You realized you can’t sit around 24/7 and continuously click through different pages of your website to make sure it’s functioning correctly. So, you brought on a website monitoring service, like Pingometer, to do it for you. Good for you. Now that you have all the pieces in place to make sure your customers can access your site at anytime from anywhere in the world, it’s time to discover what all the numbers mean.
You will find that Pingometer, widely accepted as the top website monitor company, not only offers the five essential tools you will need to gauge your website’s performance, but they also offer detailed reports that will help you build your customer base and create strategic plans for the future of your company.
How often will my site be monitored? Most companies allow you to set a gauge from one minute to one hour on how frequently you would like your website to be checked.
How many monitors will check my website? Depending on the service package you choose, you may have one to 50 monitors in place to review your website.
Where are the monitors located? Companies like Pingometer pride themselves on being able to offer their clients monitors in a variety of locations. The different locations give insight into how your website performs in different parts of the world. In addition, even in extreme situations such as a natural disaster, multiple monitors in different locations means your monitoring service never stops.
Is SSL verification offered? If you operate an ecommerce site, this is crucial to your monitoring service. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is an encryption system that aids in protecting the privacy and information of your customer’s data during the exchange between a customer and a website.
Are detailed reports available? Without the information collected by the website monitoring service, you can’t make the necessary changes to better your website and the user’s experience.
Ask the Questions
There are certain questions to ask before selecting your website uptime monitoring service. Some things are free for a reason – what is the service lacking? Let’s take a look at some of the basics of site monitoring so you can decide what works best for your business.
Reading the Reports
Outages/Downtime – the number of times your site experienced an outage of any kind.
Uptime – the percentage of time your site was up and available.
Failed Checks – the number of times the website failed to respond when Pingometer tried to access your website.
Page Download – the average amount of time it took for your website pages to download during the reporting period.
DNS Lookup – the amount of time it took Pingometer to get a reply from the DNS lookup process.
Response Time – the average amount of time it took your site to respond to the server.
You can depend on Pingometer for reports that detail historical uptimes, response time, browser and geography metrics and much more. If all you get from your website uptime monitor company is a phone call when things go wrong, you’re in desperate need of an upgrade. It’s important to know that website improvement doesn’t begin with a complete crash, that’s why your reports will include average uptime and speed metrics across all monitors.
Understanding the Analytics
Now That You Know
Once you receive the reports each month, you can decide if there are any areas of your site that call for immediate attention. You may notice the page load times are extremely high, prompting you to examine the script and images on those pages to see how to minimize the page size for a better user experience.
You will see over time, the reports and the changes you make to your website create a chain reaction. You review the reports and make changes that better your website for customers, in turn the customers are more likely to return, ultimately bettering your bottom line.
A 99 percent guarantee in life is generally considered a sure bet, right? In most instances, in fact, a 99 percent guarantee is nearly as good as it gets. Well, when it comes to website uptime monitoring service, don’t let the numbers fool you. A 99 percent guarantee from a web monitoring company is mediocre at best, and in today’s world of technology based purchases and ecommerce websites, that missing 1 percent can make a world of difference.
What does 99% really mean?
If you break down the numbers (before signing on the dotted line with a cheap web monitoring service), you’ll discover that 99 percent uptime actually translates into more than an hour and a half of downtime on average each week over the course of a year.
Here’s why: if your website is functioning properly 99 percent of the time, that means that for 3.65 days out of the year, your website is off the grid. That’s 1.68 hours a week on average of downtime. While downtime is inevitable, even if just for things like planned maintenance, 7.20 hours a month is in fact quite a lot. How would your business be affected if your website was down for 100.8 minutes every week?
What’s better than a 99% guarantee?
So if a 99 percent guarantee sounds like it should be nearly perfect, but simply won’t do the job when it comes to your website, how does it get any better? We’re glad you asked. You need a company that offers a 99.9 percent guarantee when it comes to your site’s uptime. You may be thinking, “Can .9 percent really make that big of a difference?” Again, we’re glad you asked. Here’s a breakdown of the numbers:
Moving from a 99 to a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee, you’re now only looking at 8.76 hours of downtime a year, as opposed to 3.65 days. As for that weekly average downtime, you move from 1.68 hours a week with a 99 percent guarantee to 10.1 minutes of downtime per week on average with the 99.9 percent guarantee.
Downtime can cost you a lot more than just money. Reputation, revenue, visitors and even SEO rankings are on the line when your site isn’t accessible. While we would encourage you to take that 99 percent guarantee when it comes to playing the lottery, it’s simply not enough when it comes to your company’s website. Check out how Pingometer provides the service you need to keep your site running more effectively.
Countless managers and business owners spend a great amount of money attempting to launch their website through complex advertising campaigns. The truth is, a lack of funds shouldn’t be a setback to your company’s growth as there are numerous ways to get visitors to your website without spending a dime.
Register your Website
When people search for your business online, they should see a map, address, website and phone number for your company. All you have to do is register your company with Google Places. As with Google Places, Yahoo! Local lists and maps businesses within its platform. Verify your company with Yahoo! Local. A third major search console, Microsoft’s Bing Business Portal, also offers contact information for those searching for your company.
Link for Link
Contact businesses within your industry, those that you don’t compete with, and offer to add a link from your website to theirs within a blog, contact page or other content and ask if they’ll do the same.
