Page Loading Speed and Conversion
Page loading speed drastically influences your conversion rate. If the website is slow, visitors are not ready to wait for the full page loading and then go away. Chances to get orders to fall down, and the conversion rate decreases. Sounds not good, isn’t it?
But we can avoid this situation and optimize our websites performance. Why not give a try?
We are going to focus on the factors, which influence page loading speed, find out the connection between the website performance and conversion ratio, get the formula of conversion rate, get the average and ideal time of page loading, and learn how to improve page loading speed and increase conversion value.
Everything is not so difficult as it seems at the first glance. Let’s get it started!
First of all, let’s start from scratch and make it clear what the conversion means.
Conversion, in the meaning of Internet business, is the value of targeted actions, which the users perform on the website. For example, it could be the number of orders in the online store, clicks on the context advertisement for those, who use Google ads. Even likes and shares of an article in a blog could mean conversion. It depends on the goals you set for your marketing strategy.
In plain words, it’s an action you want to get from your website visitor.
Here a bright life example of conversion.
Let’s recall Queen rock group concerts. There are thousands of people in the stadium who came to see their concert. They were visitors. Look at the image below. Freddie Mercury makes a call to action: he aims the audience sing with him. Thousands of people are singing, not only listening. They perform the targeted action. This is conversion.
What Is The Conversion Rate?
Conversion rate (CR) is the percentage of website visitors who perform the targeted action on a website.
Here is a formula of conversion rate:
CR = (Visitors who took an targeted action/ All website visitors)*100%
- Let’s imagine that you have 1000 website visitors monthly.
- 300 of them buy something.
The conversion rate will be the following:
CR= 300 / 1000 * 100%
So, the conversion rate will be 30%.
The more is the conversion rate, the better.
It is the main index of efficiency in Internet Business, especially in eCommerce.
Now we are going to consider not so the positive situation as the previous one. But it’ll allow us to find the critical link between the website performance and conversion rate.
How Page Loading Speed Affects The Conversion
Okay, let’s imagine that someone has an eCommerce website, but it’s slow. And you visit this online store. You are going to buy some present for your friend. So you come to the website and wait one second, two seconds, three seconds, four seconds… Don’t be surprised! Just measure the time. Are you ready to wait so long? Perhaps, you are not. So the reality says that you would rather wait no more than 2 minutes and then go away to the other online shop.
And just think, there are thousands of people like you, who will do the same. They are the visitors and potential customers. They could buy products. But they didn’t. Let’s think that it was 3K of you. Here is the conversion rate which would have been if the website had been fast.
3K visitors come to the website.
Perhaps, 700 people buy something.
CR=700 / 3000 * 100% = 23%
What Happens For 3 Seconds
Here is the reality, if the website is slow, and page load lasts more than 3 seconds.
3K visitors come to the website.
According to Akamai research, 40% of ready-to-buy visitors won’t wait for full page load. So, the number of orders (NO) decreases:
NO= 700 possible orders – 40% of possible orders;
NO= 700 -280 = 420 orders.
CR=420 / 3000 * 100% = 14%.
The situation of this kind is very common, especially during peak hours, the world store holidays and sales, when the number of website visitors becomes enormous. Very often websites even crash and don’t stand the load.
In the example, we see that conversion rate falls down almost by two times! How come? The results of world research will make it clear.
How Page Loading Influences Visitors’ Behavior
If the website loads slowly, the company loses money quickly, – it’s a proved fact in practice.
57% of visitors, who come to the web page via mobile devices, and go away because full page loading lasts more than 3 seconds.
Reducing the speed of targeted page loading by one second causes the following effects:
- reducing the number of page views by 11%;
- reducing the number of satisfied visitors by 16%;
- reducing page conversion rate (CR) by 7 %.
Akamai American company research has shown that:
- 47% of users expect that web page must be loaded in 2 seconds;
- 40% of users can leave the website if it’s loaded more than 3 seconds;
- 52% say that fast page loading influences their loyalty;
- 3 seconds of waiting reduce the visitors’ loyalty by nearly 16%.
