All the work that social media and technology websites have been doing to improve the user experience is starting to pay off. A look at AlertSites Business Benchmarks for Q1, January 2010-March 2010, shows an interesting observation when it comes to the website performance of these sites versus other industries.
Technology companies, social networking sites, and shortening tools all delivered quicker response times during this three month period compared to some of the other non-technical sectors in our benchmarks, such as healthcare, financial services, and even cell phone carriers. Those whose business relies on the Web recognize the importance of a fast website.
Lets take a look at some of the hard numbers. Here are the average response times for 10 of the top healthcare websites.
The benchmark average is a response time of 4.9 seconds.
Now compare that to the response times of some of the most popular social networking websites during the same three month period.
And shortening tool websites during the same timeframe.
The benchmark average for the response times of these sites is between 2.53 seconds and 2.65 seconds. Only one of the 10 healthcare websites reported a response time that low.
The social networking and shortening tool websites operate in real-time. Their business rests entirely on the Web, whereas other industries, such as healthcare, financial services, cell phone carriers, etc. have other outlets for consumers to engage. But when a social network is down, its down, and when its slow, users dont have the patience to wait.
When you look at sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, all with average response times between one and two seconds, its clear that they have an understanding of how important the performance of the website is for the overall user experience.
If you are interested in learning more about how we compiled this data, you can read about that here.
In July, well check on the quarterly performance data for these sites from April through June. Itll be interesting to see if the technology sector continues to outperform or if another industry surprises us.