Find your Audience
Visit blogs, forums or social media pages where your target audience gathers to engage. There is a warning for this tactic: be engaging and helpful, not annoying and sales-pitchy. Engage with the people commenting on posts or blogs, and, when appropriate, mention your website or social media platform for others to visit.
If you’re not on Facebook and Twitter, we’re going to help you lift away the rock from your hiding place. You need to be on social media – plain and simple. That’s not to say you need to pay to advertise on these outlets, although some companies do find great success in that space, but you need to engage and interact with customers, clients and potential consumers.
Use Keywords and Phrases
Use free online tools, like Google Trends, to see what your target audience is searching for online. Use that information in the content on your website. From blogs to page descriptors, use keywords and phrases to elevate your SEO rankings and pull in new web visitors.
Whatever types of free marketing and advertising you decide to use for your website, be sure to incorporate ad tracking software. With ad tracking, you’ll be able to track where your visitors are coming from, and where you should spend more time promoting your website.
From difficulties adding content, security risks to just plain ugly, there are plenty of signs that your company’s website is hanging on by a taut thread. No matter the cause, if your website is on life support, it could be costing you a lot more than search engine rankings. According to Stanford University, 75% of people judge the credibility of a company based on the design of its website. Let’s review a short list of signs your website needs a breath of resurrection.
It’s not Mobile
Short and simple – if your website isn’t optimized to adjust to a mobile device, you’re likely getting left in the Stone Age by your competitors. Did you know, according to Smart Insights, 25 percent of internet users only access the internet on a mobile device? Let us say that another way, if your company website doesn’t work well on mobile, you can’t even reach one-fourth of all web users. If you’re not digitally prepared for mobile, that statistic should have you calling a web design expert right now.
Code and Flash
If your first action when you want to add new content to your website is to call your coding expert, your site is screaming “code blue.” There are numerous content management systems (CMS) available, some offered for free, that you can utilize to build an attractive, engaging and easy to change, company website. In today’s world of getting information at the (literal) click of a button, you can’t afford to wait around for the “web guy” to recode your website with new information. It’s the same story with Flash. Forget the fact that iPhone and iPad users can’t even see the Flash components of your site, it’s not even possible for the world’s largest search engines to read Flash. It’s time for an immediate upgrade.
No Monitoring Service
Let’s just say your website is beautiful, it’s optimized for mobile, you have countless repeat customers – as far as you’re concerned you’re on top of your digital game. If you’re not utilizing a website uptime monitoring service to alert you when end users receive an error message, or even worse, your site crashes, all that website beauty could soon be for not. A monitoring service like Pingometer allows you to rest easy knowing customers can reach your site at any time from any location worldwide. And in the event something goes wrong, you’re alerted within seconds of the problem being detected, that way you can address the challenge likely before customers even realize there is one.
Low or No Conversion
Forbes says most companies see between 2 to 3 percent of their incoming traffic eventually convert. Anything less than a two percent conversion rate should alert you to a potential problem. The malefactor could be one of the issues we’ve already discussed – not mobile friendly, code or flash design, or website downtime – but the challenge just may be that users have become unaffected by your website. If you feel everything else is in line, but you aren’t seeing the conversion you once experienced, it may be time to re-evaluate your attitude on web and redesign your website with both your target audience and your goals in mind.
Your website is the current voice and future investment of your business. It’s vital that you and your company view it that way. It’s no longer optional to have a strong, ever-evolving digital presence in today’s marketplace. Your website can be the medium that aids you in achieving your goals of increased revenue, more leads and ultimately loyal customers – treat it that way.
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times – your website, no matter the size or profitability of your company, will experience downtime. If you’re lucky, the only real downtime you’ll see is planned maintenance, but in today’s technologically based world, that’s not likely the case. To prove it, we’re taking a look at some of the world’s most popular, profitable and digitally intelligent companies, and how it affected each of them the day(s) their websites went dark.
The day of the Digital Apocalypse, umm, we mean, the day Facebook experienced a 40 minute outage, September 28, 2015, was the second significant downtime occurrence in a seven day period for the social media giant. Online users nearly lost their minds when, instead of a streaming flow of photos, dancing baby videos and news updates, they saw this message:
“Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.”
If you were in shock and dismay, imagine what shareholders were thinking as stocks dropped 4 percent during the downtime. Suffice it to say, the geniuses behind Facebook quickly tackled the issue and online peace was restored.
In 2013, Amazon lost nearly $2 million when the website crashed for roughly 30 minutes. Yes, you read that correctly. Amazon.com downtime cost the company $66,240 per minute, based on 2012 net sales. Imagine the frustration from customers when, rather than finding the perfect pair of shoes or bestselling book, they found:
“Oops! We’re very sorry, but we’re having trouble doing what you just asked us to do. Please give us another chance–click the Back button on your browser and try your request again. Or start from the beginning on our homepage.”
While your website downtime may not cost $2 million per half hour, it’s important to note that if these online mega-stars can experience digital darkness, your business is certainly not invincible. And let’s be clear, immediate action by each company quickly addressed the issue, customers were clearly told what happened and both Facebook and Amazon rebounded quite well. The point that should not be overlooked is that a website monitoring company like Pingometer has the power to warn you when error messages are delivered on your site, page load times are slower that users expect or a complete site crash occurs. With Pingometer, you’ll know about the problem within moments, so you can address the issue with speed and have your website operational again before revenue, reputation and valuable search engine ranking space is lost.