A 100-millisecond delay can cause you to lose a customer. Amazon found out the hard way, and they’ve got plenty of customers to lose – 100 million to be exact.
Slow page loading times caused Amazon to lose 1% of their potential sales per 100-millisecond delay.
A million possible sales just evaporated for this mega-company like fog in the night.
Even if you are just starting out with a fraction of the customer base that Amazon has, you will fare better if you optimize your site for speed.
Your site visitor’s experience has everything to do with whether they become a paying customer.
People only engage with a brand through 60% of the sales cycle, so if you’ve got any cogs in your site’s mechanics, that percentage goes down even further.
Most people know what they want by the time they come to you, so if you can’t give it to them, and fast, then they’re going to go somewhere else.
Strangeloop tested the load times of 2,000 retail websites, and the most successful load in 10 seconds or less.
And when real data from 33 major retailers was examined, researchers discovered that conversion rates increased by 74% when page load times went from 8 seconds to 2 seconds.
Site load time and page load speeds are critical to your overall web design. You can get instant site design inspiration from us at Second Crew, but first, let’s talk about speed.
Measure the Speed of Your Pages First
How do you capture those customers lost to slow load times?
You can’t improve your site load times if you don’t know how fast they are performing.
You first need to conduct an optimization audit. Google’s Webmaster tools will allow you to conduct a thorough audit.
SecondCrew’s Website Grader is also very useful to see where site speed may be messing up your customer experience.
There are a few additional tools that allow you to optimize for speed, aside from other SEO tactics that can help convert customers. Try:
- Pingdom – this site allows you to test load times, analyze what might be causing bottlenecks and offers suggestions to fix them.
- Yslow – Part of Yahoo’s developer tools, Yslow grades your web pages for speed, and offers suggestions to improve performance.
- GooglePageSpeed Insights – another developer tool offered by Google allows you to analyze page content and find ways to make it load faster.
- WebPageTest.org – This site offers a free tool to test page speeds. You can check load times for static content and video alike.
More Tools to Increase Speed
There are many tools to increase the speed of your site, and even those that will build a mirror site meant for mobile users that will load consistently fast so that you can capture more sales.
You’ll also need to optimize your on-site videos. While mobile web users are leaning towards video more each day, they can also make your pages painfully slow.
MP4 and WebM are now the standard formats for sites like YouTube and Vimeo as they can be optimized to load faster. Both the video file itself and the page where it loads should be optimized, however, to make sure your page doesn’t start to lag.
Try data compression tools like these to shrink file sizes without compromising on video quality:
- Blazemp – This is an audio/video converter that can help maximize your files’ appeal while minimizing their file size.
- HandBrake – Try this site to optimize everything from File Containers: .MP4(.M4V) and .MKV, Video Encoders: H.265 (x265 and QuickSync), H.264(x264 and QuickSync), H.265 MPEG-4 and MPEG-2, VP8, VP9 and Theora, Audio Encoders: AAC / HE-AAC, MP3, Flac, AC3, or Vorbis and Audio Pass-thru: AC-3, E-AC3, DTS, DTS-HD, TrueHD, AAC and MP3 tracks.
Clean Up Your Code, Boost Your Load
- Get rid of superfluous tags, extra spaces, and indents that can slow your code.
- Minimize HTML and CSS.
- Utilize Gzip compression for content encoding.
- Get rid of broken links and redirects.
- Don’t put tracking scripts above the fold.
- Limit WordPress Plugins.
- Get a better hosting service.
- Consider getting a dedicated server for your site. When you purchase hosting space from a company (typically 1 gigabyte) you are typically sharing it with hundreds of thousands of additional sites. Having your own host will mean that you aren’t sharing and speed up your page load times drastically. There are cheaper ways to increase speed, though, so try those first and see how much faster you can get your pages to load.
- Compress all your images. (According to HTTP Archive they make up an average of 66% of a total webpage’s weight.)
- Make sure images are delivered with a Content Delivery Network. (CDN)
- Move larger files off your servers completely to sites like Imguror Wistia
All these steps can seem overwhelming, but if you tackle them one at a time, you’ll see a drastic increase in your page load times, and stand in awe as site visitors start to convert more consistently than ever.
Would you buy a Ferrari and then park it in the garage? That’s what a great site that goes non-optimized is like. A really sexy car that doesn’t ever see the light of day.
If 74% of people will leave a site if it doesn’t load in 5 seconds or less, it is more than worth your time and effort to make sure your pages are fully optimized for speed.
Get a Pro
If page speed optimization isn’t your strong point you can always hire a pro. At Second Crew, we are masters of page optimization. Some of our clients boast the fastest page loads times in the West – or anywhere in the world. Contact us to boost your on-site optimization with lightning-fast page load times.
We can also help you with SEO, content, and creating product-specific landing pages. Is your brand ready to catapult into Internet stardom and higher conversions? If so, we’re ready to take you there – in a hurry.