Page Speed: Are Slow Loading Pages Affecting Your Revenue?

Ben RyanSpeed Optimization, Web Design1 Comment

Poor Page Speed can hurt your websites revenue

Poorly performing page speed can even affect revenue of some of the worlds largest companies. Here is just a few stats courtesy of WPO Stats.

  • Amazon sees a 1% increase in revenue for every 100ms reduced in  page speed load time.
  • One second delay in Bing results in a 2.8% drop in revenue. Two second delay results in a 4.3% drop.
  • For every 100ms decrease in home page speed, Mobify’s customer base saw a 1.11% lift in session based conversion, amounting to an average annual revenue increase of USD$376,789. Similarly, for every 100ms decrease in checkout page speed, Mobify’s customers saw a 1.55% life in session based conversion, amounting to an average annual revenue increase of USD$526,147.

What would these companies know about increasing revenue??? **cough cough**

8 Second Page Speed… Fast Or Not?

Is an 8 second page speed fast enough? If it was 1999, while people were still converting from their 56.6KB dial-up connection to the ADSL… yes, in 2016, 100% no. A page speed of 8 seconds is bloody terrible and revenue is bound to suffer.

Average Page Speed from 1999 to 2016

Think about your revenue while reading through this short scenario. Your customer jumps onto your clothes e-commerce website. Eventually finds the outfit they were after, and patiently waiting on the product page to load. Meanwhile they have your competitors website open in a separate window. They have located the outfit and already have it added to the stores cart. Which store do you think they are going to buy from?

As before mentioned, it is no longer 1999 and 8 seconds just won’t cut it. People have come to expect faster internet connections and are just blatantly impatient. According to Radware in 2016 “A 3 second page speed load time is all it takes for a customer to abandon a page if it does not load quickly enough”.

And the impact can be just as bad for mobile website users. You’ve probably experienced first-hand how waiting for a slow loading website can feel like a life time. Trying to multi-task and/or do something online while in line at a coffee shop or waiting for the bus.

Your customers will find this especially annoying because smartphones are supposed to make lives easier. Giving you quick access to the world’s information in the palm of your hands.

I will discuss some overall tips and tricks to help reduce your speed crisis, but first let’s talk about something a little more tangible you can present to your boss if you’ve already been pushing for page speed improvements.

Poor User Experience Is Penalised By Google

Poor performing page speed will impact a new visitors ability to find your website or e-commerce store through PPC (Pay Per Click) channels and Search Engines. In 2010 Google stated page speed is a search engine ranking factor, saying:

    “…faster sites don’t just improve user experience. Recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings”

Your websites landing pages are evaluated by Google to decide your Quality Score and Ad Rank. If your websites is determined to have a below average user experience you will get a lower Quality Score from Google. One thing a lot of business owners and finance managers (who haven’t got a web development background) don’t know is the Quality Score is linked to the cost-per-click (CPC) that you will have to pay for your ads to be displayed beside the Google search results.

Why should you be worried about a poor Quality Score or Ad Rank? Due to your poor quality score, you are forced to use more of your marketing budget to pay for ads. Your ads will also be more likely to rank lower in a search engine, leaving you with a harder time to climb the ranks for organic search terms.

Your poor page speed has now cost you more for the same ad, resulting in revenue loss. And customers are clicking on your competitors ad, resulting in loss of customers and again revenue.

Speed Tests And Analytics Don’t Lie

You (or your) boss may have the belief that your sites page speed is perfect. The customers have a great user experience, and no improvement is necessary. Have you actually tested it or did you just time it on your trusty wrist watch?The internet offers a plethora of site speed tests and analytics. I won’t go through and list them all. I will let you know the tools I use everyday to measure my customers performance and possible improvements.

  • GTMetrix – Soon to be your favorite speed analysis tool if it isn’t already. GTMetrix measures both Google’s Page Speed and Yahoos YSlow Score. Both very important scores to take into account if you want a boost in potential revenue. GTMetrix also give you an indication of your current Page Load Time, Total Page Size, and HTTP Requests.
  • PageSpeed Insights – Google’s speed analysis tool will measure your Page Speed Score. It also provides insights, much like GTMetrix on areas for improvement on both the desktop and mobile platform. If you have Google Analytics, you can also access the ‘Site Speed’, via the ‘Behaviour’ tab on the left hand side.
  • Pingdom – While I don’t use Pingdom quite as much as I use GTMetrix, I don’t discount its value. The waterfall analysis feature helps you find major problem areas. The site performance is graded as a percentage. Easily show what needs attention with a quick glance.

Following this, you will have all the evidence to present a strong case to the boss why Speed Optimisation needs to be addressed. You understand how the poor user experience is affecting your revenue, and you are able to run a test to find how slow the site is. But what do you need to do to increase speed?

3 Ways You Can Improve Page Speed

Warning: Speed optimisation tasks are monotonous, tedious, and time-consuming.

When you run the performance test in GTMetrix, you will see some pretty foreign phrases, like:

  • Leverage browser caching
  • Remove query strings from static resources
  • Minify CSS and JS
  • Optimise order of styles and scripts

I wouldn’t expect the CEO of every company I speak with to understand what any of these terms mean. Red is bad, green is good. That’s all you need to take out of these reports.

Majority of websites I see never have a perfect score across the board, and Google understands and expects this. Your main aim is to get as close as you can to 3 seconds, allow Google to better rank your site, and earn more revenue. Here are the 3 easiest ways to kick-off your speed journey:

Optimise Images

Large images on your site a large contributing factor to slow web page speed optimisation. Altering the image dimensions in HTML isn’t quite enough. What is the use of having an image with the dimensions of 1920px by 1080px then putting it in a space only 1000px wide? Before you upload that image to the site, use a program like Photoshop to cut the dimension to 1000px by 563px. For more information, you may want to read Image Optimisation.

Image Optimisation for better Page Speed and increase Revenue

Enable GZip Compression

GZip is not just a new file format. GZip is a compression method (makes them smaller) for a faster network transfers. Compression allows your web server to give smaller file sizes which load faster for your website users.

Enabling gzip compression is a standard practice. If you are not using it for some reason, your webpages are likely slower than your competitors. For more information, check out this information by Varvy

Enable GZip Compression for better Page Speed

Use a CDN like CloudFlare

A CDN (content delivery network) has network servers in different parts of the country (or the globe). Website visitors access stored files from the nearest server site. This saves a measurable amount of latency (time waited) for the website visitor. Less latency means faster content delivery for the user. Learn more about content delivery networks here.

Cloudflare has built the next generation Content Delivery Network. A platform built with emerging technologies to make sure customers receive the most advanced protocols on the web; today and tomorrow.

CloudFlare CDN will help reduce page speed without hurting the budget

 

Quality Speed Optimisation Services

Don’t let your competitors leave you in their dust. Bring your website out of 1999 and into 2016. Ben Ryan can help tackle all aspects of Page Speed Optimisation. Whether you want one-on-one coaching to complete these tasks in-house or you’d like me to take the reins in improving your customers experience. Contact me for a free speed optimisation quote.