10 Tips for Accurate Website Load Testing

If traffic to your website suddenly explodes, what happens to the user experience? You can’t know until you perform load testing. As defined by Wikipedia, load testing involves deliberately demanding more of your website to “determine [the] system’s behavior under both normal and anticipated peak load conditions.”

Accuracy is essential when figuring out how many users your site can handle at one time and identifying where performance suffers as loads increase. Follow these ten tips to set up and execute precise load tests and collect data you can use to improve the onsite experience for end users.

Test with Real Browsers

Some tools available for load testing use virtual browsers, and although it’s possible to get usable results in these simulated environments, you’re better off doing your tests in the browsers your site visitors actually use. This information is readily available on the platform through which you monitor site statistics, and using a load testing tool like LoadView can help you test with a variety of real mobile and desktop browsers. Determine the most popular browsers, and make these the main programs your use for testing.

Know Your Baseline

The length of time it takes a page to load when it’s being accessed by a single user is the baseline number against which to measure other performance data from your load tests. Use a tool designed to record page load times only after every element on the page has been fully rendered, and compare these times to your own manual tests. Since test results will differ, you’ll need to repeat the process a few times to get an average on which you can rely.

Use Your Analytics

Website analytics offer invaluable data for load testing, including measurements of peak traffic in the recent past. Take a look at your busiest days, and note the highest number of visitors your site had at these times. Add 10 to 50 percent to these numbers so that you can simulate extreme conditions when testing. Increasing the expected peak traffic allows you to see how your site would perform should traffic exceed predictions at any time.

Determine Key Metrics

What should you look for when determining the load your site can handle? User experience is at the heart of this type of testing, so the metrics you measure should focus on ensuring a smooth experience even when the site is under stress.

Look at average response times, peak response times and error rates for all pages. Putting these together creates a clear picture of what an actual user would encounter when site traffic is heavy. You should also take note of CPU and memory use to see what peak traffic demands from the systems supporting your site.

Plan with Your Team

Load testing is a bigger job than one person can handle. Meet with your IT team, web developers and anyone else involved in working on your site to create a plan for handling the tests. If everyone isn’t on the same page regarding which tools and browsers to use, the timing of the tests and the chosen metrics, you’ll wind up with useless results.

Include a Deliberate Crash

Finding out what it takes to push your website’s system into a state of failure may seem like an extreme goal for a load test, but it’s helpful to know the absolute upper limit of what the site can handle. Gradually increase the load as you test until the site gives out, noting what happens to page load times and the types of errors you receive. Even if you never expect to have enough traffic to crash the site, pushing the envelope reveals points of weakness and potential errors you may not discover when testing lower traffic levels.

Time Tests Right

The best time to conduct load testing is when users aren’t likely to be visiting your site. Just as you looked at analytics for peak traffic times, you want to determine the hours of lowest activity and schedule your tests during these windows. Taking this approach ensures the network environment doesn’t skew test results and your tests don’t interfere with the experience active users have on the site.

Use a Performance Environment

Testing in a simulated environment instead of a duplicate of your site’s performance environment or on the site itself is a recipe for inaccuracy. To get reliable results, you need to see the real errors users might experience and identify performance bottlenecks on your actual site. A test environment may lack elements necessary to understand how the site really behaves when traffic spikes.

Record Everything

Conducting tests correctly in real browsers on your actual site should yield the most accurate results possible, but the feedback you get is only helpful if you make sure to capture the data. This is why it’s important to ensure your team knows what metrics you’re testing for and how these measure up to your baseline for performance. Compare results from team members, and use the numbers to identify areas on which to focus efforts for improvement.

Test Again and Again

Load testing isn’t a one-time deal. After your initial tests, it’s time to make changes in the areas where performance clearly suffered with the goal of minimizing errors and improving page load times. Once this has been done, repeat the testing using the same browsers, metrics, timing and environment. Weigh your new results against the initial outcomes to see if the changes helped and where new tweaks need to be made to further reduce the risk of problems for end users.

