Web Optimization

Visualizing Speed Metrics to Improve SEO, UX, & Revenue – Whiteboard Friday

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Posted by sam.marsden

We know how important page speed is to Google, but why is that, exactly? With increasing benefits to SEO, UX, and customer loyalty that inevitably translates to revenue, there are more reasons than ever to both focus on site speed and become adept at communicating its value to devs and stakeholders. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Sam Marsden takes us point-by-point through how Google understands speed metrics, the best ways to access and visualize that data, and why it all matters.

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Video Transcription

Hi, Moz fans, and welcome to another Whiteboard Friday. My name is Sam Marsden, and I work as an SEO at web crawling platform DeepCrawl. Today we’re going to be talking about how Google understands speed and also how we can visualize some of the performance metrics that they provide to benefit things like SEO, to improve user experience, and to ultimately generate more revenue from your site.

Google & speed

Let’s start by taking a look at how Google actually understands speed. We all know that a faster site generally results in a better user experience. But Google hasn’t actually directly been incorporating that into their algorithms until recently. It wasn’t until the mobile speed update, back in July, that Google really started looking at speed. Now it’s likely only a secondary ranking signal now, because relevance is always going to be much more important than how quickly the page actually loads.

But the interesting thing with this update was that Google has actually confirmed some of the details about how they understand speed. We know that it’s a mix of lab and field data. They’re bringing in lab data from Lighthouse, from the Chrome dev tools and mixing that with data from anonymized Chrome users. So this is available in the Chrome User Experience Report, otherwise known as CrUX.

CrUX metrics

Now this is a publicly available database, and it includes five different metrics. You’ve got first paint, which is when anything loads on the page. You’ve then got first contentful paint, which is when some text or an image loads. Then you’ve DOM content loaded, which is, as the name suggests, once the DOM is loaded. You’ve also got onload, which is when any additional scripts have loaded. That’s kind of like the full page load. The fifth and final metric is first input delay, and that’s the time between when a user interacts with your site to when the server actually responds to that.

These are the metrics that make up the CrUX database, and you can actually access this CrUX data in a number of different ways. 

Where is CrUX data?

1. PageSpeed Insights

The first and easiest way is to go to PageSpeed Insights. Now you just plug in whatever page you’re interested in, and it’s going to return some of the CrUX metrics along with Lighthouse and a bunch of recommendations about how you can actually improve the performance of your site. That’s really useful, but it just kind of provides a snapshot rather than it’s not really good for ongoing monitoring as such.

2. CrUX dashboard

Another way that you can access CrUX data is through the CrUX dashboard, and this provides all of the five different metrics from the CrUX database. What it does is it looks at the percentage of page loads, splitting them out into slow, average, and fast loads. This also trends it from month to month so you can see how you’re tracking, whether you’re getting better or worse over time. So that’s really good. But the problem with this is you can’t actually manipulate the visualization of that data all that much.

3. Accessing the raw data

To do that and get the most out of the CrUX database, you need to query the raw data. Because it’s a freely available database, you can query the database by creating a SQL query and then putting this into BigQuery and running it against the CrUX database. You can then export this into Google Sheets, and then that can be pulled into Data Studio and you can create all of these amazing graphs to visualize how speed is performing or the performance of your site over time.



It might sound like a bit of a complicated process, but there are a load of great guides out there. So you’ve got Paul Calvano, who has a number of video tutorials for getting started with this process. There’s also Rick Viscomi, who’s got a CrUX Cookbook, and what this is, is a number of templated SQL queries, where you just need to plug in the domains that you’re interested in and then you can put this straight into BigQuery.

Also, if you wanted to automate this process, rather than exporting it into Google Sheets, you could pull this into Google Cloud Storage and also update the SQL query so this pulls in on a monthly basis. That’s where you kind of want to get to with that.

Why visualize?

Once you’ve got to this stage and you’re able to visualize the data, what should you actually do with it? Well, I’ve got a few different use cases here.

1. Get buy-in

The first is you can get buy-in from management, from clients, whoever you report into, for various optimization work. If you can show that you’re flagging behind competitors, for example, that might be a good basis for getting some optimization initiatives rolling. You can also use the Revenue Impact Calculator, which is a really simple kind of Google tool which allows you to put in some various details about your site and then it shows you how much more money you could be making if your site was X% faster.

