This is the sixth in my series exploring the new Google Analytics Platform components in detail. For this article, I'm going to spend some time going through the new Site Speed report that Google has added to the new platform. This report is a great way of checking in to see what pages on your website are not loading quickly.
Most positions within a company have a vested interest in overall website performance in respect to business growth. The new Site Speed report is a great new report for all departments to keep an eye on.
This report shows which pages on your website are loading slowly, and in turn, most likely turning away potentially engaged website users. This is especially important if you notice a main webpage showing up on one of these reports. For example, if a marketing team member notices that a lead generation form is slow-loading, notifying the IT team is an immediate need. Let's look at a few of the sub-reports available, all under the Content group of reports.
Up first, is the Explorer report. Check out the screenshot below.
You'll notice this report will provide you with a high-level look at your website status. You can see that the average load time for all of the pages that Google sampled is around 4.32 seconds. This metric will give you an idea of overall website issues. With that said, make sure you look at the actual data to see if any errors may skew these averages. I'll cover this in more detail later.
On to the Performance report. This report is for those team members who need to look at very specific times, everything from page lookup times, domain lookup times, server response times and more. You can see the various reports highlighted in the screenshot below.
While this report is not for everyone, it certainly provides great data for those who need to learn more about the true measurements.
Now, when looking at the average page load times as I mentioned above, some companies may see higher than average load times. This could be due to errors in the data, but might also be due to what parts of the world the samples were taken from. Some locations just might have slower Internet connections, resulting in higher average load times. In comes the Map report, as seen in the following screenshot.
You will notice that locations throughout the world that have higher page load times over other areas are ordered in shades of green. If you are either a global company or just a company looking to see where the average page load time numbers are coming from, this is a great report to briefly look over.
Lastly, let's take a brief look at the actual data available below any of the aforementioned reports. Consider the screenshot below.
This is a sorted view, where I sorted the first column, Avg. Page Load Time (sec), to show which pages (hidden from view) have the highest page load times. By sorting this way, I get to see which pages are simply loading the slowest, and notify the appropriate team.
But, note the two inner columns: Pageviews and Page Load Sample. If there are low numbers in these columns, you can assume it was just a one-time error. However, if you see high numbers, you can assume you truly have a page load time issue.
I hope this article helps increase your website experience for your visitors! Have a question? Go ahead and leave one in the comments below. This is the last in this original Google Analytics series. Would you like an article on another Google Analytics topic? Let me know!
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