Website performance optimization, the focal point of technologically superior website designs is the primary factor dictating success for modern online businesses. After all, unimpressive website performance kills a businesses’ bottom line when the torture of waiting for slow Web pages to load frustrates visitors into seeking alternatives – impatience is a digital virtue!
And speed sells!
We created the following speed optimization guide to show you how important it is to have a fast loading, snappy website! Countless research papers and benchmarks prove that optimizing your sites’ speed is one of the most affordable and highest ROI providing investments!
In the following guide, we’ll try to explain the technical details while at the same time provide you with easy to follow instructions that you can start implementing right away! We hope you’ll find it valuable and perhaps share-worthy! 😄
Lightning-fast page load speed amplifies visitor engagement, retention, and boosts sales. Instantaneous website response leads to higher conversion rates, and every 1 second delay in page load decreases customer satisfaction by 16 percent, page views by 11 percent and conversion rates by 7 percent according to a recent Aberdeen Group research.
What Exactly is Page Speed?
The term page speed essentially refers to the length of time at which web pages or media content is downloaded from website hosting servers and displayed onto the requesting web browser. Page load time is the duration between clicking the link and displaying the entire content from the web page on the requesting browser.
Acceptable Website Performance – The Neuroscience and Rhythm
100 milliseconds. That’s how long the Occipital lobe in our brain stores visual information as a Sensory memory.
Google researchers suggest page load times of less than 100 milliseconds give visitors the illusion of instantaneous website response as the visual Sensory memory processor in our brain works in bursts of 100 milliseconds. The memory store clears itself after 0.1 seconds as photoreceptor cells in the eyes transmit more information to the Occipital lobe.
Performance Impacts Sales
Website performance is user experience – the power of page speed, translating into attractive online shopping experience inspires sales figures and eventually determines online business success. The industry kingpin Google began factoring page speed into its proprietary search algorithms ever since it experienced the compelling repercussions of website performance lapses impacting sales. The search engine giant once experienced a 20 percent slump in traffic resulting from half a second delay in page load times.
While Google was quick to resolve the issue that barely crippled its market share, the same is not always the case with online businesses yet to establish their presence in the competitive online marketplace.
Performance Impacts OpEx and Revenue
While investing in website performance optimization adds to the CapEx in favor of shaving off a few seconds in page load times, the return is inevitably seen in the shape of rising revenues and shrinking operational cost and hardware investments.
Ecommerce giant Shopzilla saw a 50 percent reduction in its operational budget by shrinking page load times from 7 seconds to 2 seconds. Performance improvements with a website design overhaul enabled the company to utilize the same hardware resources to efficiently in processing the same amount of website user requests. The improved website responsiveness also increased revenues by 12 percent as the retail store accommodated expanding web traffic without prompting additional investments in consequently expanding hardware resources.
Speed Optimized Mobile Website Overshadows Desktop
Mobile is the future of everything wired. Adoption is skyrocketing as the mobile device onslaught looks to encompass the entire human race – 2.32 billion smartphone subscriptions, around thirty percent of the global population in 2017. And the booming tides of stimulating repercussions continue to disturb online businesses barely making inroads into the mobile internet marketing segment.
Success in the cyber world depends on the ability to embrace a mobile-first approach in reaching the exploding population of mobile subscribers. And for organizations pushing to reach the massive mobile population effectively, the unimaginable awards emerge just around the corner.
Mobile vs. Desktop – Why does it Matter?
Because everyone else is doing it, to start with. Competition for the mobile space is intense and back in 2014, the Yahoo CEO labeled it as the “tipping point” for the internet. And she was right! Stone Temple pulled some statistics from Similar Web in 2017 and not to our surprise, but mobile accounted for over 50% of the traffic based on 77 billion website visits.
Common Business Mistakes that Kill Website Performance
Online marketplaces – like battlegrounds of the ancient Greeks – are high-stake competitive platforms where only the most diligent survive. And as with all high-stakes battles, human factors (decision errors, blunders, and ignorance) contribute significantly toward the outcome of online business competitions.
Yet, online businesses and webmasters responsible for maintaining high-performance and fully-optimized websites tend to overlook crucial web design elements that cripple site load times. And the consequences are usually as hazardous as the Trojan Horse penetrating through fortified defenses and taking full control over the City of Troy, despite the size and dominion of the Trojan Army.
Competition for online business success is just as intense if only a bit less violent. The fight for customer attention boils down to delivering the requested content most efficiently and accurately, irrespective of the company size and past laurels. And just like human blunders and ignorance dictating the outcome of the Trojan War, common mistakes killing website performance tend to determine the outcome of online business competition – fastest to the finish line wins the race!
Website Speed Testing – Identify Performance Bottlenecks!
Web traffic and search engine ranking is primarily a vanity metric for website performance. Important as they are, neither is more indicative of online business success than sales figures and conversion rates. Putting things into perspective, ecommerce websites with (almost) zero percent bounce rate, 15 percent conversion rates and 10,000 unique website visitors from low search engine rankings fare far better than high ranking sites enjoying 100,000 unique visits with only 0.01 percent conversion rate.
The debate of conversion rate optimization can carry on for encyclopedic lengths, and implementing business best-practices on Frankensteinish websites can take tons of investments with efforts of patient execution spanning across months before any significant conversion rate improvement is yielded.
And there’s more to convincing impatient citizens of the cyber world into purchasing online products and services than implementing passive business strategies to enhance marketability. Online businesses focusing on improving website performance experience immediate results in the form of higher conversion rates and sky-rocketing sales.
Website Speed Matters. A lot.