With so many different performance metrics touted as the metric that matters most, it can be difficult to know what users really want from your company’s website. In September 2015, performance analytics company Soasta and The Harris Poll asked that very question when they surveyed more than 2,000 people age 18 and over.

While personalization of message may be a big push for many marketers, the survey respondents didn’t place it as the most important aspect, instead ranking the most important website performance attributes as follows:

  • Easy navigation – 79%
  • Speed – 73%
  • Reliability – 68%
  • Doesn’t crash – 62%
  • Responsiveness – 56%
  • Simple layout – 51%
  • Ability to find needed products – 44%
  • Easily connect and share things with friends – 18%
  • Personalized content – 13%
  • Other – 4%.

This shows that a return to the basics of a properly functioning website are what attract users to websites and encourage them to return. Personalized content and sharability on social media sites are certainly nice features, but become meaningless when placed on an unstable website that crashes, loads slowly or has an overly complicated layout.

The number of ads on the website can also be a factor for many Internet users, as ad placement can create a cluttered experience that makes product information difficult to find and information hard to read.

This is directly related to a July 2015 survey conducted by Undertone. This study looked at what factors influenced Internet users to visit particular websites, finding that the most important factors were:

  • Uncluttered and easy to read content – 80%
  • Fewer than 4 ads per page – 78%
  • Comfort with vertically aligned content and ads – 66%
  • Question credibility of cluttered sites – 60%
  • Interesting and entertaining content can offset ads – 60%
  • Less likely to return to sites cluttered with ads – 58%.

Additionally, Undertone found that just over half or respondents were more receptive to ads on sites that featured trending or currently relevant content. And 49% of users didn’t even notice ads on sites where they questioned its credibility in the first place.

The number of ads placed on a website page is an especially important factor when you consider how multiple ads can make a site harder to navigate and can possibly even slow down the speed at which pages load—two clearly critical issues for website visitors based on the September 2015 data.


eMarketer. Easy Navigation, Speed Are Leading Website Performance Attributes. December 2, 2015.