How website speed improves conversion rates?

By: Keshav Pandey, Jul 18th, 2019 # PWA # SEO and Marketing

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By the time your mobile page completely loads, a bee would flap its wings for over 5,940 individual times; Coca Cola would sell 2,29,900 soft drink cans; 9,196 Kit-Kat fingers would get eaten; the earth population would surge by 132; over 9,02,000 Facebook posts would get uploaded; more than 2 million chemical reactions would take place within your body; and the most interesting of all— Bill Gates would earn more than 5500 dollars.

When there’s so much productivity across the globe, where are you in the picture?

A year and a half ago, Google said that our mobile landing page takes about an average of 22 seconds to load fully.

Here’s the good news. 

The average page load time has reduced by 25%, i.e., it takes seven fewer seconds now to access the fully-loaded page.

But the bad news is— we still have to wait for 15 long seconds for a page to give a complete view of itself.

It seems that we have been taking the phrase “slow and steady wins the race” quite literally.

But trust me! The page load speed of your website completely falsifies the phrase— because your competitors are not those fast-running, long-eared hares who’d sleep just when you struggle to even match the quarter of their speed.

We have been taught a wrong philosophy throughout our upbringings— the tortoise didn’t win by its capabilities but by the mistake of the hare.

So, don’t wait for your contemporaries to make mistakes so that you can glide ahead because that is not happening at all.

They don’t believe in altruism as they don’t bear the concept “Oh, my competitor is a gliding tortoise; let’s wait for him.”

Instead, they are brutal— brutally fast, brutally cunning, and relentlessly adapting.

Rolling ten years back

Let’s take a quick sneak peek at some of the decades-old statistics which demand you to be faster— because— because things get dealt in seconds and milliseconds, and if you don’t acknowledge the value of milliseconds, you’d have a tough time in satisfying your customers.

  • Amazon researched the impact of page load time on its sales, and it came up with an unbelievable anecdote. Dampening the page load time by a mere second could cost Amazon $1.6 billion in sales. Furthermore, a 100-millisecond delay may cost Amazon 1% of the conversion drop.
  • Similarly, Google found out that slowing the search result by two/fifth of a second may affect as close as 8 million researches. The other consequence showed that delaying the page by half a second shrunk the page traffic by 20%.
  • Even online brokers understand the value of every millisecond. If the electronic trading dais lags five milliseconds from the competition’s platform, the broker could 1% of the revenue, which roughly translates into $4 million per millisecond. If the latency goes up to 10 milliseconds, the revenue may drop by ten massive percentages. The situation aggravates when the page load time is slow by 100 milliseconds in comparison to the fastest page. The broker may involuntarily turn into a floor broker.

The reason why giants like Apple, Google, or Amazon fix their slow page loading is that they understand the relationship between the speed of the page and user-satisfaction, and it’s why they come up with the renewed fast page loading tricks now and then.

Moving forward till today

Today, your website needs three necessary elements— great ambience with the abundance of data, user-friendly pages, and quick performance.

The only problem is— when you work on the two, you are compelled to compromise with the third one.

When you make an interactive and easy to use website, the performance dips; when you make an easy to use and quick to load the site, your ambience suffers.

Ultimately, you are a loser, and you got to find the central theme where you can cut the cake and eat it too.

Let’s go through some of the latest page-load facts which confirm that latency is not an option anymore— you have to be fast when it comes to converting your clients.

A 2017 Akamai study revealed that

  • More than 50% of the consumers browse for products and services through their smartphones; however, only 20% of the surfers complete the purchase cycle using the same devices.
  • When the page load speed lags by one/tenth of the second, the conversion rate may dip by 7%.
  • When the page loads two-second after the anticipated time, the bounce rate of the customers from the first page goes up to 103%.
  • 53 in every 100 mobile site visitors will abandon the page if it takes more than three seconds to give the complete view of the website.

The key takeaways from the same study

  1. As mentioned above, Amazon believed that a latency of 100 ms might dwindle its sales by 1%. Cometh this decade; Akamai reflects that the same latency period may reduce the conversion by 7%. That’s a 6% dip in the sale than what Amazon expected a decade ago.
  2. The things are getting reasonably tough for online retailers as website performance, and user-satisfaction become the critical indicators for e-commerce success.

A 2018 Google study disclosed that

  • It took around 5 seconds for the visual content (above the fold) to get uploaded on the screen for every 7 out of 10 mobile pages. 
  • The same mobile landing pages took 7 seconds to display all the visual content above and below the fold.
  • When the page load time gets delayed by one to three seconds, the bounce rate may jump by 32%.
  • When the page load time goes from one to five seconds, the bounce rate may elevate by 90%.
  • When the page takes anything between one second to six seconds to load, the bounce rate may grow by 106%.
  • And if your page is slow by ten seconds, the probability of bouncing off swells by 123%.

Note: “Above the fold” term has been derived from the newspaper where the essential content gets placed on the first page and upper half of the fold. When it comes to the online web pages, above the fold means the landing page which you get to see without scrolling down.

