Monday, April 13, 2009

Improving Website Performance through Benchmarking

by Darrell Freeman

In today's tough competition in the local or global market, you can determine your marketing performance through comparison with other branches and franchises related to your trade. This is a very effective strategy to keep track of your improvement without having to conduct a regular extensive study on your performance. In terms of websites and online businesses, the same strategy would also apply. You may view your website's effectiveness based on the data from other websites under the same sector.

Website administrators often use performance benchmarking to rate the productivity of a certain website. A site performance index (SPI) reflects the ranking of the website. The comparison involves checking the website's performance in relation to other websites under the same category. A performance benchmarking process measures several factors that affect a website. The elements analyzed during the procedure include loading time, speed and availability to the online community. The comparison between the client's website and other predefined statistics of other competitors generates values which serve as the basis for the website's rank. The ranking reflects the rate of productivity of the website within a specific sector.

Performance benchmarking of a website eliminates the need to have a deep analysis of the website production report in order to determine its effectiveness on the online market. The performance reports gives an overview on factors that needs improvement and good points to maintain. The websites reflection in the SPI also rates the performance of the website based on customer experience. Websites with slow loading time and those which are unavailable receive poor ratings from customers. The SPI enables you to have a quick overview of the trends within a specific sector or location.

There are three options to conduct benchmarking of your website's performance. Firstly, a sector report provides general information about the websites performance and availability. This type of benchmarking compares the website to a few representative companies on top of the ranks within a particular sector. A sector report includes a summary report of the results every month. A more detailed view of the report is set on a quarterly basis. The detailed quarterly report contains statistics of performance and availability and ranking and trend analysis comparison within a specific period of time.

Secondly, a sector benchmark compares the status of your website not only to other competitors in the category but also to the whole industry as well. The ratings of the website's performance and availability rely on the averages within the specified sector. This type of benchmarking procedure ranks your website against the averages of the leading competitors and to the indicated country as well.

Lastly, a custom benchmark allows you to specify the factors that need monitoring. In this method of website benchmarking, you may choose from the selection of sectors, competitors and countries in order to generate the comparison report. You may also indicate the type of analysis and statistics of the website's performance and availability you want to see.

There are several Internet companies which offer this service through the use of web-based applications. If you want to check your website's performance, website benchmarking will help you determine the facts you need in a short period of time.

About the Author

Darrell F writing about website performance benchmarking and website monitoring which are services available from Site Confidence.