Improve Conversions by Speeding Up Your Website

For those of whom think that a slow loading website is not a huge deal, I have some bad news for you.  By the end of this article I hope to convince you that speeding up your website will surely improve conversions.  Especially if you have thousands of visitors or more per month.
Consider the effect of a 1 second delay on your website.  The time it takes for one heart beat, can cause a customer to click away, or stop a sale dead in its tracks.
Research shows that a one second delay in page load time can produce the following effect:

  • 11 percent reduction in page views
  • 16 percent reduction in customer satisfaction
  • Up to a 7% reduction in conversions (an Aberdeen Group study)

For websites with millions of page views, the effect can be compounded.  Consider the fact that Amazon reported an increase in sales of 1 percent for every tenth of a second improvement to their site load speed. (see the details here at Amazon).

Furthermore, there is some research that shows how impatient web visitors can be.  In our frenetic and chaotic world, site visitors can’t be bothered to wait if a site takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

Need more evidence on why site speed is so vitally important to improve conversions?

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Our good friends at Akamai found that web visitors are simply an impatient group of people.  Consider these stats:

  • 40 percent of visitors will leave a web page if the load time is greater than 3 seconds!
  • 52 percent web shoppers assert that speedy page loads are important for their loyalty to a website.
  • 47 percent of people expect that a web page should load in two seconds or less.

That means a slow website is the equivalent of lost income. Even if web visitors do manage to stick around, repeated slow web page load times may result in lost opportunities to display on-site advertising, as well as shopping car abandonment.

Let’s hope by now you are waking up to the fact that slow page load times can be a severe detriment to your website

If you still stubbornly think you can’t improve conversions by speeding up your web pages, here’s a short list of other side effects a slow loading website can have:

Lower Search Position Rankings

Whenever someone clicks on a Google search engine result (aka SERP) and is frustrated by a slow web page, they may click the back button and go on to find another search result.  As a consequence, Google registers this back click as a “bounce”.

Google wants give its users of its search engine the best possible experience, as a result, the “bounce” rate is one indicator that the site is a good search result for them. Google employees have even stated that they look at the site speed as a signal in determining search engine rankings.

A site can spend big bucks on optimizing its content for the much-hallowed search engines, but if a significant amount of the visitors don’t have the patience to stick around to see it, Google may eventually notice and send less traffic to that site.

Mobile Users Become Frustrated

What about mobile devices?  The delay of page load times have even more negative consequences with those with hand-held devices.

These folks more often than not have a limit on bandwidth and are not entirely thrilled to waste it on sites that display a bunch of non-essential elements that detract from the mobile experience.

Surely, by developing and optimizing a site for mobile – sometimes referred to as the “mobile first” approach is an fantastic way to approach site optimization and foster speedy page loads.

Lower Repeat Visitors and Referrals

Even if web users do endure a lagging site through the initial click to finally a conversion or purchase, most are much less likely to come back.

64 percent of web visitors who have crappy experience with a website will be more apt to visit a competitor’s site in the future, and they surely won’t recommend piss-poor sites to their friends and associates.

Simple Tips to Optimize Website Page Speed

A good place to test your web speed is located here ——>>  https://tools.pingdom.com

If you site is performing poorly, here’s a few things you may be able to do on your own:

  1. Optimize or compress the images used on your website
  2. Change your web host – avoid shared hosting packages if possible, invest in a quality hosting company.
  3. Compress your web pages using tools such as GZIP
  4. Eliminate excessive Flash animation
  5. Setup your site with Cloudflare.com – they even have a free version!
  6. If you are using WordPress, uninstall any unused plugins that are not in use.

If you are not tech oriented, there are a number of firms that will work with you to increase your page speed.

 

Next Steps to Improve Conversions

If you have an existing site, and want to grow sales using conversion optimization, we would be glad to give you an evaluation of your site. We will sit down with you and let you know whether or not you would be a good fit for our optimization services.
Grant

Founder & Chief Rocket Surgeon of Tsunami Click, a Conversion Rate Optimization Agency.

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