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How to use CDNs to increase your site speed by 200%

By Expert commentator 14 Jun, 2017
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What is a content discovery network and why should digital marketers be using them?

It is not fair to make your users wait. The bottom line is that content marketers are at greater risk if they fail to reach their audience quickly since Google have confirmed that site speed is a ranking factor. Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a new way of amplifying the delivery of your content. It is a system that provides faster and safer internet experience. Believe me; it has all the potential to add value to your content marketing objectives.

Why use a CDN?

Content delivery is crucial to marketing success. After hours of time spent thinking on a theme for a good article, you should work on ways to deliver it quickly.

Globaldots indicates the loss in conversion rate as -7%, per one-second delay.

You cannot afford to have a slow loading page. This is where a CDN comes in.

In a typical CDN set up, a network of servers are geographically dispersed. Content is caught, stored and distributed to several end users through the nearest POP.

Several study reports and predictions support this point. For instance, a recent market report predicted that Content Delivery Network (CDN) market size would grow to USD 23.22 Billion by 2021.

Facts about CDN

  • Whether it is static content, dynamic content, or streaming content, the content delivery network enables acceleration of content to a server in the CDN that is closest to the user.
  • CDNs are capable of delivering even in real-time
  • Users can quickly drill down real-time data that passes through such distributed server systems; address latency issues and reduce bandwidth easily with this system. CDNs can reduce the latency involved.
  • Mobile CDNs are playing bigger roles today.
  • Software delivery CDN is vital to make any e-commerce business successful.
  • More and more advertisers and ad technology partners are taking complete advantage of CDNs. The rapid speed of ad delivery is crucial to any advertiser with just a few seconds left to grab the attention of viewers.

Factors Contributing to the Growth of CDN

  • Increasing usage of Internet
  • Expanding reach of Internet
  • Mobile Force
  • Ecommerce
  • Increasing Video Content
  • Personalized Ads
  • Security

Use Cases of CDN

  • As far as static content is concerned, an efficient CDN can help in media delivery, software download and all elements of a website which includes images, JavaScript, CSS etc.
  • Typical use cases for dynamic content includes news, weather, social media, advertising etc.
  • The technology can very well be used to initiate live streaming of any event. Many of the sports channels, knowledge sharing channels etc are dependent on live streaming as of today. CDN can be of great use here.

What Can You Expect From A CDN?

Let us analyse this in detail.

Scalability

A CDN can be the right system that can tackle the web experience challenges. It can offer more scalability to your business. CDN lets you leap at every opportunity to deliver content that suits specific needs. With more manageable traffic, a CDN enables you to retain your customers, reach a wider audience, maintain connectivity with them and deliver information quickly.

Speed

Remember, if you ignore speed, you will be ignored... Speed is a ranking factor for Google.

If it takes time for Google to crawl your content, you need to re-work on the speed. Speed makes a huge difference when it comes to page loads. If you are slow, users will engage less with you.

Statistics from recent studies indicate that one in four people discontinue browsing a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load...

Seriously, this is something to be worked on.

Content that loads more slowly will get fewer visits.

Reports indicate that mobile devices lag behind in customer engagement metrics due to low speed.  Nearly 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages stretch beyond 3 seconds to load. Wait time not only affects performance metrics, but it can be costly for the companies too.

Amazon recently revealed that an extra second in loading its content page will cost the company close to 1.6 billion in sales. With more than 244 million active users, Amazon constantly tries to optimise its presence with a special focus to reduce the load time of its content.

Be it games, software, advertisements, mobile or website content, ecommerce etc., the speed of delivery marks success. CDNs play a huge role in achieving this.

High Bandwidth

When it comes to the delivery of content, both availability and performance matter to the visitors/audience. What happens when your well-designed video/movie fails to stream to your visitor? A CDN plays its role here. Delivery of high bandwidth content globally without any break is easier with a CDN set-up.  It helps in the elimination of single point failures and facilitates load balancing.

