In this day and age, most people expect to get everything on-demand and to get it QUICKLY. With all the time we spend online, it’s no wonder that we expect the websites we visit to work the same way.
Sure, a slow website is frustrating. But does it go even farther than that? As a website owner, it’s important for you to understand how page speed affects conversion rate, and if you are dependent on your site to bring you leads and sales, then what you are about to read will be huge for your business.
You may well be shocked at how fast your web site pages load actually affects your business and income.
Bounce Rate Jumps to 32% After 3 Seconds
According to Think With Google, after just 3 seconds, your load time starts to impact your ranking, and thus your visibility to new customers. For a lot of people, 3 seconds sounds like a fairly short amount of time. However, statistics don’t lie, and the numbers tell us that people expect a page to load in less than 3 seconds.
Once customers click on your link, the clock starts ticking. After 3 seconds, 32% of people ‘bounce,’ meaning that they leave your page.
Unfortunately, the longer the page takes to load, the higher the bounce rate continues to climb.
The image below shows data from Google which they published in 2017 regarding the way people respond to web pages loading on mobile devices. The 2017 data is the most up to date that Google has provided, but you can be sure that those figures will be even tougher today and therefore affect the number of leads your business is getting.
Bounce Rate Jumps to 32% After 3 Seconds
The figures in the image above mean that if your page gets clicked on by 100 prospects and it takes 3 seconds for your page to load on their mobile device, you can expect 32% of those prospects to give up because it is taking too long for your page to load.
If however, a page of your site a prospect has clicked on in Google takes 10 seconds to load (with is pretty much near the average load speed time), it will mean that out of those 100 prospects, you can expect 40 of them to quite and go to your competition.
This means that if your page takes 10 seconds to load, you will lose 40% of the leads you could have got, and what is worse, is that your competition will get those leads! All because your web pages were too slow to load.
SEO User Experience Signals Rely Heavily on Page Speed
Google uses signals for user experiences as a core part of its algorithm for ranking pages and posts. Also, as the majority of people use mobile searches throughout their day, it also prioritizes factors important to mobile searches.
What does this mean for you? Well, it means that your pages need to load on the user’s mobile device very quickly. People that don’t have time to sit down at their computer also don’t have the time or patience to wait for a slow page.
In fact, most of the UX (aka User Experience) signals that Google uses to rank pages rely on speed. Out of four main indicators, three of them are based on speed. That means that 75% of these ranking factors are speed based.
It might not seem like this has a heavy impact on your conversions. However, it’s not all about ranking. These UX factors also give you a good indication of how users experience your site, and how likely they are to stay on your website.
The longer people peruse your website, the more opportunity you have to ‘convert’ them and get that lead or make a sale.
Slow Pages Don’t Keep Returning Customers Forever
Most people bounce when they have to wait on a slow page. However, if you’re lucky enough to supply a product or service that nobody else does, people might continue to visit your site. Once competition comes up, with similar offerings, those ‘loyal’ customers will permanently bounce to the next company that prioritizes speed and service.
In fact, most marketers (81%) believe tracking customer lifetime value could help them make more sales.
Customer lifetime value refers to the benefits your company gets throughout the span of your relationship with a returning customer. You might not think of returning customers as conversions, but when you’re talking about making sales, they’re just as important if not more so than any other customer.
Returning customers are easier to market to and typically, spend more money than new customers, and really help keep your business alive.
70% of People Base Online Purchase Choices on Page Speed
You certainly won’t get conversions from people that bounce before your site. But what about the people that do stay on your site? If your site is up to speed, you have a much better chance of making conversions.
Search Engine Journal conducted a survey with 750 participants and found that the majority of them base purchase choices on site speed. In fact, 70% of the people in the survey reported that a slow site is likely to negatively affect their purchase choices online.
When you break the statistics down even further, you can see even more of a dramatic impact:
Women from the ages of 18 to 24 are up to 86% less likely to continue shopping and complete a purchase on a slow website.
New Yorkers are equally low on patience with slow sites when they’re shopping online. 82% of these East Coast residents report that a slow website negatively affects their choice when buying products online.
California residents might be a little more laid back, with only 60% reporting that slow websites make them hesitate or neglect to buy products online. That’s no sigh of relief, however. That’s still over half of your potential customers.