Better site performance makes for a happier audience, and this should be your main goal when load testing. Even the slightest delay in page load times or a single error during an e-commerce transaction can cause you to lose customers to the competition and damage your brand image. Conduct regular load testing to ensure performance remains favorable and your site environment can handle the levels of traffic you expect.

Things to look for in an e-commerce SEO Agency

SEO has come a long way since its inception and is now considered as one of the foremost tools needed to market a business today. As a newbie in the field, you may have some apprehensions about choosing the correct e-commerce SEO Agency for your needs. Here is a quick roundup of the important factors you need to consider when choosing a company that provides SEO services.

Experience Counts

When choosing an e-commerce SEO company, make sure you check the number of years the company has been in the industry, as well as its expertise in the field. It may be very easy to fool customers using a decent looking website and some SEO lingo.

It is considered wise to avoid SEO companies that have been in the industry only for two years or less. While you may get a fantastic deal from a company that has only launched its service in the previous year, you may end up becoming a guinea pig for a company’s experimental business. Go for a company that has been in the industry for at least four years or more. If you still insist on working with a comparatively younger firm, insist on speaking to previous customers and ask for references you can check out before giving your nod.

Complete Information

A company that deals in e-Commerce SEO services but does not follow the first basic step of a successful SEO campaign itself is something you need to be wary of. It is imperative that any company you deal with for that matter has complete and authentic contact information on its website as well as in Google local listings or yellow pages. With social media being instrumental in an SEO campaign, an active online presence is also considered a must. A company that has none of this information and does not provide you with the same when asked is surely an imposter.

Proper SEO Design

What is the first thing you would look for in a company that claims to provide stellar e-Commerce SEO Services? How much they incorporate their own ideas and principles in their website of course! A company that offers help with SEO must have spotless SEO itself. And one way to identify this is on the company’s website. A properly designed website that is kept up to date is a sign of a company with good SEO. A lazy design, however, with incomplete, outdated information is a sure shot sign of a company that has the least interest in its SEO let alone yours.

Performance Guarantees

The search algorithms commonly used in SEO keep on changing, which means understanding them completely is next to impossible. The best possible way to work with these algorithms is to create optimistic goals framed with a small lens of uncertainty. And this is what you need to look for in a company that offers e-commerce SEO Services.

Consider the rankings provided to each page by Google and other search engines. There is no guarantee to the rank a website can achieve. A company that helps you with your business’s SEO can only provide an estimate of the rank you can achieve via website optimization. A company that guarantees you a spot on the top of the search list or worst yet, the #1 rank is surely lying through its teeth.

The same goes for forecasting the amount of traffic, as well as the number of conversions, your website experiences. An SEO Company that provides a rough estimate of these numbers can be trusted while a company that provides specific numbers and guarantees them cannot.

Benchmarks for Success

So how do you go about choosing an SEO that does not guarantee performance with figures? Choose a company that believes in setting benchmarks for success instead of guaranteeing performance. SEO tends to be a long-term game, meaning the performance can be measured in the course of months or years. The SEO Company that you work with will need to identify the areas of optimizations that can increase the amount of qualified traffic to your website. It should be very clear on the strategy it would utilize for the same purpose and explain the same to you in a detailed manner so that you know what you are paying for.

Outsourcing to Foreign Firms

A lot of SEO firms outsource their work to foreign agencies these days owing to reduced labor costs and increased productivity. While it can be encouraging to think that your business’s SEO goals would be met by talented SEO experts from around the world, there are high chances for it to fall in the hands of novices and inexperienced SEO professionals who could waste your time and money considerably. If the company you approach for a Sun e-Commerce Package tends to outsource its services to a foreign firm, do not hesitate in asking about the credentials of the firm, as well as its expertise in the field. With SEO, you get what you pay for. Don’t be apprehensive about asking questions so long as it would help you land a deal with a great SEO agency or its foreign subordinate.

