Why is great web performance important?

Speed, speed, speed. We all want everything to be faster. This is why our internet connections, web browsers, mobile phones and computers are getting faster. Speed is also something that’s mentioned at the top of any product description. Unfortunately studies reveal that websites are getting bigger and slower.

This is something we have to deal with, because our visitors expect a fast web experience and if we look at the expectations over time, it’s clear that users are getting more and more impatient.

1960’s – 10 seconds (source)

2006 – 4 seconds (source)

2009 – 2 seconds (source)

2013 – 1 second (source)

Studies from 2013 show that page-load time was required to be less than 1 second. If the page-load is higher than 1 second, the visitors will start leaving your website and go to a competitor’s site.

A normal reaction to a poor performing website: “If nobody complains about the web performance, the budget should be spent on things like marketing and design”

That is a common phrase in companies, however visitors rarely complain about poor performance on a website – they just leave and go to another and faster site. It’s only a few hundreds of milliseconds, which can make a huge difference. Waiting time gives your visitors time to switch to another activity, mindset or worse; to a competitor’s website. There has been made several studies showing the impact of web performance on key business metrics. Here follows a few of them:

  • 1 second of load time increase would result in $ 1.6 billion revenues loss for Amazon (source)
  • Just 1 second delay in page-load can cause 7% loss in customer conversions (source)
  • 0.5 second of additional response time would result in 20% less searches for Google (source)
  • Performance optimization on an e-commerce site can result in a 13% increase in revenue (source)
  • reduced page-load, which also reduced bandwidth requirements by 43% and the database CPU usage by 75%. This increased the number of concurrent users ceiling by 300 % (source)
  • Amazon website goes down for 40 minutes, costing the company $5 million (source)
  • Google takes performance into account in its PageRank algorithm (source)

A common response to this would be: “But these studies concern huge companies, which does not correlate to our business.” In response to this, we will now list more reasons to why you should spend resources on improving the web performance of your website.

Ad and E-mail campaigns on the website requires great web performance to succeed

Imagine a campaign you have worked on for a long time and your audience loves it so much,  the traffic the campaign generates makes the sites unavailable or page-loads very long. How many visitors do you think you just lost?

Good ad and e-mail campaigns generate a lot of traffic to your website, however efficient ad and email campaigns generate conversion and retention. If the traffic generated by your campaigns negatively impacks your website’s performance, the bounce rate will increase while pageviews, conversion rate and average cart size will decrease.

Mobile websites can no longer be ignored. We have to take action and improve the mobile web experience

The mobile network is a huge bottleneck and you need to design your application correctly, to prevent bad performance on your mobile site or application. With studies revealing that mobile traffic is a key to growth and will exceed the desktop traffic, the need to have a good performing mobile website has never been more important.

Unfortunately, the best practices for improving performance that we have implemented on desktop sites, do not always translate to mobile sites. In some cases these best practices can even make the performance of mobile site worse. Optimizing web performance on mobile devices require a technology built to simulate different devices, viewport dimensions, browsers, and connection limitations. Something that instant@larm is able to do.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

To maintain the high quality of Google’s search algorithm, search bots must crawl billions of pages each day. The more pages these bots crawl on your website, the more keywords will lead to your website and then your website will rank higher in the search results on Google. However, the problem is that these search bots have limited resources. Depending on your domain rank, the bots spend a certain amount of time on your website. As a result, the faster you feed the bots, the more pages they will crawl.

Do you have international visitors? Then they probably have a very different view of the performance of your website

Your company is successful in its own country and aims to expand worldwide. Resources have been spent in market studies, local team recruitments, website translation and marketing. However, conversion rates are much lower worldwide, compared to your own country.

In these cases the reason for the low conversion rate is most likley because of poor web performance in foreign countries, which is a due to high latency. Latency is the time it takes to transport the data from a webserver to the visitor’s browser. This latency has a huge impact on the page-load which can increase page-load by several seconds, if the data has to been transported over longer geographic distances.

In most cases, the solution to the problem is a Content Delivery Network (CDN) service. However, there is huge performance differences between the service providers of CDN services and you will need a performance monitoring service such as instant@larm to make sure the performance of your chosen CDN network satisfying.