If you’re a business owner lucky enough to still make a conversion while your site is slow, it may not stay that way for long. People will remember their experiences and less likely to revisit your website.
85% of Websites Are Too Slow
In 2018, the Unbounce team surveyed businesses and marketers at a CTA conference. This meant testing their websites and comparing their website speeds with pages that had a load speed of five second or less.
Surprisingly, out of 200 websites they tested, the vast majority were running too slow, even by Google’s standards. Only 15% of the businesses met even a barely acceptable page load time, while the other 85% took longer than five seconds.
The good news is that if you’re one of few that has a page that loads quickly enough (less than 2.5 seconds), you’re already way ahead of your competition.
Only 26% of Mobile Users Will Wait for 4 to 6 Seconds
As it turns out, the devices people use to browse online also affect how forgiving they are when it comes to slow page speed. This is especially true in younger demographics, namely people from 18 to 24 years old.
This is a prime example of why Google places such a high expectation on speed when it rates user experience, especially considering that it now prioritizes the mobile experience.
When these people are using a laptop or desktop, they’re less likely to bounce right away when your page speed is a second or two longer. In the same age range, a little less than half (46%, to be exact) will wait for four to six seconds when they’re on a pc. However, when these same users are online on their mobile devices, 26%, around a quarter of people will wait this long for a page to load.
If you want to hear a really scary statistic, take this bit of data provided by Think With Google. Mobile page speeds are more important than ever, and here’s the proof: each additional second a page fails to load can decrease conversions by up to 20%.
One Second Can Cost a 7% Decrease for Conversions
As you now know, on average, 70% of people in some way base their online buying choices on page speed. It shouldn’t be any shock then, that every extra second your page takes to load causes a significant impact on your conversions.
Small SEO Tools and Strangeloop have produced some data that really drive the point home: a single extra second of page load time can drop conversions up to 7%.
If your business is bringing in $1 million in sales every year, a 7% drop in conversions is costing you at least $70,000 in profits. Keep in mind that conversions don’t level off at a 7% decrease, either. Dropping conversion rates work much like rising bounce rates when it comes to page speed. Some studies estimate an additional 2-4% decrease in conversions for every additional second a site is loading after that.
The longer people wait, the less likely they are to stay on your page, much less complete a purchase.
2.4 Seconds Results in Nearly 2% Conversions
A study by mPulse Mobile shows the positive side of paying attention to your site and maintaining a fast page speed.
While websites that take around 5.7 seconds to load can expect conversion rates of less than 0.6%, websites that load in 4.2 seconds still don’t fare much better, with less than 1% conversion rates.
If you can boost your page speed to 3.3 seconds, you’ll join the group of businesses that average around 1.5% conversions. Keep in mind that while Google says five seconds, most consumers actually expect around 2 to 3 seconds. If your site loads within 2.4 seconds, you can expect at least 2% conversions.
Warning About The Trend!
Everyone now knows the importance of speed. How it affects your sites rank on Google and also, how it impacts your company’s income and profitability. The big warning you should heed is the trend of businesses starting to take action.
As more and more businesses are becoming aware of the page speed impact, they are starting to take action. As they take action, those businesses will start to win more of the business, and if your site does not meet the fast standard that Google expects, your website rankings, the number of leads and your business income will start to spiral downwards.
The truth is, the longer you leave it before you address your sites pages load speed, the harder it will become for you to pull back and gain an advantage over your competition that will have taken action ahead of you.
What I am trying to say is that you will be on the back foot trying to play catch up if you leave it too long to address it.
If you need a professional to assess your website and make it load really fast so that you can actually increase your profitability as well as increasing your rank on Google, you should contact us and ask us to give you a quote to bring your website up to standard. The screenshot below shows you our ability to fix sites and our expertise in this field of SEO.
Page Speed Before
Page Speed After
The results we achieved for this site are phenomenal!
Want Conversions? Speed Up Your Page!
We’ve provided you with more than enough data and statistics to motivate you to speed up your site. If you’re still not convinced that your page speed is affecting your conversion rate, have another look at the numbers above.
Page speed is undeniably one of the most important things to take care of if you want to boost your business and make more sales (and 70% of people agree!). Of course, as technology continues to seep into every aspect of our lives, we should only expect page speed to become even more important as we step into the future.