Let’s say you’re working for a client. You’ve made sure their site is easy to navigate, you’ve cleared and polished the site’s architecture and done all the necessary keyword research. You’ve even shown users why and how they should convert. But still, your site conversion rates remain rather low. What could be wrong?
I’ve encountered cases like this while working for some of my clients and sometimes, the site speed is the culprit. As a digital marketer, this is something you should focus on, not only because Google recently announced that it’s now using site speed as one of the factors determining site ranking, but also because you could be losing a lot of revenue due to a slow-loading site.
However, knowing the culprit and communicating the same to your client are two entirely different matters. After all, how can you be sure that users living in different locations are also experiencing slow loading speeds? Additionally, how can you compile data comparing loading speeds for your competitors?
Using the Chrome User Experience (CRUX) Report
This is one of the tools I’ve used to show clients how important site speed is. Released by Google in 2017, CRUX allows developers, digital marketers and others to understand how real-world users experience different sites. It also provides valuable insight into comparing other sites and UX trends across the web.
Here are a few things to know about using the CRUX report:
The kind of site speed data contained in the report.
One thing I like about this report is you get recordings of how long it took different webpages to reach certain loading milestones e.g. First Input Delay, First Paint, First Contentful Paint, etc. This way, you can figure out what needs improvement.
How to access the CRUX report.
There are two ways to access the CRUX report- either using BigQuery or CRUX Studio Dashboard. The latter gives you a simple way of presenting data but has some limitations.
How to present the CRUX site speed data.
Using the CRUX studio dashboard will give you a simplified way of presenting data since it shows a readout based on how Slow, Average or Fast the site was to reach a loading point. For best results, split this into different categories then plot milestones in a separate graph for presentation.
The report doesn’t just give you a single number for load times.
The thing about site speed is that you can’t really say your site loads in X or Y seconds because pages don’t load evenly for all users. The amount of time it takes to load a page varies depending on the user location and type of connection plus the kind of stress the servers are experiencing.
Limitations in the CRUX report.
One limitation of the CRUX report is that it combines site speed statistics from different devices i.e. mobile, desktop and tablet, yet these are vastly different. The final data might give an erroneous reflection of site speed because of this.
Schedule a consultation with me today to get further insights into how you can boost your site speed to benefit your business.