Google Analytics Site Speed Reports
Date posted: December 15, 2011
As we’ve discussed in the past, optimizing your website to improve search engine rank and online presence is very important. It’s equally important, however, to ensure that the user experience on your site is good. Put simply, if your program pages are not user-friendly, or if they take forever to load, it not only will foster a negative impression of your school, it may also impact your rank on Google’s search engine results page.
Google’s Matt Cutts discussed the role and measurement of site speed in this video:
Cutts downplays the importance of site speed a tad, but only in relation to a host of other site fundamentals. In the end, anything that makes your site more user-friendly will be reflected in your search engine rank.
To that end, Google Analytics have been beefing up their site speed measurement in the last year. Their Site Speed report was launched in May, but it required you to add an additional Google Analytics tracking code to see data in this report. Based on increasing user requests, Google eventually made this feature available to all Google Analytics users and removed the code requirement. In late November, they also made it easier to access these reports, adding new metrics.
Site Speed reports can be found in the content section, with three tabs for you to review: Explorer, Performance and Map Overlay. Each provides a slightly different view of your site speed performance:
- The Explorer tab provides an overview of load time by page.
- The Performance tab buckets your site speed performance by page load time.
- The Map Overlay tab provides a view of your site speed experienced by users in different geographical regions (cities, countries, continents).
Are you concerned about site speed? What sort of techniques have you used to make your site more user-friendly?