Why you need a real user monitoring (RUM) tool

Summary: You've launched your website, and it's live. Now what? In order to keep improving your site's user experience, you need a tool that can give you insights into how real users are experiencing your site. This is where real user monitoring comes in—it's the practice of collecting data from actual visitors as opposed to synthetic visits or non-human agents like crawlers or bots.

Why you need a real user monitoring (RUM) tool

Real user monitoring is crucial to optimizing your website's user experience

When you’re building a website or an app, it’s important to know how your users are engaging with your product. Real User Monitoring (RUM) tools help answer this question by giving you access to user data, allowing you to see the performance of your website or app from the perspective of real users.

You can use this information to understand how fast your site loads, under what circumstances your website isn't performing well, and much more. This is especially helpful for eCommerce sites that need clear insight into how well their site functions so they can improve conversion rates and revenue.

Get a better understanding of your real audience

  • You need to know who's using your site, how they're using it, and what they're looking for.
  • How are they experiencing the Core Web Vitals?
  • Do they have to wait for something to load?
  • Are you, visitors, mostly from a country with good internet?
  • What devices are your users on?

If everyone was on a high-end device with 8192 MiB of device memory our jobs would be a lot easier.

Core Web Vitals based on device memory, where 8GB is the best by far.

Different circumstances call for different solutions

Real user monitoring is crucial for continuous development. As an example, let's say you want to launch a new feature on your website. Before rolling it out, you would want to make sure that the new feature doesn't negatively impact any of your existing users. By using real user monitoring and being able to measure how each change affects the user experience, you can quickly see if something needs tweaking before releasing it live, for example on your testing environment.

You could also deploy it live instantly and see how your users are experiencing this within an hour (depending on your traffic).

Real user monitoring can help optimize the user experience. For example, if users are leaving a page halfway through because they're annoyed about the time they have to wait for the page to load, this might indicate something needs changing for them to have a better experience on the site—a problem that could be solved by adding site speed optimization in combination with a RUM tool to your performance process.

Optimizing the Core Web Vitals real user monitoring

Real User Monitoring (RUM) is the only way to get real insights into your site. You can't optimize your Core Web Vitals for your real audience without it. Unless you think that lab data will be helpful enough.

RUM is a must for continuous development. It allows you to see what users are experiencing so you can make adjustments quickly, which is crucial when you're deploying code often.

Without RUM it becomes a lot harder to improve page speed because you have to rely on Pagespeed Insights data that is 28-days delayed. So when your new feature is ruining the UX then this might be too late.

Pagespeed challenges are based on location

  • In the first quarter of 2019, the average internet speed in the United States was 13.7 Mbps.
  • That's a huge difference from countries like South Korea, where internet speeds average around 44 Mbps. The country with the highest average internet speed is Singapore at 74.5 Mbps!

So what does this mean for your website? Simply put: page speed challenges are based on location. If a large part of your visitors are from South Korea or Singapore then optimizing page speed is a lot easier than if most of them are from the United States. With higher Internet speeds, they can more easily download resources and thus see the website faster.

difference in Largest Contentful Paint. 4G compared to 3G. 4G = 1244ms 3G= 2610ms

Real-time insights allow you to react faster

The ability to see what's happening on your website in real-time is valuable. If you're trying out a new design, for example, you can test the changes with a small audience before rolling it out to your entire site. With this type of feedback and information at your fingertips, you can make changes to improve the user experience immediately and react to problems faster.

The same goes for page speed. When a new page or, for example, a custom landing page or landing page gives users a poor experience, you want to know about it as soon as possible. So that you can adjust this right away. In the case of a campaign, this is all the more valuable since you are paying to get traffic to your page.

FBclid having a bad TTFB due to not properly setting up caching

An essential part of any continuous deployment strategy

Your real audience is the key to optimizing your website's user experience and getting the most out of a continuous deployment strategy. Without a real user monitoring tool, you'll have no idea how visitors are experiencing your website, and without this information, there's no way you can optimize their experience.


The key takeaway here is that real user monitoring is an essential part of any continuous deployment strategy. It lets you know exactly what’s going on with your website and how it can improve. This means higher user engagement, more traffic, and more conversions for your business.

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