In the present digital marketplace, website speed is a key factor when it comes to driving conversions. As Google strives to provide the best shopping experience for their users, they take loading speed into account when deciding which websites rank higher in the SERP. Therefore, understanding how website speed impacts conversion rates is essential for any ecommerce retailer.
Studies have found that a website’s loading speed has a direct effect on its conversion rate. Five seconds of loading time can result in a 90% increase in bounce rate compared to a page which loads in just one second. Additionally, research has shown that slow online experiences will cause shoppers to be less likely to return to the website and purchase from it again.
With this in mind, Google announced back in 2018 that loading speed would become a significant factor for landing page ranking on Google Ads. This means that website speed has a direct effect on conversion rates as shoppers are more likely to abandon slow pages in favour of quicker ones. Following our own research, we found that every second of faster loading speed results in a 17% increase in conversions.
Choosing your webiste host wisely is the most critical element of website speed (and security). Here at DX3 we are yet to take over hosting of a website, where we haven’t been able to improve speed.
As well as hosting choice there are other things you can do to ensure your loading times are optimised. Images, graphic elements and file types like .png and .jpeg often contribute significantly to the page weight, resulting in longer loading times. Where possible, reduce the amount of images featured on the page and look to use .webp instead of .jpg for a clearer image at a fraction of the file size. Additionally, cascading style sheets (CSS) scripts can become unnecessarily complicated, lengthening the loading time. It can help to move most of the rules to an external file, rather than adding them to each page.
In conclusion, website loading speed has a significant influence on how well your website performs, including the conversion rate. To boost the speed of the page, consider reducing the number of images and look for file types of a smaller size. You may even want to enlist the help of a coding specialist to look at the CSS scripts and any other elements which could be impacting the website speed.
It is also important to regularly review the code of each page to identify any issues that could be impacting its loading speed. This is especially true if your website uses a content management system such as WordPress or Magento. It is recommended to check for any errors, outdated plugins, or unused code that could be reducing the page weight. Additionally, by optimising the code structure, you can make sure the website loads up quickly with no issues.
For larger websites, a CDN (Content Delivery Network) can help reduce loading times. A CDN can serve website content from autonomous servers located around the world. This helps to reduce the load on a single server and improve performance by reducing the distance between the user and the server.
Compressing website resources should also be considered as a way to improve loading times. Compression tools such as Gzip can reduce the size of images, HTML and CSS files, allowing them to be downloaded more quickly. This can result in pages that load substantially faster than before.
Website speed can also be improved by taking advantage of browser caching. Browser caching stores certain elements of webpages, such as images or scripts, on a user’s hard drive after they have visited the website. When they come back to the same page, these stored elements will only need to be downloaded once, resulting in faster page loading times.
It is also important to ensure that your website hosting is reliable and secure, with adequate bandwidth to handle the number of visitors. An unreliable host can lead to frequent “outages” or slow page loading times, resulting in decreased customer satisfaction and conversion rates.
Finally, using a website performance monitoring tool can be a great way to keep track of your website’s loading speed. These tools provide comprehensive data on page load times and how they compare to the industry average, helping you to identify any issues that could be affecting your website performance.
Unsure about the above? Get in touch and we’ll perform a free speed test and advise you.