Switcheroo Tricks

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book and the one that almost every other business falls for. A company offering attractive packages like SEO for ecommerce Websites in 2018 can promote a renowned SEO expert as its lead and as the person who would be working for your SEO. However, unknown to many, the actual work may be handled by inexperienced SEO specialists. Hence, it is essential to ask the company about who would be working on your project and to possibly provide a contact number so that you can be in touch with the concerned individual on a regular basis. Make it a point that you would want to be informed about regular updates and sign on the dotted line only if you know the company’s work will match your expectations.

Summary

On the lookout for a company that offers e-commerce SEO services? Ensure that you keep these pointers in mind when scouting for the best possible SEO agency to meet your expectations and SEO requirements.

Author Bio

Vishal Vivek co-founded the leading digital marketing company of India, SEO Corporation. Vishal has been ‘shoulder’ deep in his responsibilities as the CEO of the company since last 7 years. In his free time, he’s found researching new non-fiction novels, reviewing new books, enjoying somewhat risky vacations and spoiling random stray animals with love.

Clever Construction: Improve Project Accuracy with Top Tech

Technology is making its way into every type of business. Even if you think your industry doesn’t benefit from being more connected and tech-savvy, you’ll find that there are many ways that the use of technology could help your business. In the construction industry, a lot of time is spent on building sites, rather than in an office. However, technology can be of use both on and offsite to create a more efficient working environment. You need to be able to deliver projects on time, and you need to coordinate between office work and labor on construction sites. You can make use of tech and the internet in a variety of ways to run more efficient construction sites and a better office too.

Online Communication with Clients, Suppliers and More

Technology makes communication much easier. It gives you a huge variety of ways to keep in touch with people, whether it’s online, over the phone, or using another message. Online communication alone gives you the option of email, instant messaging, collaboration and messaging apps like Slack, project management software, and more. You can spend time finding the best ways to communicate with your clients, employees working remotely and in the office, suppliers and anyone else that it’s essential for you to keep in touch with. It’s worth exploring different options to get things right and find out what works for your business.

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Research Equipment and Supplies Online

The internet is always a great resource for making improvements to your construction business. One of the ways you can streamline a process and ensure you have more efficient construction sites is to find the best equipment and supplies online. You might not exactly be browsing an online store and clicking “add to basket” on a piece of equipment that costs thousands, but you can find all the information you need to make informed decisions. It’s essential that you’re well-informed when you’re spending a lot of money, so having all the right information available to you is important. On this website, you can compare construction trailers to ensure you make the right purchase for your business. But you can still ensure you speak to an expert about any products before you buy. Many companies will still give you a personal account manager, but they also make things easier for you with online resources and portals.

Collaborate Onsite with Cloud Technology

Cloud technology is taking over the business world, with uses for almost everything. It can make the use of tech more affordable and more flexible. In the construction industry, it can make collaboration both onsite and offsite easier to carry out. Information can be collected easily and shared with any relevant people in an instant using cloud storage and sharing technology. People can work on the same documents or files without having to constantly email or create multiple versions. Everything can happen in real-time using management software, mobile apps and other useful tech that makes working together a lot easier.

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Use Mobile Devices to Capture Information

Mobile devices make keeping track of things onsite more attainable. Combined with cloud technology, mobile tech helps you to capture any information you might need from a site that could help you to make things more efficient. For example, employers can track the number of hours their laborers are working onsite, and even record what they’re doing during these hours. This information can then easily be shared with the office staff so that they can get a good picture of what’s happening onsite. You can improve the management of employees and time. Mobile devices can also capture information ranging from receipts for purchases to use of materials.

Make Better Decisions with Better Data

With real-time data made available by the use of technology onsite, better decisions can be made to make things more efficient. Data on costs and labor can be used to see the impact of different decisions and adjustments before they are carried out so that the best choices can be made. You can save money and time by getting a clearer idea of what impact different decisions will have before taking any action. Designers and contractors can experiment with various configurations before a project is finalized to ensure the most efficiency.

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Meet Compliance Regulations More Easily

Compliance is essential in the construction industry, and it can sometimes feel as if it gets in the way of carrying out your work. However, technology can make it simpler to follow all the regulations and keep your business running smoothly without getting into any trouble. One of the tools that can be useful is a document management solution, which makes it easier to store and organize any important documents and comply with any data regulations. Using secure portals, you can keep documents and data safe and track compliance with other regulations too.

