Most service providers in the Connectedness industry focus on improving their portal performance and driving organic traffic to achieve a high number of visitors and business prospects. Service providers’ portals are used daily for various purposes, but many of these need to be more user-friendly when considering the first byte. According to Gartner, “67.6% of organic online traffic clicks come from the top five results on the first search engine results page (SERP)”. Hence service providers with poor portal performance, including slow loading times and user incompatibilities, fail to appear on the first page of search engine results and tend to lose almost half of the visitors even before they arrive on the site. Based on the engagements with various service providers, the common challenges that hinder the portal’s performance are listed below.
- Increased load times, poor responsiveness, and low accessibility of the web pages
- Asset liabilities, caching issues, and underperforming landing pages
- Lack of interactive web pages
To overcome these challenges, service providers must adopt a unique strategy that helps accelerate overall portal performance. This article elaborates on the key focus areas for the service providers to reimagine portals and improve organic traffic by 3x.
The four key focus areas to reimagine portals and customer experience
1. Optimal asset management
Text and images are the core of any portal, and service providers should focus on optimizing them to enhance portal performance. While developing the portal, service providers should ensure that the pages are attractive for both search engines and users. According to a search engine journal, “Web content with relevant images get 94% more views than the content without images.” Hence focus on adding relevant, user-friendly, and fast-loading images to attract the users. Further, it is also vital to ensure efficient delivery of content across different devices used by the customers.
- Implement Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to optimize the readable content for mobile devices
- Leverage storage caching for caching the media content that isn’t changing regularly
- Implement auto-scaling tools to resize the images as per the screen resolution and optimize media content across different devices
- Optimize the media content for delivery without sound; as Digiday research says, “Eighty-five percent of Facebook’s viewership occurs without users turning the sound on”.
2. Intelligent caching and Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Intelligent caching and Content Delivery Network (CDN) has become a critical component of today’s modern applications and e-commerce portals. Bandwidth consumption cost for website hosting is a major expense for web portals. Implementation of CDNs helps to reduce the amount of data an origin server must provide, thus reducing the hosting costs. Further, it reduces the page loading time and improves the customer experience by delivering a local copy of the content from a nearby cache edge.
- Leverage intelligent caching algorithms to auto-identify and cache the static/dynamic content by observing the usage patterns
- Implement a Tiered Caching mechanism to improve bandwidth efficiency. It reduces the origin load and makes the website more cost-effective to operate
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
According to HubSpot, “75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results”. SEO helps search engines to crawl, index, and understand the portal content, thus increasing the likelihood of first-page ranking on Google. Develop the site content with the most used search intent types, such as informational, navigational, transactional, and commercial. Businesses should ensure that the created content passes the search intent test by Google console to rank better on the first page of Google.
- Implement intelligent keyword research analysis: Leverage AI-based SEO to enhance and automate keyword research and competitor analysis. Implement Google AdWords Keyword Planner to identify the competitive keywords associated with the portal based on the search volume.
- Track the search engine results: Leverage tools like Google search console for real-time tracking of page performance, indexing coverage, and mobile usability.
4. Proactive improvement of PageSpeed Insights score: The three main factors of portal usability are page loading speed, interactivity or responsiveness, and visual stability. PageSpeed Insights and core web vitals help to measure the portal’s speed and user experience. Proactive improvement of PageSpeed Insights score helps to elevate the speed and stability, which in turn helps to improve organic traffic to the site.
- Integrate Google Lighthouse API with the DevOps pipeline to compute and proactively improve the core web vitals
- Leverage the field data provided by Google PageSpeed Insights to understand how the webpage interacts with real-world scenarios
The four focus areas as explained in this article help the service providers in the connectedness industry reimagine portals and achieve the following benefits:
- Reduce portal loading time to less than 2.5 seconds
- Boost organic traffic by 3X
- Improve time to market by 50% due to enhanced UX
- Improvement in customer experience
I appreciate the efforts of my colleague Priyankaa A- Analyst, Strategic Insights, for her contribution and continuous support in shaping this article.
Muthukumaravel Sakthivel Senior Director, Prodapt Solutions Muthukumaravel is a hands-on technology leader with 15+ years of consulting experience. He has a commanding knowledge of network engineering including provisioning, operations, management of system architectures, and implementation. He is passionate about implementing solutions that rejuvenate service providers in the connectedness industry through Platform and Network modernizations, and cloud automation. Muthu is the Assistant Vice President of delivery at Prodapt, a two-decade-old consulting & managed services provider with a singular focus on the connectedness industry. Prodapt’s customers range from telecom operators, digital/multi-service providers (D/MSPs), technology, and digital platform companies in the business of connectedness. Prodapt builds, integrates, and operates solutions enabling next-generation technologies and innovations. Prodapt services global leaders including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, Adtran, Vodafone, Liberty Global, Windstream, Virgin Media, Rogers, and Deutsche Telekom, among many others. Prodapt’s customers help more than a billion people, and five billion devices stay connected.