Faster websites provide improved user experience and slow speeds kill conversions. Across the board. It is not farfetched to assume that anyone faring in the digital world, from providers to users, understands the relevance of site speed. From time on site to bounce rates to the fact that it is one of Google’s significant ranking factors… speed is tantamount to plentiful benefits.
Statistics do nothing to recant this common sense assumption. On the contrary, the 2019 Page Speed Report and others highlight its importance and offer interesting bottom line insights for consumers/users/shoppers.
- Mobile landing pages average 15.3 seconds to load. In 2015, mobile searches first outnumbered desktop/laptop.
- Desktop average is 3.21 seconds, with the reported sweet spot at 2.4 seconds.
- 47% of users expect websites to load in two seconds or less.
- 46% say what they dislike most is waiting for pages to load.
- 44% tell their friends about poor site experience.
- Over 50% say they would give up animation (57%) and video (53%) for faster load times
- 52% inform quick page loading is important to their site loyalty.
- Sites loading in five seconds see 70% longer average sessions versus those loading in 19.
- A 100-millisecond load delay drops conversion rates by 7%. Said differently, a full second delay may decrease conversion by a whooping 70%.
- Google has placed the sting at 12% conversion drop for every additional load second and once reported a 20% traffic decrease for a mere half second delay.
- 79% say they would not return to a site with poor performance.
- 9% average bounce rate for pages that load within two seconds vs. 40% for pages averaging three or more second
With that in mind, here is a list of the 10 simplest approaches to website speed improvement.
- Minimize http requests or page element count. On average, 80% of page load time is devoted to downloading the different elements of a page. The browser’s developer tool lets you know how many requests are put through.
- Optimize images, meaning reduce their size. With a minimum of 3 product images necessary before buying, anything over 800 kb is already in the realm of gambling.
- Perform a plugin purge and/or optimize settings. That said, consider the many advantages of plugins that target speed, such as Lazy Load.
- Perfect Web Hosting. Don’t be stingy when selecting the best in class for you from among a range of shared or VPN hosting. A dedicated server may just be the answer for you.
- Use a CDN. A Content Delivery Network enables you to cache your site on a network of servers distributed worldwide. Routing end user requests to the closet geographical server will help you speed things up and deal with many issues.
- Enable Gzip compression. This is considered standard practice today and can reduce load times by around 70%.
- Update your DNS provider to minimize time to first byte (TTFB) and reduce server response time. DNS provider speed comparison charts are published every month.
- Enable browser caching. Saving pages onto your cache allows returning visitors to pull content from the cache rather that reloading the entire page.