Steps taken by Google

  1. A decade ago, people slowly began to realize the vitality of page load time, and e-commerce retailers had a hundred different options to rank their pages; however, Google has prioritized page speed to rank the mobile websites. It propels the webmasters to create fast-loading web pages. Google is someone who’d never tolerate your slow web-pages because it wants its searchers to have a seamless and quick experience. If you don’t comply with the page load speed, your website may slip into oblivion.
  2. It’s not that Google cares just about its searchers and not you. It doesn’t want you to lag. Thus, it has devised a tool which gives you the complete insight of your website, and suggestions regarding the page optimization. The report briefs about whether you have to go for image compression, minifying resources, avoiding landing page redirects, and many more.

Is page latency an option?

With such significant analysis and statistics, the answer is no.

Latency is the mother of performance and the father of interactivity.

With slow latency, your customers are to desert you and land on your competitor’s page.

Furthermore, could you think of reaping real-time data and catering dynamic pricing systems with slow page load time?

Again, it’s a big no-no.

Whatever you do with your brand, it enhances the user experience.

Whether you want to make your website interactive, or you desire your page to run fast— whatever you do— remember— whatever you do contributes to the user experience.

With page load time affecting the conversion rate, user experience, and even SEO rankings of your page, you can’t afford to neglect the low-latency system which equally performs better.

How fast should your page load in 2019?

As stats suggest that anything beyond three seconds repel your customers, your target should be three seconds.

But as we have gotten into 2019, why not beat the expectations of our customers by displaying web pages in 2 or even fewer seconds?

Helping page load speed with Progressive Web Applications (PWAs)

The bottom line is crystal clear— “if we fail to give Google the ‘acceptable’ page response time, our website rankings are bound to plummet down.”

For any e-commerce who don’t abide by the rules of Google may get a significant punching on their organic customer-base, and that could potentially cost millions and billions.

So, keeping pace with your favorite search engine is not easy; however, you have no option than to

  • Literally, optimize your web pages so that your page load time cuts into the list.
  • Switching your website to Progressive Web Application.

You’ll have to bear the excruciating pain of high budget and time if you ever wish to take PWA path; however, the wait and the expense is worth every bit.

Boosting your page response time with PWAs

History has witnessed a lot of powerful technology which comes without the assistance of the marketing department.

The technology stays among us, gets developed at the peripheries, become an old-cloth to a “little bunch of technocrats,” and continue to remain almost unidentifiable to everyone until someone all of a sudden names it.

Progressive Web Apps are something of these kinds.

They are those web applications which primarily get designed considering the user-experience and page load time.

They are not available or deployed through mobile stores; instead, they are the websites which have got the right nutrients at the right time. 

The right vitamins and nutrients, make sure that we get the immersive “appy” feeling from these progressive web apps which aren’t apps but websites.

They use a fantastic architectural approach called the App Shell Model— the model which uses specific protocols to up the speed of the web pages.

  • They follow a different delivery protocol altogether.
  • They cache data onto the user’s devices such as smartphones and tablets.
  • They don’t care about your network conditions (they work offline too)

PWAs not only keep you on the driver’s seat for adjusting your page load time, but it also magnifies user-experience by a series of other advantages.

  • Offline transactions
  • Push notifications
  • Phenomenal improvement of page response times (PWAs load 300% quicker on mobile devices)
  • Better security features
  • Payment information stashed on the device
  • Identity information stashed on the device

There’s a possibility that Progressive Web Applications may critically give higher user-experience than the original web applications.

Here are a few examples.

  1. There’s a sizable amount of audience who prefers website over web applications. The messages like “you are using an older version of the website, download our latest application” may frustrate a lot of users. In such cases, PWAs could just be the ideal thing to control our frustration. They might give the immersive feeling to the users without having them to migrate to the store or web application.
  2. When the customers use the Progressive Application for two to three times, the browser gets to know your frequented applications. The browser prompts the shortcut of PWAs, and it’s entirely on the users to keep them on the homepage of the device. These apps blend into the dashboard environment of the devices and work pretty similar to the original applications.

The Future of Progressive Web Applications

There’s a whole lot of webmasters who have been abandoning the web to build immersive user experience and faster page response time; they have been resorting to more three-dimensional web-applications by giving up the web.

But with Progressive Web Applications, we don’t really need to give up our websites or mobile pages.

In fact, they help us design better experiences across multiple devices, where we have to gain a deeper understanding of the technology.

Seeking the alternative

We empathize with your budget, and we know PWAs are going to cost you too much; however, if you want an alternative way to enhance your page load time, you should optimize your page.

If your business or e-commerce operates on platforms like Spree or Magento, you have the downright control of the backend where you host your servers; but if your business is on Shopify, the front end of your webpage gets controlled by the platform whereas backend is entirely encrypted. So, you have very little things to do with your page speed, thereby, pressing you to use Progressive Web Apps for faster page load.

The inference

It’s a positive step when you upgrade your website with the alternative means, i.e., optimizing your page in and out; however, there’s no guarantee that the webpage would meet the “requisites” of Google.

There’s a possibility that you might end up spending a lot while modifying your website followed by no good results.

Google has accepted that it loves PWAs, and if you get one— you will rank good.