UX Design

What are the Effects of Website Performance (Inc SEO and Conversion Rates)


 

Speeding up your website should be one of the main priorities. Whether you’re a blogger or a business, traffic to your site is key. However, people are not going to visit (or revisit) your website if it’s slow.

When it comes to site and page speed, EVERY SECOND matters. A 1 second delay can cause:

11% fewer page views

16% decrease in customer satisfaction

7% loss in conversions

Obviously, this is something that everyone should want to avoid. A high performance website affects both Google rankings, and how customers (and potential customers) view your site.

Data obtained from Akamai and Dynatrace

In a recent Google Web Fundamentals article, Jeremy Wagner discusses why performance matters.

We want users to interact meaningfully with what we build. If it’s a blog, we want people to read posts. Using an online store, we want them to buy stuff. A social network, we want them to interact with each other.

Jeremy Wagner – Google Web Fundamentals

Performance is about retaining customers and visitors. I’m sure you’ve heard it mentioned before; content is king. People want meaningful content – they look for content that’s up to date, relevant, and applicable to the target audience.

Some of the case studies Jeremy mentions displays why performance matters:

How Website Performance Affects Conversion Rates

Conversion refers to when a website user takes specific action. E.g. on an eCommerce site that sells t-shirts, a user converts when they click on the buy button.

Depending on the website’s intentions, conversion can mean many things. For example, filling out a form on a website could be considered conversion. Or clicking through to another page on a website.

Conversion rates are calculated using the total percentage of visitors that convert. If a website receives 100 visitors to their conversion page, but only 5 buy the product (using the t-shirt example), the conversion rate is 5%.

Your website performance has a HUGE impact on conversion rates. There have been plenty of studies and lots of research done to show this. Faster site and page speeds equal better conversion rates.

According to skilled.co 47% of customer expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less.

Tests that were run by AI healthcare software company mPulse Mobile showed conversion rates were only 0.6% when a page took 5.7+ seconds to load.

How Website Performance Affects SEO

Google have confirmed that site performance (including page speed) is one of their many signals used in its algorithm for search rankings. But, when you think about it logically, the slower a page, the longer it takes for search engines to crawl your website.

Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there.

Google Webmaster Central Blog

The longer it takes, the fewer results are going to be shown. However, they can only allocate a certain amount of time in their crawl budget. In turn, this can negatively effect your website’s indexing.

As well as affecting SEO, poor page speed leads to a poor user experience. We’ve discussed how a poor user experience can impact your traffic, SEO, and conversions.

How To Increase Website Performance

Thankfully there are many ways YOU can increase your website’s performance. Remember, increasing performance = better user experience, higher search rankings and more conversions.

Let’s take a look at some of the EASY ways you can increase website performance today:

Image Optimisation

Tiny Jpg

Large files are ultimately going to affect your site’s speed. Larger files take longer to load, resulting in your website slowing down. There are plenty of image compression tools available for you to use, such as Tiny JPG.

Image compression software will maintain the quality of your image, whilst reducing it’s quantity (size). To the naked eye, you won’t notice the difference. However, your website will, and it will increase it’s performance.

Server Response Time

Server response time is affected by many factors. The more traffic you receive to your website, the more resources are going to be used. When choosing your web hosting solution, you’ll want to pick the BEST web host.

If money is an issue, have no fear! We’ve reviewed our top 10 web hosts like Hostinger to give you the whole picture. Balancing budget and website performance doesn’t have to be difficult.

Use a CDN

A CDN (Content Distribution Network) distributes the load of delivery content to your website visitors. There are plenty of CDN’s available to use including CloudFlare.

Your website is copied across multiple data center locations to ensure the best and fastest connection to your website. Furthermore, this means users globally can access your content without experiencing dips in speed.

Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML

Your website is built entirely from code. This is applicable if you’re using WordPress, a template/theme, or your website is built from scratch.

If your code is optimised then you can massively increase your page speed. Removing spaces, commas, and other characters can contribute to this.

If you’re not sure how to do this, again there are plenty of tools available. Using Google’s recommended CSSNano and UglifyJS is a great starting point.

Website Performance Statistics 2019

  • 74% of visitors will leave a site if it doesn’t load within 5 seconds on their smartphone
  • 44% of customers will tell friends and family about their bad experiences
  • 52% of customers believe quick page loading results in higher loyalty
  • 1 second delay can decrease customer satisfaction by 16%
  • When a site loads from 1s to 3s, Google has showed a bounce increase of 32%
  • Your site’s bounce rate increases to 123% if it takes up to 10 seconds to load
  • On average a user will visit 8.9 page if load time is 2 seconds. If it’s 8 seconds, it will only visit 3.3 pages
  • 40% of customers will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load
  • 18% of customers will abandon their transaction if they deem a website too slow
  • Websites in the automotive industry in the U.K. takes on average 12.3 seconds to load
  • Media websites in the U.S. take around 9 seconds to load
  • The average browser load time in the U.S. is 9.3 seconds
  • Mobile websites earn up to 2x more revenue from ads if they load in 5 seconds
  • 73% of mobile users have encountered websites that take too long to load

References

Unbounce
WPO Stats
Moz
Hosting Tribunal
CloudFlare

 


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