slowed down and I needed to improve website performance? She was the friend in London who is the WordPress […]

  • […] Recently Dave Wieneke, a digital strategist from Boston who has a long-running and very popular business blog called Useful Arts, contacted me looking for some help on improving the look and functionality of his blog. I had originally started working with Dave about 18 months ago, when he got in touch asking for some technical maintenance help. His blog had been running really slow, and he had also lost some data on a previous upgrade, so he wanted someone who knew their way around WordPress to give him a hand. After giving his blog a good spring clean, upgrade and backup, the site was running smoothly and much quicker (you can read Dave’s blog post about this – including the great results – here). […]

  • japan 2 day diet

    February 1, 2014

    Thnx so much for this! I havent been this thrilled by a blog post for a long time! You have got it, whatever that means in blogging. Anyway, Youre definitely somebody that has something to say that people should hear. Keep up the outstanding work. Keep on inspiring the people!

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