The Things that Matter in Page Load Speed

The Things that Matter in Page Load Speed

Fact: for a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 40% of your visitors will abandon that site and 80% of them will not return. Improving the speed should be high on your priority list and it does not need to be complicated. Most consultants can get most front-end done in a day. Make it your priority, even before optimizing conversion with A/B testing software like ours.

Speed Increases Conversions

Conversion is the next thing you should look at. If say, you do a search on Google on different studies that focus on the impact of site speed on conversion, you’re sure to run into lots of them. They have slightly different variations to them but they all lead to the same conclusion: for every second that is added onto your load time, there is an actual loss in conversion. Do you know what the average percent loss-per-second is? 7%! That’s right, seven percent!

What this basically means is that for every second you’re adding to your load time, you can round off this figure to 10% loss in conversion. Thus, from a conversion perspective, those additional seconds packed on the case load time are expensive, and sometimes they can prove to be really expensive.

Improve Engagement

Engagement can mean many different things for many marketers, but in this presentation it was interpreted to mean how happy people are on your site, how many pages they are looking at, and how long they stay on the site.

We all want people to be engaged with our site and take the actions we would like them to. So, for every second that a response time is longer, you’ll get 11% fewer page views, plus a 15% loss in customer satisfaction. In other words, the longer it takes the page to load, the unhappier people become and the less likely they are to keep clicking around and finding out more because it’s a not a good experience for them.

40% of online shoppers feel that the most influential factor for them to revisit a website is whether or not that site loads quickly. People do remember this. If that experience was an unpleasant one for them, count them gone. They’ll go to the other site instead.

Let’s take an example, shall we?

Shopzilla has a landing page where they improve their site speed, particularly on their landing pages by 5 seconds, which is a really huge improvement. From a slow 6 seconds load time to the 1 second they managed to achieve is extremely fast. So, what was the result you may be curious? After increasing the load speed by 5 seconds, they found that they had doubled their SEM visit, and increased their conversions by 60%!

It proved to be a massive hit especially for their paid campaign, since paid traffic is bound to be more fickle and harder to keep a hold on than organic traffic. So, if you have a slow page and you’re pushing paid traffic for that slow page, it’s like you’re wasting money to double time. As such, if it’s paid campaigns you’re running and are looking to prioritize what pages on your site to speed up, always ensure to start with the paid search landing pages first and foremost.

When a site is optimized for speed and loads in at a 2-3-second window, generally you’ll find the bounce rates to be lower by 5%-10%, which is a significant bounce rate. You also find that the time on the site is increased by at least 30%. And for some site routine, it even goes further than that to 40% or 50%.

Then you have the golden number we all look for – conversion rate – which is increased by at least 30%. You have to admit that this is a significant percentage increase. And don’t misunderstand this to mean that the conversion rate is increased to 30%; it’s the rate itself that increases by 30% which is a considerable rate for a conversion marketer.

So, if you notice your site is slower than you would want it to be and is not in the 3-5-second category, or even at the 6-second one, do not get demoralized. Rather, take it as a fantastic opportunity to speed it up and make a real impact on your conversion rate.

Increase 7% Revenue by Improving Site Speed

Revenue numbers are a bit difficult to mix up with the other data. A 7% loss per second in conversion, for example, means that for every additional second it takes your site to load, there is a corresponding loss in actual revenue.

Assuming your site has an annual revenue of $2,000,000 a year, a 1-second slower could interpret to $140,000 for a single year alone. So, if your site makes that much amount of money a year, a single second delay could have a real negative impact on your bottom line.

To see the entire webinar, click here.

Originally published June 24, 2014 - Updated July 17, 2014
Dennis van der Heijden
Co-founder and CEO of, Dennis is a passionate community builder and out of the box thinker. He spends his time innovating to make Convert Experiences better. Learn about his journey as an entrepreneur and leader on the SaaS Club podcast.
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