Understanding How Site Speed Impacts Conversion Success

Who doesn’t love fast-loading websites?


In this age where everything moves faster than ever, we’ve all become accustomed to getting what we want instantly. We want our coffee in seconds, our food delivered in minutes, and our websites to load in a snap.


But how much impact does site speed exactly translates on your conversion rate?


Throughout this article, we will explore the impact of site speed on business success and provide insights on how companies can boost their bottom line. We’ll also share some best practices and tips to help you improve your website’s loading time and boost your conversion rates.


Feature image of a male customer who's about to purchase.


How crucial is site speed with your conversion rate

The short answer: Web pages that load in just 1 sec convert 3x more than websites that take longer than 5 secs.


This is based on a recent study by Portent. The study found that when a B2B website took longer than 5 seconds to load, its average conversion rate decreased by 26%. When the loading time was cut down to 1 second, the conversion rate went up by threefold or 39%.


Moreover, the same can also be said for B2C websites. The study found that B2C websites with a site speed of 1 sec convert 2.5x more than slow loading pages that load more than 5 secs.


Both analytics urge the importance of how site speed can make or break your chance of generating revenue, even with just seconds of difference.


But to truly understand the nature of site speed in its role in improving your bottom line, let’s dive even deeper and analyze data from B2C and B2B websites, respectively.


B2B websites: How to increase Goal Conversion

Goal conversion is when a lead completes a specific action set by the website owner. This is common in B2B websites that aim to attract lead info such as contact details, name, business name, email address, etc.


Based on the provided data above, we have observed that B2B sites have a higher rate than B2C or e-commerce sites. This is understandable since B2B lead forms are relatively easier to complete than B2C transactions, where conversion directly equates to making a purchase.


However, it should also be pointed out that the B2B conversion rate declines significantly with each passing second. In the data provided, the average conversion rate is 39% for pages with 1 second load time. However, the conversion rate drops to 34% at a 2-second mark and continues to decline to its minimum at a 6-second page load time.


To improve your conversion rate in B2B, we recommend that your site should have a good page load time, up in 1-3 seconds, and should not go past the 5-second mark.


B2C websites: How to increase transaction conversion

As mentioned, it is generally more difficult to convert in B2C sites than B2B simply because you have to make a sale in B2C to count it as conversion—whereas B2C doesn’t require monetary exchange most of the time.


Regardless, both websites benefit from a quicker site speed, as shown in the study. The average conversion rate for an e-commerce site that loads up in 1 sec is 3.05%. This rate lowers significantly to almost half as the load time goes up to 2 seconds and then continues to decline with each passing second.


With this, it goes without saying that to maximize your B2C conversion rate, you should strive for a 1-2 second loading time whenever possible.


How to optimize site speed and improve conversion rate

Now that we have a clear idea of how fast we want our websites to be, let us discuss the factors and best practices you can apply to improve your site speed and make your website and page load times go up almost instantly.


To get a baseline on your website performance, including site speed and other elements, we recommend that you use Google PageSpeed Insight to run a comprehensive diagnostic on your site.


1. Compress your image files

In the past, page weight was a major factor for site speed and website performance.


This refers to the total amount of data that needs to be transferred from the web server to the browser to load a web page, including text content, image files, scripts, and stylesheets. Image files often take up a large chunk of your average page weight.


Nowadays, however, the technology has improved with tools you can use to compress your image files and downsize your page weight without compromising image quality. Free tools like TinyPG can compress popular file formats, like JPG and PNG, with advanced lossy compression techniques.


You might also want to use the WebP format for your image files. WebP lossless images are 26% smaller in size than PNGs, which would make your pages load faster and improve user interaction and experience.


2. Minimize HTTP requests

Aside from optimizing your images, you should also reduce the number of HTTP requests. When left unattended, your HTTP requests could pile up, causing your website to load slowly as it is busy loading all the files it needs.


Here are some ways you can do that:

  1. Limit JavaScript and CSS files: One way to reduce your HTTP requests is by combining multiple JavaScript and CSS files into one script. This will help keep your site’s total number of HTTP requests down to a minimum and ensure that your page loads quickly with fewer resources from the server.
  2. Implement Lazy Loading: Lazy loading is a technique that delays the loading of certain resources until the user scrolls down to the section of the page where the resource is located. This can help reduce the number of HTTP requests needed to load your website, as resources not initially visible to the user do not need to be loaded immediately.
  3. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): A CDN is a system of distributed servers that deliver webpages and other web content to users based on their geographic location. By using a CDN, you reduce the number of HTTP requests and make sure that your website is served from the nearest server at any given time.
  4. Implement Caching: Not all elements of your website has to be changed from time to time. These include logos, stylesheets, and so on. Caching lets you store static versions of these elements so that your website does not have to fetch them from the server every time a user visits it. This can be done through your CMS setting.


3. Add Etags and expires headers

Etags are small bits of code sent to the browser along with a response from the server, while expires headers define the expiry time of a certain resource.


Both of these techniques, when used together, can significantly speed up your website performance as they reduce the amount of data that needs to be sent over during each request whenever users return to your website.


To add etags and expires headers to a website, you would typically need to modify the server configuration or the code of your website. Remember that it’s important to test and monitor your website after making any changes to ensure that everything is consistent through and through.


This part can get a bit too technical and varies depending on your server type. If you’re not sure how to do this, it’s best to consult a web developer or your hosting provider for assistance.


Final thought

Site speed plays a critical role in the success of your online business. Studies have shown that a mere difference of a few seconds in page load time can significantly impact your conversion rate.


B2B and B2C websites can benefit from a faster site speed, and optimizing site speed requires several best practices, including compressing image files, minimizing HTTP requests, and adding Etags and expires headers.


Following these tips can improve your website’s loading time and boost your bottom line. We hope this article has provided some useful information about optimizing site speed and improving performance.


You may also contact us for more information and guidance on optimizing your website’s load speed. If you have any questions or need additional help, please don’t hesitate to reach out!


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