Provide Remote Assistance

Technology can also be useful for providing remote assistance to employees who might need it. Wearable technology might even be useful onsite, such as smart glasses which can provide direction to someone while leaving their hands free to complete a task. Communication between people onsite and those who might be in an office or support role is better with mobile, connected devices. It could mean that people have to travel less, and emergencies or pressing tasks can be dealt with more quickly.

Improve Accuracy with Augmented Reality

Although it’s still in its early stages of being adopted by businesses, augmented reality could help to speed up and improve the accuracy of construction projects. Using tech like the HoloLens, you can pick up on flaws in designs and see how things can be constructed more accurately. Tasks that might have required a large number of people working on them before to get everything right could be much simpler with the use of augmented reality to envision what the final product will look like before any work is carried out.

Technology can improve efficiency on construction projects in a number of ways. Explore what it could do for your company to benefit from it.

Top Tips for Generating Leads

Top Tips for Generating Leads

In order to maximize your sales, you’re going to need leads. Although lead generation can often be the most difficult area for your sales team to tackle, without it, you stand considerably less chance of growing your business. Lead generation is a must-have area of expertise, and although it can often feel as if you’re failing to attract new customers, there are a number of strategies that you can implement that ensure your lead generation strategies are productive and financially rewarding. The following tips utilize the best of traditional methods of lead generation and the most useful technologies that you can adopt in order to ensure that your lead generation is successful, productive, and a means of refocusing and energizing your sales department.

Optimize your online platforms

As more people adapt to the online sales market, it is essential that you are making the most of your online platforms. Having a functional website and active social media is part and parcel of successful business management in the digital age, and if you fail to update and refresh your online presence, then you’re going to lose customers to the competition. If your awareness of SEO techniques isn’t up to date, then either take the time to learn the skills required, or outsource your online management to experts in the field, which will, in turn, free you up to focus your talents where they are best suited. Refresh your branding and re-energize your marketing strategies and you’ll soon find that customers will be drawn to you.

Use your Email wisely

It’s all well and good if you’re using your emails to communicate in-house and to contact suppliers, but too few businesses recognize the potential reach of a planned email campaign. When used in conjunction with your customers’ data, a regular email newsletter about your company, new products, new reviews or even simple changes to your industry, can keep the existence of your company and product fresh in a client’s mind. As well as a useful means to reignite existing yet dormant customers, emails can also be used to find new clients, with tools such as email finders being an excellent way to reach out to an entirely new market. The benefits are that with your own industry search parameters, you are likely to find clients who are the most likely to be interested in what your company offers.

Share your knowledge

You obviously know the ins and outs of your industry sector, but have you considered using your expertise to widen your audience? Using your in-depth knowledge of your industry, you can send out press releases to local news organizations, and even appear on radio stations to discuss in person in-depth analysis of your area. This spreading of information places you firmly at the forefront of potential customer’s minds when they have a need for your service, because nobody wants to deal with amateurs. Online webinars can also be used to explore breaking news or ‘how-to’ advice, which not only provides you content that can be shared on social media, but also proves your expertise when it comes to your business.

Options for Using AR Applications in Business

What is an AR app? Just remember these thousands of photos with extra big eyes and noses in social networks. This effect is AR technology.

AR applications provide digital objects which are reflected on smartphone screens or on screens of wearable devices, complementing the real world with new information. And this information can be as various as possible – gaming, educational, commercial.

With the development of technologies, Augmented Reality will become a substantial part of our daily life. Now more and more data are being created and accumulated, and Augmented Reality App Development will serve as a bridge for access to a huge amount of information. And Augmented Reality will be integrated so deeply that it will be perceived intuitively. The term “Augmented Reality” itself, perhaps, will cease to be used, and digital data will be considered a part of reality. The main thing is that the augmented reality enables us to a new level of interaction with the digital world without having to abandon the habitual environment, and completely immerse ourselves in virtuality.