Global

One of the key advantages of implementing a CDN is the global reach and the way it enhances the speed and delivery of your content to any device. Whether it is an image, video, audio, application or any file, a CDN helps in moving the content closer to the user without any geographical barriers.

Cost Effective

  • By opting for server optimisation based on content type, you can reach your users more efficiently, thus saving your costs.
  • By choosing an efficient CDN platform you can be rest assured with a fail-safe system and it is sure to give you a better business.
  • By accelerating the delivery of your web page/application content, you gain new opportunities and this lets you reduce other expenses to push your content.
  • CDNs are more structured compared to other expensive, difficult to configure and unmanageable systems.
  • Fast loading page can save you from expenses on server installation, hosting, maintenance and so on.
  • Time is money. By retaining your customers with timely delivery, you tend to trim down other operational complexity and even overhead expenses.
  • A proficient CDN can very well align you with your ROI expectations.

Security

A key benefit that a CDN can provide is strengthened defence system and improved real-time attack mitigation. With round-the-clock support and monitoring system; completely huge set up of big-data-driven security intelligence, an efficient CDN is capable of offering a high level of security to its users. Moreover, its scattered server system is said to offer secured network.

Most of the advanced CDNs offer defence against;

  • Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks
  • Block threats
  • Abusive bots
  • Crawlers
  • Spam
  • Hack attacks

Enhanced SEO

By being faster, you are assured of better rewards from Google. Page load time, bounce rate, security etc, have its own impact on Google rankings. It is easier to improve these elements with a CDN.

Performance

Optimising the speed and delivery of your web/mobile page elements is the only way to optimise performance. A delay of even a millisecond can help your competitors move ahead. Load time affects your performance. The following points will help you to understand the statement better.

  • Load time affects the bottom line of your performance. It has its own impact on customer retention, scalability, revenue, reach, brand display, metrics, customer engagement and much more.
  • Load time has a direct impact on bounce rates.
  • Load time has its effect on page revenue.

A much easier solution to this is to engage with CDN.

Top CDN Players

Case Study of CDN (Amazon CloudFront)

NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover was launched way back to investigate and understand the conditions of the Red Planet. The mission initiated its first landing on the 5th of August, 2012. The complete landing experience was delivered to viewers around the world using Amazon CloudFront, one of the top rated CDNs.

What was delivered via Amazon CloudFront?

  • Regular HTTP website content with blogging and status updates
  • Static images with pictures from Mars
  • Interactive Unity gaming engine downloads ( a facility that allowed visitors to participate from home by driving the Mars rover)
  • Allowing viewers to interact with real data from Mars in near real time

Key factors that helped NASA JPL to decide on CDN

  • Performance and scalability

Features utilized from Amazon CloudFront

  • Query strings
  • Low TTLs
  • Multiple origins
  • Multiple cache behaviours to help speed up the delivery of the entire website
  • Use of different AWS services as origin servers for different types of content on the website

Tom Soderstrom, the Chief Technology Officer of NASA/JPL was looking for a system that can help in getting good tuning features and Amazon CloudFront worked well for this. The broadcast was easy without building an infrastructure. They were able to create a robust and scalable web page which is accessible by millions quickly and easily. The Mars Exploration Rover mission is still on and Amazon web services are still used.

Today, NASA is utilizing AWS Elemental to deliver the live stream of many of its events via an AWS workflow that includes AWS CloudWatch, Amazon Route 53, and the Amazon CloudFront Content Delivery Network (CDN) for public access in both 4K and HD.

This is just a sample of what a CDN can do.

Enterprises across the globe, media companies, ecommerce companies, mobile gaming companies and many sports channels are already using CDNs to enhance their service delivery and customer engagement.

Take advantage of this CDNs for both load speed and responsiveness. This one trick can help you serve your customers faster and thus let you win their business.

By Expert commentator

This is a post we've invited from a digital marketing specialist who has agreed to share their expertise, opinions and case studies. Their details are given at the end of the article.

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