How Page Load Time Affects Conversion Rates

Page loading time is obviously an important part of any website’s user experience. And many times we’ll let it slide to accommodate better aesthetic design, new nifty functionality or to add more content to web pages. Unfortunately, website visitors tend to care more about speed than all the bells and whistles we want to add to our websites. Additionally, page loading time is becoming a more important factor when it comes to search engine rankings.

According to surveys done by Akamai and Gomez.com, nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds. 79% of web shoppers who have trouble with web site performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again and around 44% of them would tell a friend if they had a poor experience shopping online.

This means you’re not just losing conversions from visitors currently on your site, but that loss is magnified to their friends and colleagues as well. The end result – lots of potential sales down the drain because of a few seconds difference.

So how do you test and measure your site’s load time while squeezing every drop of performance out of your website? Here’s how:

How Fast Does Your Site Load? Here Are Some Tools And Resources:

Websites generally “weigh” around 130 KB, including things like images, scripts and stylesheets. Sites like Web Page Test or Firefox browser plugins like Page Speed can give you a starting point.

Page Speed Online

In April of this year, Google also introduced its own web-based tool, accessible via Google Labs, called Page Speed Online. It’s available as a web-based tool as well as a Chrome extension.

Google, Page Load Time & SEO

Should you panic about your load time affecting your Google rankings? The great Matt Cutts says no – that it’s just one of over 200 signals they use in determining rank. But that’s not to say you should put it off either. Optimizing your page load time is a smart thing to do to help visitors get where they’re going faster, and it’s a better use of your time than obsessively tweaking your meta-tags. According to a recent post on SEOmoz, while site speed is a new signal, it doesn’t carry as much weight as the relevance of a page. Currently, fewer than 1% of search queries are affected by the site speed signal.

Speed Matters

Overall, while load time isn’t a significant contributor to Google rankings, it can contribute to the rise and fall of your conversion rate. Remember that for every second you shave off of load time, you’ll tend to boost customer confidence and trust in your site, and sow the seeds that will make them way to tell others about you. In those cases, a few seconds can make all the difference!

If you’re interested in learning more about optimizing your website, we can help! Contact us: info@boomerang-digital.com

Source: Kissmetrics


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