Site speed is both omnipresent and easy to forget about. Most SEO and conversion optimization efforts tend to worry about what is on a page—layout, content, multi-platform readability—and less about how fast a page’s speed might be. This is unfortunately common since page speed can affect every part of web site engagement, from bounce rates to conversions. This makes understanding how visitors are affected by site speed, and how to make sure your speed is up to snuff, highly important.
How Site Speed Impacts Traffic
Traffic is the first step in any form of web site engagement. The more people coming to your site, the more chances you have to get conversions. It should be common sense that if a page is chugging along and taking ages to load, people aren’t as likely to stick around. While extended loading times may have been common in the earlier days of the Internet, few people are willing to wait around as a page buffers into existence and will simply turn their backs and leave. However, what is perceived as a “long” load time has dramatically changed over the years. Nowadays, about 30% of people expect a page to load within a second and 18% want their load to be instantaneous. Other studies have found that 40% of visitors will abandon a site if it takes over three seconds to load and 80% won’t return. This means that even sites with moderate speed could be losing huge portions of potential traffic and subsequent conversion opportunities. Web site speed is therefore a key part of reducing bounce rates.
How Speed Impacts Web Site Engagement
How well you can hold a visitor’s interest and engage their attention has a direct impact on conversions and is in turn impacted by site speed. Even delays as small as one second can result in up to 11% lower page views and up to a 16% decrease in visitor satisfaction. In a way, this is understandable. Even if someone doesn’t immediately quit a slow or moderate-loading page, every second they wait is a second in which their mind can wander, other tabs can be opened, or anything else that could interrupt the momentum you are trying to build. This is extremely important for anyone engaged in e-commerce activities, since about 40% of online shoppers consider page speed the most influential factor in whether they would revisit a site.
How Speed Impacts Web Site Conversions
When dealing with any large volume, whether in terms of production or web visitors or anything else, little things can add up quickly. Mozilla Firefox for instance, managed to achieve 60 million more downloads per year simply by reducing load times by two seconds—on just the landing pages. This is a conversion increase of about 15.4%. Crunching the numbers and looking at other examples shows that each second visitors wait for a page to load results in roughly a 7% loss in conversions, as well as a similar increase in conversions for every second loading time goes down. Web site conversions are the lifeblood of many businesses so underestimating the importance of site speed can be a costly mistake.
How Speed Affects Revenue
Speaking of costly, it might help to understand the importance of speed by looking at it financially rather than in terms of conversions or engagement and the like. Consider the following figures:
- 46% of people who abandon a shopping cart do so because of low web site speed, resulting in about $3 billion in losses every year.
- Even among shoppers who complete their purchase, if they aren’t happy with your web site’s performance 79% simply won’t come back.
- An extra second of loading time reduces per-user revenue by 1.8%, but two seconds reduces it by 4.3%, and the numbers go up with every additional second.
- On a broader level, the 7% conversion loss from every extra second means 7% lost annual revenue. Think of how much your business brings in each year and how disruptive losing 7% might be, then think of how much could be done with a 7% gain instead.
How Web Site Speed Tests Help
There are various companies set up that offer web site speed tests. This may seem unnecessary, after all a stopwatch could check load times too, but using these services offers certain key advantages. The most important benefit is that speed tests not only tell you how long it takes a page to load but offers suggestions as to what is causing the speed to be the way it is in the first place. This not only lets you know if your web site speed can use improvement but it also provides you clear direction on how to improve.
No two web sites have the same elements bogging them down. One page might be over-eager with its use of .gifts and videos, another could be getting slowed by third-party widgets making requests, others might not have the hosting infrastructure to handle large volumes of visitors, the site might be getting too many requests from inefficient or “heavy” scripting within its own code, or various other reasons that can occur in any combination. Getting your web site speed tested in addition to your own in-house or third party analysis is essential in recognizing and ultimately resolving the root causes of your speed troubles and getting better returns and conversions overall.
Numero Uno Web Solutions works to improve the web site conversion rates of our clients’ businesses. Our strategies take into account both the latest developments in SEO and web marketing research along with tried-and-true approaches. Our precise, studied methods and page speed optimization services have benefited Toronto businesses along with industries across Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and more. Our success has even allowed us to extend our reach and offer SEO services to Texas, Massachusetts and Florida. For any business looking to achieve better speed and higher conversions, we are just a call away at 1-855-SEO-XPRT.