What platforms are supported by Augmented Reality

Today, most of software giants offer AR platforms. Here is a list of the main development platforms:

ARKit from Apple

The platform from the Cupertino-based enterprise allows to create augmented reality apps for iOS devices. It supports such AR engines as Unity, Unreal Engine, and Scenekit. It allows the iPhone camera to interact with real objects. The technology was already adopted by Peter Jackson’s studio. Using Unreal Engine and ARKit, its team has created a game with fighting ships capable to fire at the city on a real table.

Google ARCore

When considering Google Tango technology, everyone can see that it offers, in fact, the same, as ARKit: tracking of the movement, fixing of an object on the Android gadget screen and projection of the image on a table to view it from different angles.

Camera Effects Platform by Facebook

It is a set of effects which expands possibilities of photos and videos with Facebook’s camera effects. However, unlike similar effects in Snapchat, the technology here enables to distinguish not only persons, but also other objects – clothes, jewelry, cars, food, landscapes. So that the companies have new prospects in creation of advertising posts.

How do AR-applications help to increase sales?

The hype around Pokemon hunting with smartphones has shown how the huge audience an engaged audience can be. Development of AR-applications is a promising direction, and the commercial boom of use of technology hasn’t come yet.

AR-applications can be a technological power that creates the competitive advantage for a company. It provides new, fascinating experience for users leaving no one indifferent.

How can AR be used?

Even now, it is possible to see synthesis real and virtual worlds when using augmented Reality glasses, such as Google Glass, Epson Moverio, or Toshiba Glass. These are opportunities for developers of educational applications, games, and various services. The range of use of AR technology for both Augmented Reality glasses and for smartphones is very wide.

Augmented Reality Games

Augmented reality offers users new options they surely want to try. We mentioned the most striking example above – the game Pokémon GO that has won millions of fans worldwide.

AR Apps for self-Instruction

AR devices enable users to get the necessary information about an object using only the camera. So, for example, Google Translate helps understand various inscriptions on billboards, signs, documents using AR. The translation appears on the gadget screen at once. Museums, shops, airports and any other places of interest can use AR in a similar way.

AR navigation

There are companies for example, Navion offering car owners absolutely new driving experience using special devices that project tagged maps and instructions onto the windshield of a car. There are also Augmented Reality-based navigation services for smartphones.

Interactive sales in stores

Wearable devices and special software help buyers to better consider the product and see how it will look in the interior. This approach is offered, for example, by Ikea who provide their catalogs with an AR app that enable to see any item on the smartphone screen as a part of the room furniture or decorations.

Healthcare

Even more useful application of AR technology can be found in the field of health, especially in the treatment of phobias or personality disorders. Imagine a person with phobia (fear of snakes), who undergoes exposure therapy (gradual increase in the impact level of the of the object that causes fear, from the sheet with the written word to the actual interaction with the object). Thus, at a certain stage of treatment, patients can use an application that displays a snake near them to inform of the desired level of exposure.

Travel and advertising

When traveling, it can be very convenient to know at once which building is in front of you or to find interesting places nearby. The same principle can be applied for advertising: the user sees offers and information about store discounts, simply pointing smartphone camera on the shopping center’s hall.

Entertainment

Everyone has probably heard about Pokémon GO and MSQRD. Both use Augmented Reality technology for rich user experience. In the game Pokémon GO users can see creatures in front of them, which do not exist in reality. A successful start-up MSQRD from Belarus allows users to try on various masks adjusting them to facial expressions and emotions. These applications have millions of fans, so we can say that Augmented Reality can make a product with an outstanding user experience. Similar AR applications can be used for children giving them joy of playing with revived pictures,books or etc.

The development of expanded reality provides an attractive experience for users and new opportunities for companies that are keen to keep up with the times, offering cutting-edge solutions. AR technologies have a great future, their massive use is not far off, and it’s important not to miss the moment when you can still be one of the first who created a new application using Augmented Reality technology that can increase sales for your business.