FACT: The speed at which a page loads is directly proportional to both customer satisfaction and conversion rate.
In 2006 Google did a comparison test to show 30 results per page instead of 10. Traffic and revenue dropped by 20% despite being a change people had requested. Why was this the case? It took an additional 0.5 seconds to render the page. Speed matters.
Google knows a lot about customer browsing behavior. They know how fast a site loads versus how long a person stays on the site. They even take it into account when ranking your website for keywords. The longer a person stays on your site the better. The longer it takes to show them the content, the faster they jump ship. Late last year
Google released the Chrome web browser for Windows as an attempt to speed things up on the visitor’s end. It worked very well and lit quite a fire under web browser developers. Safari 3, Firefox 3 and IE 8 have all seen improvements in speed because of it.
The new Safari 4 beta for Mac however, has set a new bar. It’s faster than any other browser we’ve ever used. It loads MSN.com some 8 times faster than IE 7.
What You Can Do to Speed Up Your Web Site
Since most people aren’t using Safari 4 and are using IE 6 or 7, here are some ways to speed up your site.
- Make your images smaller through optimizing file size.
- Only load what you need on a page. File sizes add up quick to slow you down.
- Make sure your HTTP headers are setup to allow client side caching of images and scripts. This helps on future page loads.Cache your database driven pages as rendered HTML files. We use the wp-cache or wp-supercache plugin on every WordPress site we build and custom caching solutions in frameworks like Ruby on Rails.
Even with the best keywords, landing page design, content and offer your conversions will suffer due to slow load times. We can help. Just give us a call.