Website Speed Optimisation: A Quick Win For Conversions

The better your site is at converting visitors to customers, the more money you can make per visitor. If you have been focusing all your time and investment on generating traffic then maybe it’s time to switch gears, or better yet add an additional area of focus in conversion optimisation to make sure you are making the most from your site visitors.

But where do you start?

The first place to look for quick wins in conversion can often be the fundamentals. One of the main ones being site speed.

An article recently posted on Entrepreneur.com states that research by the Aberdeen Group found that a 1 second delay in site speed can lead to a 7% reduction in conversions and 40% of visitors would abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load! That’s huge! Especially if your site gets a large amount of traffic. You could literally be losing thousands of dollars every day from having a slow site.

But how do you know if your site is considered slow? How do you know what to do to fix it if your developer keeps telling you that everything is fine?

Google Analytics

You first need to add a line of code to your Google Analytics code so that it analyses 100% of your site traffic when producing site speed data for you to analyse. The default is only 1% which isn’t really good enough to base decisions on so add the line of code so you get a more meaningful data sample. You can find the line of code here.

Then go to behaviour -> site speed -> page timings and look at the page load time compared to the site average:

 

page load time screenshot

 

 

Next you can grab all the urls that are slower than average to load and plug them in Google Page Speed Insights

Give the report it produces to your developer so he knows what to fix to increase the page load speed. Keep doing this periodically and target all the “red” pages that are slower than the site average and your overall site speed will increase over time.

Aim for a page load speed of under 3 seconds but if you are under 5 seconds that’s OK. Over 7 seconds and you could be losing significant revenue, especially if it is a key page in the buying process”

 

Another thing to look at is server response time as this can slow down your entire site rather than individual pages. A server response under 200ms would be ideal in terms of site speed.

There are countless elements that could be causing a slow server and you are better speaking to your web host to solve the problem but upgrading RAM and using caching (if you don’t already) can really help and if you are using a shared web host it might be time to upgrade to a dedicated one.

A couple of stats to consider if you are still on the fence about focusing on increasing your site speed:

  • 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less (Akamai Report)
  • At peak traffic times, more than 75% of online consumers left for a competitor’s site rather than suffer delays (Gomez Report)
  • A site that loads in 3 seconds experiences 22% fewer page views, a 50% higher bounce rate, and a 22% fewer conversions than a site that loads in 1 second. While a site that loads in 5 seconds experiences 35% fewer page views, a 105% higher bounce rate, and 38% fewer conversions. (State of the Union for Ecommerce Page Speed & Web Performance)

Any tips on increasing site speed or want to talk more about increasing conversion rates? Send me a message or post a comment.

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2 Responses

  1. Damien Ousaci says:

    Completely agree Scott.
    An interesting statistic from Amazon: In 2006, Amazon reported that for every 100 milliseconds they speed up their website, they see a 1% increase in revenue.

    • Scott says:

      1% increase in revenue for Amazon… wonder what that equates to in revenue! Shows the power of site speed though

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