2. Inform devs

Once you’ve got the buy-in, you can use the CrUX visualizations to inform developers. What you want to do here is show exactly the areas that your site is falling down. Where are these problem areas? It might be, for example, that first contentful paint is suffering. You can go to the developers and say, “Hey, look, we need to fix this.” If they come back and say, “Well, our independent tests show that the site is performing fine,” you can point to the fact that it’s from real users. This is how people are actually experiencing your site.

3. Communicate impact

Thirdly and finally, once you’ve got these optimization initiatives going, you can communicate the impacts that they’re actually having on performance and also business metrics. You could trend these various performance metrics from month to month and then overlay various business metrics. You might want to look at conversion rates. You might want to look at bounce rates, etc. and showing those side-by-side so that you can see whether they’re improving as the performance of the site is improving as well.

Faster site = better UX, better customer loyalty, and growing SEO benefit

These are different ways that you can visualize the CrUX database, and it’s really worthwhile, because if you have a faster site, then it’s going to result in better user experience. It’s going to result in better customer loyalty, because if you’re providing your users with a great experience, then they’re actually more likely to come back to you rather than going to one of your competitors.

There’s also a growing SEO benefit. We don’t know how Google is going to change their algorithms going forward, but I wouldn’t be surprised if speed is coming in more and more as a ranking signal.

This is how Google understands page speed, some ways that you can visualize the data from the CrUX database, and some of the reasons why you would want to do that.

I hope that’s been helpful. It’s been a pleasure doing this. Until the next time, thank you very much.

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Web Optimization

Two Key Marketing Opportunities Amid Stories of Fake Traffic and Fraudulent Metrics

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 Why Transparency &&Organic Content Are Important for Marketers

 Why Transparency &&Organic Content Are Important for Marketers

““ What you understand you can’t describe, however you feel it. You’ve felt it your whole life, that there’s something incorrect with the world. You do not understand what it is, however it exists, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.” — ”– Morpheus, The Matrix

