In today’s world, web and mobile users require information instantly when they need it, with a single mouse click or swipe of a tablet or smartphone. And because of this, you only have mere milliseconds to grab people’s attention and complete the transaction. The ecommerce website; Amazon discovered that every 100 milliseconds of latency cost it 1% in sales, whilst the US retail corporation Walmart reports conversion rates rise 2% for every second of reduced load time.

5 Key Questions to Ask

Many different companies are turning to web and mobile application optimisation solutions in order to improve web and mobile performance. If your company is looking to optimise the web and mobile experience for your customers (and increase online conversion rates), here are the main 5 questions you need to ask:

1. What are the corporate objectives that web and mobile application optimisation help you to meet?

An application optimisation solution that is successful can help you to meet two key strategic objectives. One is targeted outward at improving the customer experience and encourages them to do business with you. The other is targeted inward at how you implement optimisation processes and technologies, and how your investments help meet corporate objectives.

2.  How crucial is it to measure the effectiveness of web and mobile applications?

Not having clear metrics that link web and mobile application optimisation to business outcomes makes it difficult for managers to understand how much user engagement or revenue they are missing, as well as where to focus their remediation efforts.  For instance, Google Analytics counts irrelevant traffic (like traffic from internal developers and testers, search engine crawlers and automated test and monitoring tools).

Google Analytics Site Speed is hobbled by low sampling rates, a reliance on means as opposed to medians (which overemphasizes the influence of outliers) and fails to capture data due to connection timeouts, failed requests and other inconsistencies. As well as this, it makes it difficult to isolate performance over mobile connections, where single samples over slow networks can have a disproportionate effect on overall website performance measures.

A successful web and mobile application optimisation solution needs to sloe you to measure the business impact of your optimisation efforts to make sure you are focusing your efforts and investments on the areas that provide the greatest benefit to the business.

3.  What optimisation processes are in place now and where are they falling short?

Most existing approaches to speeding application performance fail to deliver the instant response users demand. This is due to the lack of awareness of the all-important context of the user experience. What kind of device are they using? What kind of network are they on? How big is the screen on their device, and how many application components can they see “above the fold” without swiping down?

Without having this detailed context, web application optimisation technologies cannot drive engagement and business impact. They could speed delivery of the wrong application components or data, or even slow response time by adding client-side code which attempts to identify and tailor content to the user’s device.

4.  Why can’t your existing CDN assist with web and mobile application optimisation?

Approaches that exist, like CDNs (content delivery networks) or ADNs (application delivery networks), cannot deliver the required application experiences due to the fact that they only see a static and limited view of the data exchanged between the host and the receiving device. Their brute force, “copy and forward” approach of speeding the delivery of all content makes it impossible to prioritise the key data each user needs at any given moment and to engage them to drive business impact.

Both CDNs and ADNs focus on accelerating content delivery. This is a component of, but not as valuable as, true user engagement. To drive business value and customer conversion, it is necessary to understand what content the user wants, on the key device and network they are using at this moment, based on their most recent clicks.

5.  What about Responsive Web Design? Will this help speed application delivery?

Responsive Web Design (RWD) does aim to speed application delivery by adapting web content to each user’s viewing environment using fluid, proportion-based grids and flexible images. Although, RWD can actually slow content delivery and rendering when it requires large amounts of additional JavaScript or loads unneeded components like CSS behind unused media queries.

Similar with other existing approaches, RWD cannot determine which content to deliver to the client or reprioritise or reorder the presentation of that content once it’s delivered.