As an ad publisher, your revenue depends on two main factors: traffic to your site and ad optimization. A lot of the focus goes into the practice and processes of driving traffic to your site from an SEO perspective, but what if when visitors get to your site, they have a less than ideal experience? All the effort and time that went into creating and driving traffic to your site would be for nothing if the visitor lands on your page and doesn’t take any action. And if they did have a poor experience, how would you know for sure? Page speed has been a key factor in Google’s ranking algorithm since 2010, so it is essential to understand the various ways you can optimize your pages and why implementing synthetic monitoring can ensure your pages perform flawlessly and revenue isn’t lost.
Find Your Performance Baseline
In order to begin optimizing your pages, you’ll need to see how your pages are currently performing. Running a website speed test can help to determine what factors may be slowing your pages down. There are tools available such as Dotcom-Monitor’s free speed test that you can utilize to gauge performance. The tool gives you the option to run a speed test from 25 locations around the world. Remember, speed is key to the user experience. If a majority of your visitors are from specific locations, you need to determine performance from their perspective. And not only that, the tool also allows you to select from different desktop/mobile browsers, which comes in handy if you know what devices your visitors utilize.
Once the test is complete, the tool provides a waterfall chart, along with a detailed summary of performance that includes errors, host, and the slowest/fastest elements. including DNS, Connection, SSL, Request, First packet, and Download.
Optimize Your Pages
- Images: Many image files do not use optimal compression, which in turn, makes your site load slower. There are many free image compression tools that you can use to quickly and easily optimize your images. (One of our favorite image compression tools is TinyPNG.)
Synthetic Monitoring: Continuous Website Performance Monitoring
Optimizing your site from an SEO perspective is certainly an essential piece of the puzzle. But as we’ve mentioned, if your pages don’t perform to your visitors’ expectations, they’ll quickly lose interest and leave. As if website speed wasn’t enough, Google has recently announced that user metrics will become a core ranking factor by 2021.
Implementing a synthetic monitoring solution can allow you to continuously monitor your web pages for performance issues. Traditional monitoring solutions only tell you if your site is up or not. Synthetic monitoring goes even further by simulating visitors to your pages. And unlike Real User Monitoring (RUM) solutions, where you need actual user data to understand how your pages are performing, synthetic monitoring can be set up to run continuously, so teams can be notified the exact moment issues occur.
Dotcom-Monitor Website Monitoring
Web performance solutions like Dotcom-Monitor offer real browser-based monitoring for your web pages and applications to establish performance benchmarks. If performance is impacted by any page elements, an alert is sent that details the issue to help pinpoint where the issue occurred. Additionally, the solution captures a video that is synced with the waterfall chart, so you can easily diagnose page errors, minimize downtime, and ultimately, impact to visitors.
Another key feature of the Dotcom-Monitor platform is the EveryStep Web Recorder. The recorder is used to script visitor actions, as well as being able to verify images and page content, and upload those steps for ongoing monitoring. This is critical for ad publishers, as ad placements have a direct impact on revenue by allowing visitors to be able to see and access your ad placements. By validating that your images and content renders properly, you ensure that on-page content is consistent for all visitors across various desktop and mobile platforms.
The Dotcom-Monitor platform also offers solutions to monitor your Internet Infrastructure, such web servers and DNS servers. Server response time can be affected by the number of visitors, page resources, or even your hosting provider. A slow DNS resolution can translate to slow web page performance. Identifying any server bottlenecks ensures your web pages and other critical services are running.