Cameron FrancisMay 17,2014

Could A Slow Site Be Reducing Your Revenue?

Category: Site Design
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A Slow Site Could Be Reducing Your Revenue

Many people don’t want to think about their site speed, and others are tired of hearing about it.

However, despite the advice of experts who unanimously agree that faster is better, the majority of websites remain slow. In a comprehensive study of thousands of websites over 50% had load times of greater than 5 seconds.

slow loading website

Attempt To At Least Get To 5 Seconds

The easiest and largest decrease in load time is from 8 to 5 seconds. While the largest increase in revenue for e-commerce sites was in going from 2 seconds to 1 second. Decreasing to at least 5 seconds is far easier; and in our studies, it generated 18% more revenue.

Each second that you can reduce your load time generally means you will see an improvement of 8% in page value, so continue to work on it.

Pages To Focus On

Clearly, there are certain pages of your site in which speed matters most. Home pages, checkout, and login pages are most significant. Those are the pages that have the most consumer intent, so be sure that they’re fast.

Page Weight Isn’t The Only Factor In Load Time

Page weight which is the page size in kilobytes that is transferred to your site isn’t the largest factor in load time anymore. During our testing, pages with more than 4 Mb had some very fast load times.

The reason is that a lot of sites have learned to optimise their code by ‘minifying’ it and using compression.

Therefore, the largest factor in many instances, is page configuration and the server.

Boost the speed of your site

To make your site faster examine the following:

Javascript Timing

Whenever you can, include Javascript at the end of pages, asynchronously load them, or defer them. For instance, if you use jQuery or Google Analytics these scripts are included with external files.

These scripts are called ‘blocking’ calls, and your webpage may not be visible to users until after these scripts load fully. If these scripts take several seconds, or something else goes wrong, the delay will increase your page load time, and can harm your conversion rate.

You can defer Javascript execution if it is acceptable to run your Javascript subsequent to page loading. If it doesn’t matter when it runs, utilise asynchronous execution.

Expires Headers And ETags

The most prevalent page speed problem we encountered related to expires headers and ETags. These settings will reduce the number of server requests made by a browser. These settings instruct browsers which files need updating. When set properly, browsers can be prevented from updating files that don’t change very often, like your logo.

Files can be cached by browsers and keep them cached for a prolonged period of time, so your load times will be significantly shorter. Browsers can use ETags in order to determine if there has been a change in a file.

Importance Of Images

Page weight isn’t as significant as it has been in the past, but image size can still increase load times. Therefore, be sure to compress your images. If you run Google PageSpeed Insights, it will identify images on your site that you should compress.

There are plenty of image compression tools available for file compression, you can even do this with Google’s PageSpeed Insights for Chrome extension. Simply compress your images and the upload them back to your server and overwrite your old image files with your compressed files.

Now What?

Lastly, you can have a web developer check your database to ensure it’s not loading slowly. Resolving database loading issues can also have a large impact on your load times. They may also be able to set-up GZIP compression for you.

Conclusion

In comparison to other challenges in web marketing, page speed is relatively easy to improve, and it has results that are measurable. Nevertheless, many businesses still don’t engage in the simple fixes that are needed to speed up their site. This is unfortunate for them, but it could be used by you to gain a competitive advantage.

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Author: Cameron Francis Cameron Francis is the Director of eTraffic Group. He has been engaged in all aspects of online marketing for the past 8 years. He is actively involved in SEO, Paid Search, Social Media Optimisation, and Web Design.

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