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Optimise to Win, Pt 2: Performance & Page-Loading Speeds – Silent, but deadly

Note: this is the second of our multi-part Optimise to Win series, where we show you how the best businesses get more conversions than their competition.

Am I losing sales & enquiries because of my page load speed?

Unless your site is one of the fastest on the web, the answer is most assuredly YES. And unless you’ve taken a long, hard look at page speed optimisation already, it’s incredibly easy to miss the opportunities that having a lighting-fast website provides.

Let’s take a look at some statistics:

  • 83% of consumers expect a webpage to load in three seconds or less.
  • 40% of consumers will wait no more than three seconds for a web page to render before abandoning the site.
  • Each 1-second delay in page response results in a 7% reduction in conversions.
  • 52% of online shoppers stated that quick page loading is important to their site loyalty.
  • 79% of online shoppers who experience a dissatisfying visit are less likely to buy from that site again.
  • 37% of shoppers on a slow website will either immediately shop at a competitor’s site or stop shopping altogether.
  • 64% would purchase from a competitor the next time.

Sources: Akamai 2009, eConsultancy 2013, Akamai 2012, LightSpeedNow, eConsultancy 2012

Mobile devices need fast websites

Performance is even more important on mobile devices. Mobile devices tend to have connections that are, at maximum, half as fast as those of home and office users. However, 71% of users of mobile devices still expect websites to load just as fast or faster.

Drops in conversion

As mentioned above, there is a 7% drop in conversion per additional second of loading. That means if you’re making $10,000 in sales per day, you’re losing over $250,000 in sales each year for each additional second of loading.

In a study of the top 500 retail websites, the median page took 7.72 seconds to load, while the fastest-loading site, IKEA, took just 1.85 seconds. Extrapolating from the 7% per second figure derived above, that means IKEA is capitalising on a 50+% higher conversion rate (sales) than the median (amortised).

Page load affects search engine results

Since 2010, Google has included Page Load Speed as significant factor in your search results placement. In fact, improving site load speed by 2 seconds has been shown to result in at least 15% more traffic from Google.

Case Study

Action: Shopzilla improved its website loading time by 4 seconds, from an average of 4-6 seconds to 1.5 seconds. It went from being faster than the median to being one of the fastest shopping sites available.

Results: Conversions increased by 12%, page views increased by 25%, SEM performance improved by 120%, and their infrastructure costs decreased by 50%.

How Redfox optimises page loading speed

First of all, we design with page loading speed in mind. We don’t load unecessary images, keep server requests to a minimum, cache seldom-changed files so users get faster page loads after their first, utilise partial refreshing, and craft minimal & highly performant Javascript and CSS.

We also use fast servers, a heavily optimised CMS, server-side optimisation, gzipping, optimised images, lazy loading (downloading content only when it’s needed), minimised scripts and stylesheets, deferred rendering, and a content-delivery network (CDN).

Even if your site has a lot of images and assets to load, we optimise your “time to interact” (TTI), which is even more important than total loading time, as users can quickly see content and make use of it before everything has completed downloading.

For more, check out our other Optimise to Win posts:

At Redfox Media, we employ all of these methods and strategies for clients in our Online Accelerator program. Enquire now to discuss how we can help your business, and get a FREE SEO report!

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