Waiting is a pain and the tolerance threshold has become increasingly thinner as the demand for instant gratification has crept into every aspect of consumers lives. Waiting for a website to load is no different than standing in line. Slow page load time dramatically increases the website bounce rate – a 4-second delay in page response results in a 25% abandonment rate.
Page speed optimization also supports your page’s search ranking. Google penalizes page search rankings if there’s any indication of poor user experience, including slow page load time. Therefore, faster sites get an SEO boost and the higher your site is on Google, the more organic traffic it will get.
“Today’s consumers demand a fast, engaging and secure online shopping environment when searching for a product online. We see a direct relationship between online revenues and site performance and therefore, we have to ensure our site performs well and loads fast,” said Michael Cooper,Vice President and General Manager, HomeDepot.com. Site performance remains a major factor for keeping visitors coming back to a retail site. Online shoppers demand – and expect – quality site performance which is a requirement for optimal online success.
Improving page load time by even a few seconds can make a huge impact on your business.
Amazon, Yahoo, Google, Walmart, and Mozilla are good examples of businesses where a difference of just milliseconds can have a dramatic effect:
- Amazon calculated that page load slowdown of just one second could cost the marketplace $1.6 billion in sales each year.
- Walmart and Amazon both saw a 1 percent increase in revenue for every 100 milliseconds of improved page speed.
- Yahoo saw a 9 percent increase in traffic for every 400 milliseconds of page speed improvement.
- Google loses 20 percent of itstraffic for each additional 100 milliseconds it takes for a page to load.
- Mozilla saw 60 million more downloads per year by making their page 2.2 seconds faster
You are not only losing money because of slow page load time, but a slow page can also damage your brand’s reputation. In one study, 66 percent of customers said website performance influences their impression of the company and 33 percent of customers have a negative impression of a company with a poor performing website. Always consider the customer’s point of view when planning your page. Placing your customer’s needs first is absolutely the best thing you can do for your business.
Page speed can either make or break the user experience; here are three ways to improve page speed optimization:
Back in 1995,the average page was 14.1 KB in size. Today the average page size is more than 2 MB. Images comprise more than 60 percent of a page’s size. To reduce the page size of your site, it’s important that you compress your images before uploading them to your site. Try using a plugin to reduce the file size of jpegs and pngs, which will help remove any extraneous metadata that might be taking up unneeded space. Reducing them also reduces the visual quality of the image, so you have to be careful not to run yourself over. Don’t put too many images or upload huge image files as they can take longer to load for users. Videos can be hosted off your website on sites like YouTube or Vimeo, but there is still a load time factor to consider. As it turns out, a page can actually earn top rankings without a lot of written content on the page. A first-rate user experience, combined with some mark-up that tells crawlers what is on the page, can absolutely help you rank well.
The hosting provider you choose will have a major impact on website speed. Choose a hosting platform that is designed to deliver lightning fast results with the various common website speed issues in mind. Certain factors need to be consider when selecting a hosting platform for ecommerce. They Include:
- A plan that offers automatic Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protections; and opt for HTTPS, which is more secure than the conventional HTTP
- A web host that is capable of handling high order volumes
- Host database strength should also be considered
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
The geographic location of a site visitor can impact how fast your site’s content reaches them. A CDN is a proven way to get lightning fast loading results by reducing bandwidth usage. CDNs provide a shorter connection distance from the server to the source, resulting in faster page load time. Make use of blazingly fast CDN that stores your site’s content globally for faster load times.
You need to have an idea of how fast your site loads. A good speed should be about 2 to 3 seconds per page. This technically implies thatyou would want to get it down to less than 1 second for your loading speed.
However, if your site takes more than three seconds to load, you might want to test what your site’s speed is with online tools such as Pingdom, Google’s PageSpeed Insight or Bitcatcha. These tools will give you an idea of where you’re at in terms of speed.