Sep 26, 2023
Domantas G. & Yoga K.
How to Analyze Website Performance to Increase Traffic and Enhance User Experience
Building an engaging, high-performance website boosts traffic, conversions, and customer satisfaction. This is why it’s important to regularly analyze site performance to ensure it runs optimally.
Website performance monitoring measures and analyzes metrics, including page load speed, server information, search engine optimization (SEO), and user behavior. It lets you identify issues that impact website performance and make improvements based on the analyzed data.
This article will cover web performance monitoring techniques and the best tools for the task.
How to Monitor Site Performance
1. Run Website Speed Analysis
Page load time is the duration it takes for a web page to load in users’ browsers. As a Google ranking factor, a fast website positively affects your website visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Web hosting quality is a main factor affecting page load time. Database speed, bandwidth, and CPU power determine how fast your website loads. Using a reliable web hosting provider that suits your website’s needs is important.
Hostinger’s web hosting plans, starting at $2.99, are great for reducing your website loading time. The plans offer unlimited MySQL databases, guaranteed 99.9% uptime, unlimited bandwidth, and a fast web server.
Hostinger’s Plan Boost feature lets you upgrade your current hosting plan for 24 hours. We recommend this when handling traffic spikes and transferring large amounts of data.
To analyze web page speed, use multiple tools to gather different data and get an accurate result. We also recommend running multiple tests from different locations.
With Hostinger, you can easily test your website’s speed from hPanel, which integrates with Google’s PageSpeed Insights:
- Open hPanel and navigate to Performance → Page Speed.
- On the Website Speed Test section, select whether you want to check the site performance from a Desktop or Mobile.
- Click Analyze to run the test. Wait until the process is complete.
You will see the performance score for your website in the Results section. For instance, the score for example.com on the desktop is 95.
The performance score is based on the following website speed metrics:
- Speed Index – calculates how fast website elements appear on the screen.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – shows how much the site layout moves during load time.
- First Contentful Paint (FCP) – measures the time the first element loads on the screen.
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – estimates how long it takes for the biggest site element to appear.
- Total Blocking Time (TBT) – measures the time a web page becomes unresponsive to user interactions, such as clicks or taps.
After analyzing the results, run web page speed optimization to resolve any issues.
2. Analyze SEO Performance
SEO is crucial in web performance testing, as it determines your website’s position on SERPs. Analyzing SEO performance helps increase organic traffic and get higher conversion rates.
This section will share how to track organic traffic, keyword rankings, and backlinks:
Organic traffic represents the number of visitors your website receives from a search engine like Google or Bing. This metric helps you understand how people find your website via search engines.
In this article, we will use Google Analytics 4 (GA4) for website traffic analysis. Follow these steps:
- Log in to your Google Analytics account.
- Navigate to Acquisition → Traffic Acquisition.
- Click the date range filter tool and select your preferred date range option. For instance, choose the last 30 days.
- Enable the Compare option and select Preceding period (match day of the week).
- Click Apply.
Google Analytics 4 will then present data from the last 30 days. Highlight Organic Search to see whether the traffic increases or declines. For instance, the Organic Search traffic from My Website declined by 1.4%.
Perform website optimization to identify the issues and implement the right strategies to fix them.
A keyword ranking refers to a web page’s position on search results for a particular phrase. A search engine uses algorithms to determine which websites are most relevant and rank them accordingly.
Analyzing and monitoring your keyword rankings helps identify well-performing keywords and generate higher organic traffic.
Quickly check a web page’s ranking on Google using Ahrefs Keyword Rank Checker:
- Enter the keyword on the required field. We will enter the website ideas keyphrase as an example.
- Enter your website’s URL and choose the preferred location. For instance, we want to check the keyword ranking on hostinger.com/tutorials.
- Click Check rankings.
A pop-up window will show the website’s current SERP position for the specified keyword. It will look like this:
An Ahrefs premium account lets you track specific keyword rankings using Rank Tracker. Here is how:
- Click Rank Tracker on the top navigation menu and select a project. We will use My Website Blog as an example.
- Go to the Pages section and look for the keyword using the search bar. For example, we will use the eCommerce website examples keyphrase.
- Click the Organic keywords dropdown menu. You will see a list of keywords from organic search queries.
- Select the keywords you want to track and click Add keywords to track.
- On the next page, click Add keywords to start tracking them.
Backlinks or inbound links are links from one website to another. They help search engines determine the quality and relevance of web content. It is important to monitor backlinks to ensure they are from reputable sources.
Here are the steps to monitor your website’s backlinks using Semrush:
- Navigate to SEO → Backlink Analytics.
- Type your website’s URL in the required field. We will use hostinger.com/tutorials as an example.
- Click Analyze. Semrush will display a full report of your website’s backlinks.
Check several primary metrics to analyze them, such as Backlinks, Referring Domains, and Organic Traffic. It will look like the following:
3. Monitor User Behavior
To monitor user behavior, gather website interaction data and identify hooks or obstacles. Use the data to understand visitors better and implement the right website performance optimization strategies.
We will review the steps to track your website’s user activity using Hotjar:
- On the Hotjar dashboard page, navigate to Heatmaps.
- Click New Heatmap to create a new project.
- Enter your web page’s URL in the required field and click View heatmap. For instance, we will use technology-demo.hotjar.com.
