How a Slow Site Hurts Sales & How to Fix It

How Slow Site Speed Hurts Sales
And how to fix it...

Measuring and understanding the speed of your website plays a crucial role in its overall success, with users and search engines alike. Why is the speed of your site so pivotal?

Google reports:

  • 53% of visits are likely to be abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load.
  • One out of two people expect a page to load in less than 2 seconds.
  • 46% of people say that waiting for pages to load is what they dislike the most when browsing the web.

Studies have shown that your site’s speed can make or break conversions. Knowing this, we’re here to help you understand the ins and outs of site speed and the best practices you should follow to ensure your site isn’t holding back sales success.

What is site speed?

Site speed is the average load times of a few pages on your site. This can give you a general idea of how easy it is for users to see and interact with your website. However, since it only gives you the average of a few pages, only testing site speed is not a very in-depth way of determining your site’s true performance.

What is page speed?

Unlike site speed, page speed is the load time of a specific page on your site. Page speed gives you a granular look at the page load time (how long it takes to display content on the page) or time to first byte (the time it takes for a browser to get the first byte of info from the server) of an individual page.

Testing each page, especially your most important pages, can reveal critical flaws in your site’s performance. Continuously paying attention to page speed and improving upon it can keep your user’s experience friendly and increase your ability to convert said user.

Why is your site’s speed important?

A recent study proved the speed of your site and the improvements you make directly impact conversions. Pages that loaded within 1 second converted at a rate 2.5x higher than pages that took 5 seconds or more to load. The results are clear – every second you can trim off of your load time is more impactful to your conversion rate than most selling tactics on your site.

Sounds pretty great, right? The benefits of focusing on your site’s speed are clear, so let’s walk through how you can actually make a change.

Recommended page speed optimizations

There are a lot of ways to impact your site’s speed or an individual page’s speed. To get the best results, we recommend utilizing tools to help you understand what improvements are best for your unique site. You can use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, or WebPageTest.

As you dive in to the optimizations that will be most impactful to your site, you’ll notice some repetition of the top optimizations. Below we’ll break down the most recommended optimizations, their impact and difficulty, and how you tackle them.

These low impact optimizations are a bit easier for non-experts to detect and implement.

  • Minify CSS, HTML, & JavaScript
    • Use an app or plugin to make sure your code only contains necessary spaces and characters and nothing more.
  • Optimize Images
    • Get images on your site to under 500kb (ideally under 300kb) and don t use images larger than they’ll be displayed.
  • Remove Render blocking Javascript
    • Use async and defer properties to load JavaScript after the necessary page contents instead of before.

These optimizations have a moderate impact but are more difficult to implement without basic backend experience.

  • Enable Compression
    • Use an application like Gzip on your server to compress HTML, JavaScript and CSS files larger than 150 bytes.
  • Reduce Redirects
    • Make sure you’re not creating redirect chains on your website each redirect request adds extra page load time. If you find you have redirect chains that have built up, break up the chains by redirecting each page to its final destination.
  • Leverage Browser Caching
    • Cache your pages that don’t change often, so they only have to be processed once by a user’s computer.

The most impactful optimizations are also the most difficult to implement due to their consumption of time or the level of expertise needed to complete these tasks.

  • Reduce Server Response Time
    • Strive for a response time under 200ms. Generally, site structure or hosting platforms are long wait time culprits.
  • Use a Content Distribution Network
    • CDNs clone your site resources to servers around the world and serve assets from the closest server to reduce load times.

Pedal to the metal

Hopefully this information is helpful to you as you work to improve your site’s speed. Keeping your site fast means a more competitive site, a better experience for your users, and a better chance to convert those users.

If you need a little help improving your site’s speed, we’ve got you covered.

In the time it takes to read this sentence, you could be on your way to a well-oiled demand generation machine. Ready for your blueprint?

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