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Five ways to master your website latency

There’s no denying that in the Digital Age, speed is king. Consumers demand a fast, responsive web experience. Businesses who understand this and meet that expectation not only satisfy their customers but keep them coming back for more.

Standing in the way of those goals is latency, the measure of how much time it takes your site pages to load. Your site may look great at first glance, but the digital marketing technologies (tags) hiding beneath the surface can significantly impact your users’ experience. Tag chains on your site may be larger than you realise, with potential redirects from 3rd, 4th, or even 5th party calls, and each has the potential to slow down site load speed and impact consumer activity. Even the slightest increase in tag or page latency leads to a potential drop in web traffic and revenue from lost conversions. There’s too much commercially at stake for this issue to be ignored.

So how can businesses take control of their site speed and improve the user experience? Here’s five of the most reliable ways to master your website latency: 

Identifying unknown 3rd party vendors

There’s no greater culprit responsible for increased site latency than tags stemming from 3rd party vendors. These vendors can load piggyback tags – often without your knowledge – that bog down your site and create other potential issues. Identifying the vendors doing this is necessary to uncover which tags are causing issues and need to be revised or removed. 

Reviewing tag performance

Every tag on your site, whether from known vendors or not, has a tangible impact on your site’s average loading time. Most perform their roles as expected, but not always. Their impact on your site is affected by a variety of factors including where they’re loading from, how far down the chain they are, or whether or not they’re synchronous or asynchronous. Evaluating each site tag for individual latency determines whether or not it is delivering a strong ROI.

Addressing synchronous tags

Synchronous tags themselves have a specific impact on site latency. When tags load synchronously with the main content on your page, it can delay a page’s total load time. Users care about the content, not the tags, so they won’t wait for a tag to load simultaneously with the content they came to consume. Relocating your tags to load asynchronously will ensure your site’s loading time stays within the maximum total of two seconds that consumers expect.

Eliminate duplicate and redundant tags

An uncommon problem – but one worth mentioning – is the presence of duplicate tags on your page. There’s no need to load the same tag multiple times, so locating any and all duplicate tags and eliminating them can make a significant difference in load times.  Redundant tags on the other hand are very common and the description “redundant” speaks for itself – removing these tags can only bring benefits to site performance.

Establish tag and vendor management policy

Once the necessary steps have been taken to optimise your site’s tags, establishing strong vendor policies will help ensure that the problems you’ve solved won’t occur again. Agreeing with vendors on which tags will be allowed on your site in the future means you’ll never have erroneous site tags again. Establishing specific agreements also gives you greater control and monitoring ability over all the tags on your site. 

Businesses that want to create a faster, more efficient digital experience for their customers are wise to focus on these tasks. Those that do will see considerable ROI for their digital marketing technologies in the process as revenue and conversions stay trending up.