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Quickview: Don't Let Your Slow Website Turn Off Visitors

You can learn a lot of things from your website visitors by asking them simple survey questions.

Bill Winterberg, 10/31/2013

Earlier this year, Google introduced a Consumer Surveys product that website owners can use to collect survey responses from website visitors. A survey with four default questions is free to use, and custom questions cost just $0.01 for each response or $5.00 for 500 responses.

I installed the free survey on my website and collected responses for the third quarter.

With nearly 8,000 impressions, I gathered 40 responses for a response rate of 0.5%.

But what my website visitors overwhelmingly pointed out in the survey is how slow my website is when loading pages.

I knew my website was not the fastest, but visitor feedback encouraged me to figure out what was making things so slow.

What tool did I find most helpful in diagnosing my website speed issues? It's a website speed test tool from Pingdom.

Enter your website address in the free Pingdom Website Speed Test toolbar and press enter. Pingdom loads your website in real time and displays a color-coded bar chart showing the number of requests processed to load the page, the load time of each request, and the total page size of data transferred.

What you want to look for in the status chart are requests that take a long time to complete. These can be anything from JavaScript code to HTML documents to images.

Bill Winterberg, CFP, is a technology and operations consultant to independent financial advisors. His comments on technology have been featured in a variety of financial industry publications. You can view more information about Bill and see his schedule of upcoming speaking engagements at his Web site, FPPad.com. The author is a freelance contributor to MorningstarAdvisor.com. The views expressed in this article may or may not reflect the views of Morningstar.

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