Today I have a special gift for the eCommerce website owners. Recently I conducted a research about how website speed can effect the conversion rate and other success factors. I did the research by matching existing research data in eCommerce industry. Download a PDF version of the report
Major reasons why website pagespeed is vital!
Question: How does page load time influence conversion rates?
Major reasons why website pagespeed is vital!
Question: How does page load time influence conversion rates?
Answer: Almost half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they are likely to abandon a site, which doesn’t get loaded within 3 seconds. Consumers really expect to see speed when browsing a website. Link to data source
Some facts from Kissmetrics.com
47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year. Data source
Akamai and Gomez.com in their survey state that 79% of web shoppers having trouble with web site performance won’t return to the site to buy again and more than 44% of these web shoppers would go and tell a friend that what kind of experience they had while shopping online. Data source
Shopzilla speeded up average page load time from 6 seconds to 1.2 seconds, and increased revenue by 12% and page views by 25%.
Amazon increased revenue by 1% for every 100ms of improvement (same as Walmart).
Yahoo increased traffic by 9% for every 400ms of improvement.
Mozilla got 60 million more Firefox downloads per year, by making their pages 2.2 seconds faster. Data source
The Trainline reduced latency by 0.3s across their funnel and revenue increased by an extra £8 million a year.
Other web links
How many people use slow internet connection and need websites loading quicker?
Answer: According to connection speed report by Akamai, 28 countries with 2205,630,845 users in the world use internet connection slower than 3 mbits. You can see the connection chart here. Six million households in the US are struggling with internet speeds slower than 3 Mbps. Seventeen million US internet connections were faster than 3 Mbps but slower than 10 Mbps. Source: Millions in US still lagging along with slow internet speed.
Despite having one of the largest number of Internet users in the world, India had both the slowest average connection speed and peak connection speed in Asia-Pacific, according to Akamai's latest State of the Internet Report for the fourth quarter of 2015. Over 76% Indians access the Internet on their mobiles, but are plagued by patchy and slow connections. Data Source
As this chart shows, the slowest connection types (less than 256 kbit/s) have almost been eradicated in many countries. However, in many developing nations these still make up a significant portion of the connections.
Related data: There are 3.26 billion internet users as at December 2015; that’s over 40% of the world population.
How does page load time influence search positions?
Answer: In 2010, Google announced page speed as a ranking signal. They stated that only 1% of search engine results get penalized by the page speed factor.
Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we've seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there.
“While site speed is a new signal, it doesn't carry as much weight as the relevance of a page. Currently, fewer than 1% of search queries are affected by the site speed signal in our implementation and the signal for site speed only applies for visitors searching in English on Google.com at this point”. Data source, Google webmaster blog article.
Gary Illyes from Google said at the Search Marketing Summit on June 1, 2016 in Sydney that Google will be updating the page speed ranking factor to specifically look at the page speed of your mobile pages when it comes to the mobile-friendly algorithm.
This report came from Jennifer Slegg, who said Gary Illyes from Google said this is months, but not years away from happening. Source: Google says page speed ranking factor to use mobile page speed for mobile sites in upcoming months
Singhal says there are two primary ways Google will measure page speed:
- How a page responds to Googlebot
- Load time as measured by the Google Toolbar
“Our experiments demonstrate that slowing down the search results page by 100 to 400 milliseconds has a measurable impact on the number of searches per user of -0.2% to -0.6% (averaged over four or six weeks depending on the experiment). That’s 0.2% to 0.6% fewer searches for changes under half a second!” Source: It’s Official: Google Now Counts Site Speed As A Ranking Factor
How many websites use any sort of speed optimization?
Answer: just over 25% sites on the web have taken steps to speed up their website. “2 seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability. Source: Google’s Site Performance for Webmasters video, by Maile Ohye. If your site loads in 1.7 seconds it is faster than approximately 75% of the web. – Data from study conducted by Geoff Kenyon at Moz.com.
In a research Geoff Kenyon at Moz.com, collected the load time for the top 20 results of some popular keywords. The data ranged from 1.062 to 58.881 seconds. The average site speed for the 120 different results was 9.58 seconds while the standard deviation for this data set was 9.86 seconds.
- If your site loads in 5 seconds it is faster than approximately 25% of the web
- If your site loads in 2.9 seconds it is faster than approximately 50% of the web
- If your site loads in 1.7 seconds it is faster than approximately 75% of the web
- If your site loads in 0.8 seconds it is faster than approximately 94% of the web
What are the commonly used ways to optimize page speed?
