In real life, speed literally kills. There is nowhere where humans are advised to drive fast in order to reach their destination on time.
When we come to blogs and websites, speed is everything. The faster your site, the better. So, what exactly do we mean by site speed, how fast is fast enough and why should you even care?
Glad you asked.
This post will look at how to increase your site speed for better conversions. Let me give you a quick glance into what you should expect out of this post.
- The meaning of site speed
- How fast your site should be
- Tools to use to know your site speed
- Ways of increasing your site speed
Let’s get started:
Your site speed is basically the rate at which your site opens.
Simply put, it is the time taken for a page to open in your website. Take for example, the rate at which your homepage opens. It could be 10 seconds or 1 second.
From our example, the website that loads in 1 second has faster site speed than the one which loads in 10 seconds.
So, is any speed good enough for your website?
Fact is, speed is a killer (catch my drift) and gives you conversions. But, how fast is fast enough?
In a study, Strangeloop tested load times for top 2,000 retail websites and discovered that websites keep getting bigger as years progress and the average site took
A different report seemed to concur with the concept that websites are getting slower as years progress, due to a number of reasons.
So, are these speeds okay for business?
What is the ideal Page load time?
According to Jakob Nielsen, your site visitors can handle load time of up to 10 seconds.
If your website is within this range, then you feel glad that an expert said this. But, allow me to burst your bubble.
It has been showed that internet users have faulty perception of time. As a matter of fact, an average internet user will perceive a page to be 15% slower.
It gets worse:
When they recount their experiences to others, this same group of people will faultily recall that your page was 35% slower than it actually was.
You don’t want this working against you especially when you decided to relax at the 10 second mark.
Statistically, here is what has been shown to be your site visitors’ preference (they don’t care whether the site is heavy or not. You just need to be fast):
- 47% of people expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
- 57% of visitors will abandon a page that takes 3 seconds or more to load.
- At peak traffic times, more than 75% of online consumers left for a competitor’s site rather than suffer delays.
- 8% of people cite slow loading pages as a key reason for abandoning their purchase.
Well, we understand that it is sometimes hard to hit the tolerable 2-second or below mark. Thankfully, there are ways of increasing your visitor tolerance level and improve UX.
I’ll mention just one general rule
Add feedback, for example a progress bar. This can push the tolerable waiting time by 38 seconds.
So, now that you know the importance of speed for conversions, how do you tell if your speed meets this threshold?
There are several tools that you can use to analyze site speed. The choice is fully dependent on you.
I will discuss three of these:
Pingdom is used to test the load time of a page, analyze the page and find bottlenecks that could be causing a slowdown.
Here is how it looks:
There is a section where you need to include your webpage URL in order to test it.
The page also has a guidance section where you are briefed on what specific icons mean during the process. Here is a small illustration.
Here is how the site works:
You can examine all parts of a webpage including file sizes, load time, CSS files and HTML among other features. The tool allows you to sort and filter this list how you wish in order to identify performance bottlenecks.
You will also get performance-related statistics that will give you the general overview of your website.
You can also see how your website conforms to best practices from Google Page Speed. Additionally, you will get tips on how to improve your site speed.
You can also trace your performance history by saving all your tests and monitoring them subsequently to monitor your progress.
Lastly, the tool allows you to test your site speed from multiple locations. E.g from the United States or Europe. It also gives you the ability to share these results.
Google PageSpeed Insights
As seen, Google PageSpeed Insights is also easy to use. All you need to do is provide your webpage URL and click ‘analyze’, then wait for results.
Generally, the tool works by analyzing your site speed and suggesting methods of increasing site speed.
The insights tool will specifically measure how you can improve performance on time to above-the-fold-load and time to full page load.
Let’s see how the tool responds to you:
The image below shows you how the pagespeed insights tool rates your site giving a priority indicator.
This is a free tool that analyzes your speed and like the other tools, gives you suggestions on how to improve your site speed.
This is simple to use just like the other tools we have discussed. All you need to do is copy and paste your link to the blank box and click ‘analyze’
The key features include page speed and Yslow results, different analysis options, report history and page load details including size, time and number of requests.
This is how your results on GTmetrix should look like:
Now that you know what page speed is and how to find out your exact speed, how do you now increase it to get better conversions?
Increasing site speed sure has an effect on your conversion rate. While we have showed you what to do in order to increase your site speed, you also need to understand the importance of running site metrics in order to monitor your conversion rates.
The Truconversion conversion loss calculator and conversion funnel tools will sure help you track your conversion rates alongside pinpointing where you are losing sales in the conversion pipeline. Make sure that you try it today in case you haven’t.
As always, remember to share this article in all your social networking platforms and also share your views, comments and suggestions on other ways you can improve your site speed, in the comments section below.