As consumers, we appreciate products that live up to, or even exceed, our expectations. The same goes for websites: online business owners are responsible for delivering a product that meets predetermined requirements. When customers experience a site that is full of errors and not functioning properly, your business will ultimately pay the price.
In fact, a survey conducted by Rackspace claimed 45% of shoppers said they abandoned a purchase due to website problems. And Amazon estimates that a page load slowdown of just one second could cost it $1.6 billion in sales each year.
So, what can you do to minimize the impact of site problems on customers and ultimately, your business?
After all, your team can’t sit around all day refreshing your website to make sure everything is working.
This is where website monitoring comes in handy.
What is website monitoring?
For those of you who don’t know, website monitoring is regularly checking your website to ensure everything is up and functioning as expected. This typically can be achieved using automated processes, which allow you to monitor your site at regular intervals and gather reports about your results.
When a problem is detected, a monitoring service sends out alerts to let you know what happened and where the problem occurred, allowing your team to correct issues faster.
There are two types of monitoring: Internal and external. The difference between these two solutions is that internal monitoring covers areas inside a private network, while external monitoring monitors issues that occur outside of it.
Testomato monitors your website externally, meaning that we’re able to regularly check for problems and verify availability from multiple geographical locations as if we were your real customers. For example, Testomato helps check whether loading a specific works and if the page responds as expected.
Why should I monitor my website?
It’s impossible to avoid any website problems or outages. Not even Facebook, Twitter, or Google do. Modern websites and applications require too many complex and critical actions to ensure you’ll never experience a failure.
Unlike other forms of media, websites and web applications can be consumed on any number of systems. This means a lot of different variables go into building – and it is this quality of unpredictability, which makes monitoring essential.
Still not sold on the idea?
Here are 7 other big reasons to invest in a monitoring tool:
#1 Your customers will be happier.
Visitors tend to get frustrated when your website isn’t working or unavailable. Every second that your website isn’t working has a specific consequence. This could be anything from lost leads and abandoned sales to a loss of credibility.
Think of it this way:
- For every 1 customer complaint there are 26 other unhappy customers who didn’t say anything. – Lee Resources International
- 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, but 91% of them will never come back. – 1st Financial Training Services
- And around 13% of dissatisfied customers share their experiences with more than 20 people. – White House Office of Consumer Affairs
If you want to retain your customers, you need to keep them happy. And when it comes to online services, customers expect the best experience possible and will often refuse to settle for less.
#2 The sooner you know, the faster you fix.
If you don’t know about a problem, how can you fix it? When you use a monitoring service, you receive an alert the moment a problem is found. In addition, it’s particularly embarrassing if your users have to be the ones to bring an issue to your attention.
With a monitoring service, you’ll know about problems as soon as they happen, allowing you to contact your development team and decrease your time-to-resolution. While you might not solve issues immediately, already being on the case and informing your users about a problem before they notice says a lot about the service you provide.
#3 Internal monitoring isn’t enough.
While internal monitoring is great for catching issues that occur within your own environment, problems can also occur between a customer and your website. If this happens, internal tools do not detect these problems. This means your customer could experience an issue that you aren’t aware of because an internal monitoring tool can only ensure you discover problems that happen within your private network.
Imagine you’re a shop owner of a brick-and-mortar establishment. You need to make sure your store is well-stocked and your cash registers are working properly. But ensuring your business runs smoothly goes beyond what goes on inside of your store. You need to be aware of external factors, too. For example, whether your doors are unlocked, the parking lot has enough spaces, and there aren’t any accidents blocking traffic to your location.
It’s no different if your store is online.
Even if problems occur outside of your network, you still need to be aware of them so you can minimize the impact on your users.
#4 Protect your business.
A good brand and reputation is critical to the success of any business – whether it be an online service or a brick-and-mortar establishment. Frequent downtimes or website errors can not only jeopardize the credibility of your business, it can do a lot of serious damage to your brand reputation.
In addition, frequent downtimes and website problems can lead to a loss in sales. Research has shown that almost 50% of users expect a page to load in 2 seconds and 40% will leave in 3.
If an e-commerce site makes $100,000 a day, a 1 second page delay could cost you up to $2.5 million in lost sales a year.
It’s not surprising that for many online businesses, website monitoring is considered vital.
#5 Ensure your website is optimized for SEO.
And it’s not just customer trust you have to worry about. Search engines don’t like downtime anymore than your users do. If your site is constantly down every time Google wants to index your site, your search rankings will suffer.
Both page speed and website downtime are factors that affect your search rankings.
Checking critical HTML content (e.g. title tags, h1 and h2 tags, and meta tags), the indexing status of your website, and the presence of analytics code can be a pretty tedious job when done manually. Using a website monitoring tool like Testomato can help you automate these checks and save you a lot of time to spend on more important tasks.
#6 Keep an eye on your progress.
How do you know if your site is improving over time? Stop guessing and arm yourself with hard evidence. There’s no way to keep track of whether your website is more or less stable without regular monitoring.
Monitoring tools check your website availability from multiple locations and measure your response time at regular intervals. You can also automate processes to check important customer interactions like signup, login, search, and more.
And the best part?
You can often find out why your site was experiencing problems. Sometimes, the hardest part of errors is figuring out what caused it in the first place. A good monitoring solution can reveal where to start and increase your ability to solve issues faster.
#7 It’s easy and cheap.
Today’s website monitoring tools are relatively easy and cheap to set up. You won’t need to install any software on your server or waste resources writing or maintaining extra scripts.
For example, it takes less than a minute to start monitoring with Testomato.
And we offer:
- 1-minute monitoring intervals
- Uptime monitoring every 15 seconds
- Immediate email notifications
- 10 monitoring locations around the world
Once you set up the initial checks, they’ll keep running and continuously testing your site for you. It’s a small investment of time that will alert you whenever you have problems on your site – that’s a huge pay off in the long run.
How do you monitor your website? What other benefits or risks would you mention?
Please leave us a comment here or tweet us @testomatocom.