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.” How much of the web is phony?” considered the heading of a late-December New York Magazine function , prior to addressing its own concern: “A lot in fact.”.What followed was an organized unpacking of that facility, by means of author Max Read . Harsh and rather negative, his argument was backed by realities and proof at every turn.He recorded case after case of phony traffic and deceptive metrics.He shared videos of fake engagement factories called click farms.He mentioned genuine stories and data that validate the prominence, pervasiveness, and plague of these concerns.Read’s short article shook me out of my relaxing vacation satisfaction. This wasn’t all news to me, however never ever had I seen many examples put together into one grim, gut-wrenching montage. The web is a naturally dirty location –– you can’t physically count visitors to an article, as you might with participants at a conference speech or consumers in a shop –– so the success of a digital market depends upon our cumulative faith in the stability of information (and objectives).It’s not the variety of non-human “users” ” that problems me. We’ve understood for a long time that bots comprise a big part of site traffic , and any expert worth their salt is representing that truth. What difficulties me is the capacity (unavoidable?) presence of wicked stars looking for to benefit and trick —– and the consequences thereof.Mr. Read puts it finest with this poignant observation:.” What’’ s gone from the web, after all, isn’’ t ‘fact,’ however trust: the sense that the things and individuals we experience are what they represent themselves to be.”.Taking a Toll on Trust.The digital world saw its share of bombshells in 2018, and I ‘d argue couple of were larger than the filing of an modified suit from a group of little marketers , declaring that Facebook purposefully provided incorrect video metrics back in 2015/16, which the degree of this inflation was higher than formerly thought.Simply one separated occurrence (ideally), it’s the kind of heading that serves to more deteriorate a reducing level of trust in between individuals and the organizations they rely on. These events send out shockwaves through the digital universe that are felt in every corner, with far-flung ramifications..When surveyed by CMO Council in 2015, 62% of online marketers suggested that reports about malfunctioning and incorrect metrics have actually triggered them to draw back on invest with Facebook and Google. The newest Edelman Trust Barometer reveals prevalent international drops in trust towards platforms —– most dramatically in the U.S. Global Trust IndexFor digital marketers that value accuracy online marketers honestyWorth precision can sincerity tempting to ignore these appealing of headlines and overlook, going about headings own business and letting all company noise play out on sound own. This would be an error.We can just manage what we can manage, however within that world, there are actions we can require to neutralize these unpleasant stories.2 Key Opportunities for Digital Marketers.Internally and externally, online marketers are handling uphill struggles that are steepened by these advancements. Internally, we need to have the ability to with confidence trust our metrics and present them to our managers. Externally, we’’ re dealing with an audience that is growing more distrustful by nature.From my view, the growing acknowledgment of phony web traffic and deceitful metrics must oblige online marketers to show attentively, and double-down on 2 important foundations in the digital period: openness and natural material.# 1: Transparency is More Essential Than Ever.It’’ s getting more difficult for individuals to take things at stated value. Put on’’ t force them to. The more we can be sincere and open about our practices, procedures, and concepts, the more we can distance ourselves from dubious stars who are harming the market’s track record.Information measurement and analysis is hard. Mistakes and mistakes occur. If your firm or organisation is frontal in the method it determines and deals with these scenarios, you’’ re most likely to sustain relying on relationships with your customers, clients, and company partners.One business that has actually impressed me with the method it welcomes openness is Lemonade , a tech-driven insurance provider out of New York. In line with its overarching objective to fight trust concerns that have actually afflicted the insurance coverage market, Lemonade runs a content series on its site and social networks called The Transparency Chronicles , introspectively talking about business with a spectacular level of sincerity.““ We draw, in some cases,” ” was the title of a post from co-founder Shai Wininger last June, reviewing the very first half of 2018. He didn ’ t avoid his business ’ s imperfections and failures; he acknowledged them, attempted to gain from them, and welcomed the brand name ’ s neighborhood to participate in the discussion. Beyond revitalizing to see.  Lemonade Transprarency Chronicles Lemonade is generally bringing a brand-new design to the marketplace: insurance coverage claims sent straight through an app, with a personalized AI bot as your guide, eliminating brokers and disputes of interest from the formula. There are bound to be unpredicted snags and missteps along the method with such an undertaking. The business ’ s openness about its journey makes clients more comfy in participating. As an online marketer, you can ’ t assurance whatever you attempt is going to work. You can ’ t even ensure every view counted by a third-party platform is a real person. If you ’ re open, truthful, and transparent, you can reduce these obscurities and unpredictabilities. # 2: Investing in Organic Content Programs Now Makes More Sense Than Ever. Paid media and digital marketing will permanently stay crucial.They represent a short-term, limited use of marketing invest, whereas natural material is a long-lasting play that can keep on offering. It ’ s like leasing traffic versus investing in traffic. In an age of unstable intake metrics, the latter ends up being even more attractive. Smart, tactical material marketing that lines up with your target market and follow modern-day SEO concepts will construct equity gradually. It ’ s more qualitative, and not as reliant on brief bursts of traffic volume, so brand names put on ’ t requirement to issue themselves as much with the worth of each view and click. Mentioning which, we likewise require to’move far from shallow measurement and towards significant measurement. It was motivating to see, per Demand Gen ’ s 2018 Marketing Impact Report , that volume, income, and pipeline metrics are being focused on, however still a bit perplexing that 2 out of 3 participants are utilizing activity information as evidence of marketing ’ s worth:.  Demand Gen 2018 Marketing Impact Report At TopRank Marketing we ’ ve seenthe fundamental effect of material marketing showed through program after program. One customer, Welter Heating, saw a 590% combined boost in natural conversions throughout its busiest month over a four-year period with a finest( regional )response material method . Another customer, Innovatech, enhanced conversion rates by 34 %year-over-year through CRO and search optimization . As I pointed earlier when speaking about openness, individuals tend to think what they can see. The worth of material marketing stays clearly obvious, even in a hazy digital environment. A Clear of View of Digital Marketing in 2019. In the film The Matrix, estimated at the beginning of this short article, Morpheus provides Neo with a final notice: Take the blue tablet and you ’ ll continue to reside in joyous lack of knowledge, thinking whatever you want to think; take the red tablet and you ’ ll see the reality, undesirable as it may be.That post from New York Magazine acted as a red tablet of sorts for me. There ’ s a seedy underbelly to this digital environment, one which has actually long dug at me like a splinter in my mind, however I ’ m all set to come to terms with it. And I ’ m all set to do all I can in 2019 beyond to ensure that our group belongs to the service, not part of the issue.” The disappointment throughout the marketing community is palpable , and brand-new headings that’breach trust and display systemic negligence have irritated the concern,” states Liz Miller , senior vice-president of marketing at CMO Council.” The market as an entire should line up on openness and dependability. ”. Hear, hear. Through transparent practices and the dependability of incorporated material technique, digital marketing and its track record can flourish as much as ever. Searching for additional info on the topic? Here ’ s how online marketers can utilize the art of storytelling to gain back and construct trust

The post Two Key Marketing Opportunities Amid Stories of Fake Traffic and Fraudulent Metrics appeared initially on Online Marketing Blog- TopRank ® .

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