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Slow Pages Lose Users

Slow Pages Lose Users

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Published by icrossinguk

Several studies have shown that investing in site performance can yield positive ROI as just a small increase in page loading time can significantly increase online sales. Not only do slow loading pages have lower conversion rates but they also affect how users perceive online brands. For instance, most users that experience slow page loading times are less likely to purchase again from the same site. With the rapid increase of mobile devices, online businesses that do not optimise their websites so they load quickly on smartphones and tablets will be left behind the competition. Mobile users are more patient than desktop but they would still abandon a website if it takes more than five seconds to load. This paper investigates the effect of slow page on website performance, conversion and online return.

Several studies have shown that investing in site performance can yield positive ROI as just a small increase in page loading time can significantly increase online sales. Not only do slow loading pages have lower conversion rates but they also affect how users perceive online brands. For instance, most users that experience slow page loading times are less likely to purchase again from the same site. With the rapid increase of mobile devices, online businesses that do not optimise their websites so they load quickly on smartphones and tablets will be left behind the competition. Mobile users are more patient than desktop but they would still abandon a website if it takes more than five seconds to load. This paper investigates the effect of slow page on website performance, conversion and online return.

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Published by: icrossinguk on Feb 08, 2013
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12/30/2013

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Slow Pages Lose Customers
How Site Performance Optimisation CanIncrease Revenue on Desktop and MobileSites
 
Prepared by: Modestos SiotosThis document contains confidential and proprietary information of iCrossing, Ltd.
 
© COPYRIGHT 2012 ICROSSING LTD December 2012 | Slow Pages Lose Customers
1
Table of Contents
 
Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 2
 
Users Respond to Speed ..................................................................................................... 2
 
The Optimal Page Loading Time ......................................................................................... 4SiteSpeed is Extremely Important to Mobile Users ............................................................. 5
Google’s
Stance on Site Performance ................................................................................. 6
 
How to Measure Site Performance ...................................................................................... 7
 
How to Increase Site Performance ...................................................................................... 9Conclusion: Why Site Speed is a Great Opportunity .......................................................... 11 About iCrossing .................................................................................................................. 12
 
© COPYRIGHT 2012 ICROSSING LTD December 2012 | Slow Pages Lose Customers
2
Slow Pages Lose Customers
Fast loading web pages offer a great user experience but site performancedoes not always receive as much attention as other areas within a digitalmarketing campaign. Most of the time digital marketers allocate their budgetsto natural search, paid search, social media, content and web developmentoverlooking the enormous potential and impact Web PerformanceOptimisation (WPO) could have on their online businesses in terms of trafficand revenue.Recent studies have demonstrated that investing in site performance canyield positive ROI as just a small increase in performance can significantlyboost conversions. Fast loading pages benefit all of the main traffic channelssuch as direct, organic, paid and referring traffic. Understanding the directimpact on user experience and how it influences the conversion rate isessential for all digital marketers. With the exponential rise of users embracingsmart phone and tablet devices, site performance is expected to become oneof the main focus areas for online businesses and gain more attention. According to Steve
Souders 
1
, web performance 
evangelist at Google, 80% of 
a page’s loading time takes place on the user’s end (front end) and the rest on
the server (back-end), which includes hardware and infrastructure costs. In asimilar manner, it has been estimated
2
 
that 97% of mobile users’ page loading
time occurs at the front end, clearly highlighting importance of site speed onmobile devices. Focusing on front-end enhancements has great potential andin many cases requires less time and resource. There is a big opportunity for 
online businesses to enrich the overall user experience, online customer’s
satisfaction and revenue.
Users Respond to Speed
Several studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between a
page’s loading time and traffic. In 2006 Google, one of the first organisationsinterested in analysing the impact of site speed on online users’ behaviour ran
an experiment
3
increasing the number of search results served to users, from10 to 30. They found that traffic and revenue dropped by 20% only becausethe page with 30 results was loading half a second slower than the one with10, despite the page with the 30 results being more useful.Both Google
4
and Bing carried out user performance tests before mutually
concluding that “slow pages lose users”
5
. Facebook also conducted their ownexperiments
6
, commenting that the number of page views increased whenpages were loading faster. With Google, Bing and Facebook having agreedon the linear relationship between server delays and user satisfaction it is notsurprising that other large e-commerce organisations also decided to studythe implications of site performance.
 
1
High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers, Steve
Souders
 
(O’Reilly 2007)
 
2
Early findings: 97% of mobile end-user response time happens at the front end, Joshua Bixby (Strangeloop 2011)http://www.webperformancetoday.com/2011/04/20/desktop-vs-mobile-web-page-load-speed/ 
3
4
The latest news from Research at Google Jake: Speed Matters, Jake Brutlag (2009) -http://googleresearch.blogspot.co.uk/2009/06/speed-matters.html 
5
Bing and Google Agree: Slow Pages Lose Users (2009) - http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/06/bing-and-google-agree-slow-pag.html 
6
Every Millisecond Counts, Zizhuang Yang (2009) - http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=122869103919 

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