Why Optimize Your Website’s Speed?
Can a single factor like page speed have a significant impact on your conversions? Absolutely. In fact, more than you expect! Let us examine some interesting statistics:
- At least 46% of people reveal that waiting for pages to load is what they dislike most when browsing using their smartphones
- A whopping 79% of web shoppers who have trouble with a site say they won’t return
- A 100-millisecond delay in load time can cause a 7% drop in conversion rates
- Pages that load within 2 seconds have a bounce rate of 9%, while pages that take 5 seconds to load have a bounce rate of 38%
- Research indicated that 40% of visitors who have had an unsatisfactory experience with a website would tell a family member or friend
Why Site Speed Matters
Many site owners often can’t fully grasp the importance of improving site speed even by just a few milliseconds since it’s not tangible enough. It’s also one of the reasons site speed often gets overlooked.
However, data and research from experts and industry giants often reveal that site speed has a direct impact on page views, SEO, and yes, conversions. To help you quantify how site speed impacts conversion, let’s look at other relevant insights:
Site speed has a direct impact on user experience
By now, it’s evident that visitors hate slow-loading sites. In fact, according to stress-testing specialist Dotcom-Monitor, a staggering 75% of users will typically leave a site once the page load time passes the 3-second mark.
When it comes to pleasing customers, site speed is paramount. Consider this: an extra second in loading time can result in a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction! It’s safe to assume adding a few extra seconds to your loading time can have a massive impact on your ability to engage with your visitors and provide exceptional customer service.
Site speed can affect your sales significantly
If you’re an e-commerce site, having returning visitors is crucial. According to Business Insider, returning visitors represent up to 48% of all transactions. They are also considered a key component of the Customer Lifetime Value.
To highlight the importance of site speed when it comes to conversions, Walmart created an impressive analysis of their online sales and how customers responded to page loading times.
Here’s what they learned from their study: there’s a sharp decline in conversion rate when the average load time increased from 1 to 4 seconds!
Site speed can influence your online visibility (search engine optimization)
According to Search Engine Journal, mobile page speed is considered a ranking factor in search results. And this is not really surprising considering 50% of worldwide traffic last 2018 was generated through mobile phones.
Taking into account the meteoric rise in mobile traffic, Google rolled out its Mobile-First Index. In other words, search engines will now rank websites based primarily on mobile performance factors as opposed to desktop performances. Simply put, your mobile page speed can now directly affect your search engine optimization efforts.
Factors that Can Affect Site Speed
Regardless of the reason for their visit, people expect to land on your website as quickly as possible. The more you can speed up the process, the more opportunity you will get to convert visitors into buying customers.
Your web hosting company as well as the server it chooses to place your website on can have a huge impact on your site speed. If the resources on the server are not enough, it can slow things down for everyone. While shared hosting is considered the most economical option for new and small websites, it is not the ideal alternative for all.
Larger websites for instance may benefit more from virtual private servers (VPS). It comes with the cost-efficiency of shared hosting, plus the ability to manage server resources like a dedicated hosting plan.
Huge websites like Twitter and Facebook use dedicated hosting. As the name implies, they are the only websites hosted on the server. They also have total control over the resources. Similar sites will need more than one server to effectively accommodate the volume of traffic they are receiving.
If you have traffic coming from all sides of the world, investing in a content delivery network (CDN) is something you can consider. A CDN is a network of servers that host your site content. It works by pulling your site’s content from the server that’s closest to the visitor. As a result, load time is reduced significantly since data does not have to travel far.
Websites have a set amount of bandwidth or the amount of data transfers over a period of time (usually a month). Having a high traffic volume is a great sign. However, it can be a problem if your host does not have enough bandwidth to accommodate the traffic. In similar scenarios, you will not only risk a slow website speed but also a complete shut down in worst-case scenarios.
If you are running an e-commerce business, high traffic is a clear indication that business is doing really well. It’s also a good sign that the conversion rate is likely high. In line with this, keep an eye on your bandwidth and be prepared to make the adjustments needed to prevent sluggish performance.
WordPress plugins can be very helpful when it comes to adding website functionality. However, too many plugins that are not optimized can slow your website down. Plugins come with different features and functions. Plugins that require a lot of assets to load and make a lot of database queries can really slow down your load time.
When done accordingly, you won’t be able to notice any difference in your load time. However, if several of your plugins are inundating the server with HTTP requests, it will surely have a negative impact on user experience.
If you want to see how your plugins are affecting your page load time, you can use tools like Pingdom or GTmetrix to find out what goes on each time your site loads. The tools can help you see if a plugin is hogging resources so you can look for another alternative that can accomplish the same function without taking up much of the resources.
How to Increase Your Site Speed and Maximize Conversions
Countless studies and research have made a direct correlation between site speed and conversion very clear. With that in mind, improving website speed should always rank high in your list of priorities. Below are some ways you can improve website speed and maximize your site’s true potential:
Understandably, you will have more HTTP requests on your site if there are a lot of redirects. This can also result in reduced page speed. You also need to fix broken links as they can also affect user experience.
You can also use tools to easily find broken links, redirect chains, and redundant redirects. There are also several tools you can use to get rid of redirect chains. Redirect chains are the series of redirects that bring users from one version to another. The extra steps can often slow your site down.
Impact on conversions
Redirects and broken links may prevent many of your site visitors from using your sales funnel. Ensure you monitor and fix redirects and broken links in a timely manner.
Impact on conversions
Leverage browser caching
This can help improve page speed as time spent sending multiple HTTP requests to the server is minimized. It can also help reduce the bandwidth as well as the overall cost of site hosting.
Impact on conversions
Return customers have been known to bring the highest revenue so this technique will not only ensure customers will have the best experience, but it can also help guarantee your conversions will experience a steady spike.
Improve server response time
Several factors can affect server response time including the hosting solution used, volume of traffic, and type of software used. Ideally, server response time should be less than 200ms. You can achieve this by checking the different performance metrics and paying close attention to things such as slow routing, lack of memory, or slow database requests.
Impact on conversions
When you monitor your server performance accordingly, you’ll be able to identify the issues that prevent your visitors from interacting with your site effectively.
Take Conversions to the Next Level!
Improving site speed is considered an integral part of conversion optimization. It’s often the low-hanging fruit you can easily work on if you want to provide visitors with the ultimate experience and boost conversions and revenue at the same time!