If you’re wondering what the link between website speed and lead conversion is, then consider the following statistic: 47% of all consumers expect a website to fully load in under 2 seconds whereas 40% will abandon websites that take more than three seconds to load, according to research.
Page loading time is an integral part of the user experience and no matter how aesthetically-pleasing or well-designed your webpage may be, slow loading times will see potential customers leave your website even before viewing any of your offerings. Additionally, page loading speed is now a deciding factor when it comes to ranking your website.
In this blog, we share 4 sure-shot ways of increasing website speed which eventually results in increased lead conversion.
How Fast Should the Page Load?
If we’re talking about faster page loading time then the obvious question is: how fast is fast enough? The answer depends on the business’s goals and size of operations. Companies that operate within the performance industry strive to achieve loading times of less than 2 seconds.
Achieving lower loading times requires optimization that should be done keeping in mind the ROI. The higher the amount of traffic a website generally experiences, the greater the importance of fast loading times. For instance, a page like Amazon.com could easily gain millions of dollars in revenue with an improvement as small as 200 milliseconds.
On the other hand, a recently launched website with loading times of around 4-6 seconds would be considered decent. It also takes into account the competition, strategic priorities, and budget. You can begin by conducting a speed test to see how fast your webpage loads from various parts of the world. From there, you can start making improvements towards an ideal load time.
Reduce Server Response Times
A major factor that determines how fast a webpage load is the amount of time required by your DNS lookup. DNS stands for domain name system and is a server comprising of many IP addresses as well as their hostnames. Whenever any URL is searched, the DNS server translates the URL into an IP address that indicates its location.
The DNS is similar to a phonebook except that it associates long strings of numbers with simple URL’s that frees users from memorizing difficult IP addresses. The speed of this entire process depends on the DNS provider which means that a slow provider results in browsers taking a long time to locate your website. The problem can be resolved by switching to a provider that delivers a faster loading time.
Minimize Round Trip Times (RTTs)
Fortunately, Google has published a manual for carrying out the entire process, the summary for which is as follows:
- Combining all the images using CSS sprites by merging all the background images because a high number of images mean more roundtrips between the user’s browser and the web server.
- Combining numerous style sheets into one.
- Reducing scripts and placing them at the bottom.
Benchmarking is vital for gauging the success of your efforts when attempting to reduce load times. There are a number of tools that do this and even provide insights regarding how to increase the website’s performance. Some of these tools include:
- Google Pagespeed Insights: Perhaps the best benchmarking tool out there that also provides tips on how to improve web performance. It gives a score based on how fast they load and runs tests for both mobile and desktop websites.
- Pingdom: Shows how long your website takes to load.
- GTmetrix:Grades the page speed, load time, YSlow grade and compares numerous URLs to give you an understanding of how fast your webpage is.
Reduce Image Size
Images are usually large files that play a major role in determining how fast or slow a web page actually is. Since images are an important feature for every website, removing them altogether is never an option. Customers prefer seeing product pictures before they make any purchases. The answer lies in successfully compressing images into smaller sizes. However, according to Radware, 45% of the top e-Commerce websites have pictures that aren’t compressed.
Whether your business is related to e-commerce or not compressing images is important to your website. Images often make up 50% of the entire page.
According to one study compressing 22 MB worth of images down to 300 KB reduced user interaction time by 70%. Here are some ways you can make your file sizes smaller:
- Cropping out unwanted parts of an image and reducing it down to the right size.
- Adjusting the width parameter of pictures to be smaller than what they actually are. This makes resizing them a priority rather than loading the full image and then adjusting it to the required size which results in slower loading speeds.
- Using tools that allow you to “smush” and resize images according to set width and height.
- Choosing which files are best suited to your website (the most common ones being JPG, GIF, and PNG).
Reducing page load times can prove to be a challenge but one that significantly improved website performance and leads to increased lead conversion. However, it’s best to apply one tip at a time and judge its effectiveness before moving onto the next one. This way, you can choose the one that has the greatest impact on load speeds and proceed to tweak it for improved optimization.
We believe these tips will prove helpful in decreasing your websites load time; however, it is understandable if some of these may seem too confusing. Devebyte is a digital marketing agency Edmonton, Alberta that provides a number of services including Google AdWords, SEO, Facebook Advertisement, and Web development services. They optimize your websites allowing you to experience increased lead conversion. Contact us today for more information.