Why Slow Pages Kill Your Sales
Speed Up Your Site to Get More Business
There's one very simple reason why anyone in online business should have a fast loading site:
You'll lose lots of business if you don't.
Slow loading sites will cost you sales and leads.
Research has always proved that customers want fast loading sites and will do more business with sites that load quickly.
Even Google has started penalizing slow loading sites in their search results.
Recently I came across some even more compelling research that showed how much revenue the big boys lose for every fraction of a second their site's slow down.
For Google an increase in Web page load time from 0.4 seconds to 0.9 seconds decreased traffic and ad revenues by 20%
A 0.5 second delay reduced Bing's revenue by 4.3%
A 1.0 second increase in Web page load time decreased Firefox's conversions by 2.7%
A 0.1 second increase in load time decreased Amazon's sales by 1%
I've been collecting such research since the late 1990's and the conclusion is always the same: Fast sites do more business.
More Advertising or a Site Tune Up
Think about that for a moment: What would it normally take to increase your annual revenues by 1%, 4% or even 20%?
If you're like most businesses that would take a fair bit of effort, planning and money.
However, tuning up your website to perform faster is usually a straightforward affair.
It still takes a bit of work and money, but most of what's needed to be done is already known by good online marketers and technicians.
If you want to learn more about just how to speed up a website go to the guys at Speed Week.
Another great series of articles on how to use Google Analytics to see how much extra revenue can be generated from faster pages can be found here at VKI Studios http://blog.vkistudios.com/index.cfm/2011/2/15/Your-sites-latency-is-costing-you-in-Revenue-and-InsightGoogle-Analytics-Solution-Reports-Code
There's a lot of meat in there, but one of the key points it makes is that 70% of the revenue comes from the fastest visits.
Why it Makes Such a Difference
Web usability guru Jakob Nielsen first wrote about the affects of slow loading sites over 13 years ago in 1997.
He recently updated his thoughts and noted that not much has changed http://www.useit.com/alertbox/response-times.html despite the advances of broadband internet.
According to Nielsen, fast loading pages are an essential and fundamental part of a user's experience of your site and brand.
Think of it like going into a restaurant where the waiter ignores you, even if just for a little while. It affects your while perception of the restaurant.
It's the same online. People associate slow loading sites with a dysfunctional organisation. And once they do that, they are unlikely to come back and do business with you.
That's why shaving just a 1/10 th of a second off your page load time almost always results in a large increase in conversion.
As Nielsen says, “ a snappy response time beats a glamorous one every time .”
So next time your web developer comes to you with the latest widget or application to put on your website, ask them how much faster it's going to make your website.
Be prepared for a look of shock, indignation and disdain all at the same time. They may even call you a Luddite, but you'll be a richer Luddite.
Update: This just in from Google: "A slow loading landing page not only impacts your conversion rate, but can also impact AdWords Landing Page Quality and ranking in Google search." Read more here..
And this from eConsultancy. Roughly 50% of shoppers will abandon a cart becasue of slow loading pages.