Answer: The key to faster pages is reducing the front-end load time. For the end-user, 80% of the response time is tied up in HTTP requests. Source: Source: How to Make Your Site Insanely Fast
Some of the commonly used steps to optimize site speed are,
Minimize HTTP Requests
Combine images with CSS sprites and optimize CSS
Spread your static content with CDNs
Leverage browsing caching by using “expires” headers
Enable HTTP keep-alive response headers
Keep your scripts below the fold
Improve server response time
Minification – content assets and plugins
Core caching and aggregation
What are the least known ways to optimize page speed?
Answer: Two years ago, The Washington Post’s site was in rough shape. They eliminated redundancies and ditching features that readers didn’t use, such as some of its recirculation widgets and page navigations.
The Post also adopted Google’s image format, WebP, which Google says shaves images’ size by a third without compromising their quality. The Post credits a lot of its performance gains to Pagebuilder, its custom page template software that compresses and streamlines the site’s design code.
The result: The Post has reduced its “perceived completeness time” — which it defines as the time it takes a page to appear complete to readers — to 1.7 seconds — an 85 percent performance increase compared to the previous iteration of the page. Source: How The Washington Post cut its page load time by 85 percent. Some of the least ways to optimize webpage speed are,
- Preventing Others for HotLinking Your Images
- Using a PHP Accelerator
- Limiting the Number of External Requests
- Fixing ALL Broken Links on Your Website
- Combining Your Background Images into Image Sprites
- Optimizing Your Database (Regularly)
- Avoiding Image Hotlinking
- Finding a Faster Web Hosting Provider
- Installing Google Page Speed on Your Server
- Loading Analytics and Ad Networks Code Asynchronously
- Limiting/Removing Social Sharing Buttons on Your Website
What is considered a good page load time?
Answer: A study conducted by Forrester Consulting, suggests that two seconds is the new threshold in terms of an average online shoppers expectation for a Web page to load.
47% of online consumers say they expect a web page to load in two seconds or less—down from a 4-second threshold three years ago, Forrester Consulting says.
‘For every 100ms decrease in homepage load speed, Mobify’s customer base saw a 1.11% lift in session based conversion, amounting to an average annual revenue increase of $376,789. Similarly, for every 100ms decrease in checkout page load speed, Mobify’s customers saw a 1.55% lift* in session based conversion, amounting to an average annual revenue increase of $526,147′ (from wpostats).’
HubSpot considers the ideal page load speed for your website's HTML to be less than 1.5 seconds.
Serve your compressed .js files from a CDN
What image format is better: png, jpg, svg, Why?
Answer: JPG is the fastest loading image format for the web, when GIF loads faster than PNG.
The standard “go to” file format at the moment is .JPG. By its nature, .JPG reduces loading times by selectively deleting elements of a photo.
PNG, or Portable Network Graphic, tends to have a larger file size than the other two formats, but it also preserves hard edges and can handle a high amount of colors while keeping the load time fast enough to use online.
The .GIF file format is essentially the faster loading cousin of .PNG with one catch—the image needs to be under exactly 256 colors. Elements like solid color buttons or banners are ideal as these will (usually) load faster than the .PNG version, while keeping all the cool features like transparencies and preserving hard edges.
What are the examples of the most optimized websites (loading super quickly)?
Answer: www.unkar.org is the current fastest loading site on the web according to Gtmetrix.com data.
You can check the quickest 1000 sites at https://gtmetrix.com/top1000.html. Click on “Total Time” to see the fastest sites. Some of the quickest loading known sites are,
Orkut.com (load time: 0.4s)
Bing.com (load time: 0.4s)
Limewire.com (load time: 0.2s)
Ikea.com (load time: 0.3s)
Fedex.com (load time: 0.5s)
Staples.com (load time: 0.6s)
Megavideo.com (load time: 0.6s)
Webcrawler.com (load time: 0.6s)
Megaupload.com (load time: 0.6s)
How much does website page speed optimization usually cost? Price ranges, etc.
Answer: Fixed price services range from $40 to $550 to optimize speed of a website. There are per hour services range from $10 to $60 an hour. Fixed priced services are only meant for smaller sites.
Upwork Marketplace- Website optimization by professional freelancers from $10 to $60 an hour.
Onlinemediamasters.com- webpage optimization service for $25 an hour.
Galaxyweblinks.com- webpage speed service from $50 an hour.
Tidycustoms.net- Speed optimization for $199
Envato Marketplace- Speed optimization from $40 to $250 by different providers.