Yottaa's Site Optimization & Web Performance Blog

The Hidden Costs of Boosting Engagement

May 5, 2014 3:00:00 PM

Posted by Alex Pinto

Online "Engagement" is a hot buzzword that's deployed by a number of web services industries to describe their value proposition.  (Full disclosure: Yottaa is as guilty of this as anyone).  Like most buzzwords, its popularity is due to the fact that it's a pithy and accurate description of what the target audience, website owners and online marketers, want to achieve.  Engagement connotes attention, enjoyment, and -- most importantly -- interaction.  No matter what your business does, if you have a website, you want visitors to engage with it.  



Image from Flickr

Let's assume that all services that promise to increase engagement are effective in doing so.  With so many services doing different things to promote engagement, it would seem like the more the better -- why not do everything you can to improve engagement?  But in the increasingly complex environment that is the Internet, adding services and products to a site always has consequences, intended or otherwise.  In this post we'll cover some of the pros and cons of common engagement-inducing services like social media widgets, online advertising, gamification, and A/B testing.  We also cover some hidden costs related to performance that may actually lead to neutral or reduced engagement.  

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Topics: E-Commerce, Conversion Optimization, Engagement, site performance and optimization

Losing Money On PPC Traffic? What You May Be Missing

Mar 4, 2014 3:04:00 PM

Posted by Alex Pinto

Let’s be honest: paid visitors are a fickle bunch. And why shouldn’t they be? Discovery through a paid ad is inherently more questionable than organic results. Visitors are initially wondering whether your company is the real deal, or just paying for more traffic. And with Google becoming more “human” with each update, it’s clear we’re headed in a direction that favors organic marketing. Luckily, most marketers know that PPC is only worth it if the campaign results in engaged visitors. 

And so enters the Quality Score; an estimate of how relevant your ad and landing page are to the user, reflecting the value he or she might find in clicking through. The Quality Score, and exact order of paid ads, is impacted not just by how much a company bids for that ad, but also other factors, including click-through rates (as a proxy for how relevant the ad is) and keyword relevance.

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Topics: Web Performance Optimization, E-Commerce, Marketing, site performance and optimization

Does Hosting Affect User Experience? A Study of eCommerce Performance

Jan 30, 2014 12:37:00 PM

Posted by Alex Pinto

The data used in this post was sourced from Yottaa’s Speed of the eCommerce Web Report, a comprehensive report on sites in the Internet Retailer 500 list.

Hosting provider is a crucial component of any web business.  Aside from the fact that hosting service carries the weight of being a single point of failure for a website, it’s also something even the most non-technical executive can grasp – and inquire about.  When sites go down it’s often the hoster who gets the reflexive blame. 

So we know it's a crucial piece of the website puzzle, but how does the choice of hosting provider impact performance and engagement, if at all?  And further, how does hosting affect the performance of businesses in the IR 500?


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Topics: Web Performance Testing, E-Commerce, site performance and optimization

How a major ecommerce site learned to avoid assumptions and optimize for users, not numbers

Jan 15, 2014 11:37:00 AM

Posted by Alex Pinto

Gollum-RingWhen building and optimizing websites, sometimes the zeal for things like faster load times and shiny new features causes developers and engineers to lose site of underlying goals — namely increasing conversions and revenue. While certain levels of both performance and pizzazz are necessary for a successful online business, at Yottaa we often observe a point of diminishing returns. For instance, at a certain point shaving milliseconds off page load time stops helping the bottom line, while focus could instead be placed on optimizing other elements of page display and organization, through methods like application sequencing.


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Topics: Website Testing, Web Performance Optimization, E-Commerce, site performance and optimization

Forget Smartphone - Why E-Commerce Should Invest Into Tablet in 2014

Jan 10, 2014 9:58:00 AM

Posted by Coach Wei


Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2013 saw record online retail sales supported by strong growth in mobile use by consumers. At Yottaa, we studied online shopping during 2012 and 2013 thanksgiving holidays, and looked for key trends and correlations in the data. Read the full report (direct download) to get details on the latest trends.

A key finding from our report is that tablet shopping is the largest untapped opportunity.  Smartphone conversion rate increased a jaw-dropping 51.6% from 2012 to 2013, but a repeat of such incredible growth this year is unlikely.  If, on the other hand, eCommerce companies allocated resources to optimizing for tablets, the devices could perhaps achieve parity with PCs in conversion rate.  
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Topics: E-Commerce, Conversion Optimization, Engagement, E-commerce conversion,, site performance and optimization

5 Engagement-Boosting Resolutions for Marketers This Year

Jan 6, 2014 1:26:00 PM

Posted by Alex Pinto

As online marketers look at goals for 2014, they are likely staring down numbers for improving conversions, traffic, engagement and user satisfaction. Whatever the exact terms of the goals, we know they are all after one thing: making their websites more profitable.  To do so they'll be reexamining everything from broad strategies for content development, media buys, promotions, and site design, right down to the minutia of CTA location, copy tweaks, and color scheme. 

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Topics: E-Commerce, Conversion Optimization, Engagement, Marketing, site performance and optimization

Report: The Speed of the eCommerce Web (and Top 20 Fastest Sites)

Dec 30, 2013 3:53:00 PM

Posted by Alex Pinto


speed.e-commerce.version3This year we put together a performance report on the Internet Retailer 500 list, a list of the 500 biggest U.S. eCommerce firms ranked by annual revenue.  We wanted to learn more about the end user experience of these sites, and gather a set of data rich enough to cross-analyze for patterns and correlations. We put the results and our analysis into a report, which you can download here.

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Topics: Web Performance Optimization, Web Performance Testing, E-Commerce, site performance and optimization

What Paws-itively Scares Us? Sluggish eCommerce Sites

Nov 1, 2013 12:28:00 PM

Posted by Ari Weil

Feeling a Halloween candy hangover this morning? You’re not the only one. I ate WAY too many “Fun Size” Butterfingers. Sugar buzz aside, I was amused by the number of pet costumes I saw last night while taking my kids trick or treating.

Dog Costumes

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Topics: Website Monitoring, Web Performance Optimization, user engagement, Optimizer, Web Performance Testing, Website Speed Benchmark, E-Commerce, site performance and optimization

5 Steps to Better Mobile Performance In Time for the Holiday eCommerce Rush!

Sep 20, 2013 11:15:00 AM

Posted by Alex Pinto

The shoppers are comingThe holiday season is in sight.  The shoppers are coming.  And when they come, they will be attacking from all fronts: web, retail and – increasingly – from mobile devices. 

In fact, for the first half of this year, “mCommerce” accounted for 10% of all eCommerce sales.  10%! And according to eMarketer that number should jump to 16% during the busy buying season -- netting around 10 billion dollars of revenue. 

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Topics: Web Performance Optimization, Mobile, E-Commerce, site performance and optimization

How to Prove the ROI of Web Performance: A Comprehensive Guide [eBook]

Sep 4, 2013 3:17:00 PM

Posted by Alex Pinto

How much does web performance affect your company's bottom line?  

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Topics: Web Performance Industry, E-Commerce, site performance and optimization

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