- Save the project to monitor your web page’s heatmap over time.
Hotjar will display move, scroll, engagement, and rage maps. You can also see the stats, such as total clicks, drop-off rate, and average time on the page. Use them to identify your visitors’ pain points and understand areas they are most interested in.
Tools for Analyzing Website Performance
We recommend using website performance monitoring tools to ease your tasks. Consider the following when selecting the tools:
- Ease of use – the tool should have an easily understandable, user-friendly interface.
- Data accuracy – it gives real-time data updates and reliable results to inform your strategies.
- Customization – lets you create personalized dashboards for different website performance testing tasks.
- Integration – compatible with various tools or platforms, such as website builders, CMS, eCommerce tools, and social media.
This section will review five popular web performance analysis tools:
GTmetrix is a web-based tool powered by Lighthouse. It lets you analyze site performance and generates a detailed and full report to identify slow-loading elements.
You can run regular website speed reporting with GTmetrix and track them over time, helping you stay up-to-date with trends and maintain optimal site performance.
This monitoring tool also has a useful tool for analyzing site performance from different locations.
GTmetrix provides various integration options, such as API access, browser extensions, and CMS platforms. It offers paid plans from $10.67-450/month, providing advanced features like hourly monitoring, global test monitoring, and mobile device testing.
Google PageSpeed Insights is a performance monitoring tool for measuring a website’s speed on desktop and mobile devices. It is easy to use and suitable for beginner website owners with a basic understanding of web development.
This website speed monitoring tool captures real-time user experience data by analyzing page speed metrics such as First Contentful Paint, First Input Delay, and Cumulative Layout Shift.
Additionally, PageSpeed Insights utilizes Lighthouse to measure the website’s performance, accessibility, and SEO in a simulated environment.
The tool provides detailed website speed reporting to help you identify performance issues. It also offers guides on how to fix them.
Semrush is a content marketing platform that lets you run technical SEO audits and track keywords’ rankings, helping you improve site performance.
Semrush’s Organic Research tool helps you find profitable keywords and improve your content’s relevance. Meanwhile, the Traffic Analytics tool lets you benchmark your site traffic against competitors and compare the total traffic, top traffic sources, time on page, and bounce rate.
You can use this website performance analytics tool for free, but the number of requests is limited to 10 per day. With the premium plans, ranging from $119.95-449.95/month, you can track up to 5,000 keywords.
Ahrefs is an all-in-one SEO analytics tool that lets you conduct keyword research, competitive analysis, and backlink research. It can help you generate reports and track your site rankings with ease.
Quickly discover relevant keywords and analyze their search volumes using the keyword research tool. The rank-tracking tool enables you to monitor site rankings in real-time and get detailed insights about how your SERP performance.
Ahrefs costs from $99-999/month. Purchasing a plan gives you access to various features, such as SEO Dashboard, Site Explorer, Rank Tracker, and Site Audit. You can create different projects and generate unlimited reports for Rank Tracker and Site Audit.
Google Analytics 4 is a free web analytics tool for tracking web performance metrics, including page views, bounce rate, time on page, and conversion rates.
This performance monitoring tool provides a feature to track user interactions with your web pages. Moreover, the funnel analysis feature helps identify performance issues that prevent visitors from completing desired actions.
Google Analytics 4 also lets you generate user behavior flow reports. This helps you find content that keeps visitors engaged with your website.
Check out Google Analytics 4’s AI tools in our tutorial.
Hotjar is a great analytics tool that helps website owners understand visitor interactions. Its comprehensive report of user activity lets you identify areas of improvement and optimize your site’s user experience.
This web analytics tool also features a heatmap tool that lets you see where users click and navigate your website. Additionally, the survey tool helps you collect visitors’ feedback about their site experience.
Hotjar offers paid plans that range from €32-171/month if you want advanced features such as Events API, custom-built integrations, and priority support.
Monitoring site performance is a critical aspect of running a successful website. It helps you identify areas of improvement to improve page load times and user engagement.
This article has covered website performance reporting methods, namely:
- Running site speed tests.
- Analyzing SEO performance.
- Monitoring user behavior.
We also reviewed six useful website performance testing tools to help you with the task, including GTmetrix, Semrush, and Hotjar.
We hope this article provides insights and helps you understand how to perform web performance benchmarking. We wish you success in building and running your own website.
Analyze Website Performance FAQ
We will answer several frequently asked questions about the steps to analyze your site performance.
What Metrics Should I Measure to Analyze the Performance of My Website?
The website performance testing metrics you should measure include page load time, bounce rate, session duration, click-through rate (CTR), and total unique visitors. Tracking these key metrics can help make informed decisions to improve a site’s performance.
What Tools Can I Use to Monitor Site Performance?
Many tools can be used to monitor website performance, such as GTmetrix, Google PageSpeed Insights, Semrush, Ahrefs, Google Analytics, and Hotjar. Each tool offers unique features to track site performance and suggest improvements.
How Do I Interpret Website Performance Metrics?
Interpreting website metrics involves analyzing the data gathered from various tools and deciding how to improve them. Examine each metric’s details, track their trends, and implement performance optimization techniques.
How Can I Track the Performance of My Website Over Time?
You can track your site performance over time using performance testing tools. For instance, use Google Analytics to create custom dashboards with related widgets, allowing you easy access to reports.