The fact that page loading speed influences the users’ behavior is proved by the other research – The Gomez Peak Time Internet Usage Study, conducted by Equation Research:
- 85% said they were not ready to return after the unsuccessful try to open the website;
- 75% of visitors went to the competitors’ websites in the peak hours;
- 50% users expressed the less positive opinion on the company, which has the slow website;
- 30% shared their negative impression with their acquaintances.
The visitor will leave your website before you show your advantages.
Almost 75% of online shoppers who had trouble with website performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again. And obviously, they would also recommend their friends not to buy or pass by those websites.
And What about Google and Yandex?
The search engines don’t like slow websites. Since January 2016, Google has been officially considering page loading speed for ranking websites. The slower websites get less targeted users than their fast colleagues. Yandex appreciates the human factor: if the page is loaded slowly, people often close it without waiting for the full load.
That’s it. It’s nothing to add. We need to have our websites optimized.
How to Check Your Website Page Loading Speed
Before speeding up your website, let’s check it for page loading time and mobile friendliness. Here are several free online services that will help you to check the speed of your website.
Google PageSpeed Insights
This Google’s test shows the level of your website mobile friendliness and how well its pages are loaded. You see the result in color and points. If the color is green, you are on the right way, and everything is okay. But if the color is red, you need to make some improvements.
Another great and careful tool is Pingdom. It’s pretty useful when you want to know page loading time and measure the exact parameters that build your website performance.
What does it can?
- shows the exact page load time;
- displays the size of a web page;
- gives a total mark for the website performance;
- allows us to conduct the website speed test from different world locations;
- creates the grid with exact sizes and time for content elements load;
- provides you with recommendations on how to improve the current situation.
We found it very helpful and suggest you try it out.
And one more tool in our list is Website Grader. It helps to know how strong the website is and shows its parameters in three colors and grades. For example:
- website performance:
- mobile friendliness;
And, of course, it gives you exact recommendations on how to increase the website speed and improve the other important parameters.
Finally, we are at the last targeted point of our way. Now we’ll learn how to improve the website performance and increase a conversion rate as a result.
Top Tips on How to Improve Page Loading Speed
Now we should reduce some unnecessary things, in order to speed up the website. Here are the elements we should pay attention to:
Use image compression. Large and heavy images slow down page loading speed. Such tools like FileOptimizer or famous Adobe Photoshop will help you to optimize your images. In Photoshop, you should choose “Save for web” and enter the necessary image size.
Reduce the number of HTTP requests. Anytime the website is loaded, the browser requests the server. And the more requests it makes, the less is the speed of page loading. So, if you organize your CSS files, and put the information on one website page to one file, it will help to improve your website performance.
Use data caching. It is a good approach for both sides, server and browser. Cache saves and stores the data of previous requests, such as images, styles, cookies. That’s why the time is not wasted for finding all these data, so page loading is faster.
Shorten your links and make them SEO-friendly. The same situation is with links. They should look good and lead to the correct place. Reduce the number of redirects, and it will be required less time to find a necessary page and load it.
Avoid bad requests. Here we should make a pause o the “404 error” and other types of errors, which rise out when we request some web page, and the link is broken. Such links just waste the resources of your website. Consider that, and check your links for bad requests.
Make the responsive design or a mobile version. As we know, more than 70% of users come to the websites from mobile devices. So, your website should be ready for this and be responsive. This way it will be loaded much faster.
And, finally, check your website with Google Speed Test, and you’ll see all the parts you can improve.
Now we see that the conversion rate depends on page loading speed. The faster is your website, the more chances you have to get the high conversion rate.
And, also, mobile devices must be taken into consideration. If we don’t pay attention to their traffic, we lose potential customers. That’s why we should follow several recommendations for a website:
- optimize the website;
- make it responsive and user-friendly;
- keep them it working and maintained;
- update plugins and themes timely.