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PAGE LOAD SPEED: In the world of online shopping, one or two seconds can make or break an eCommerce website.  If you think the little bit of extra time it takes for your web page to load is inconsequential, you should stop and think again.

Page load time is vital to a visitors’ experience on your website.

If your landing page takes too long to load, many potential customers won’t wait long enough to have any type of user experience (UX) at all. Keeping your pages loading quickly is an integral part of your conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy, but many webmasters see it as a separate issue.

It is not.

An Amazon study showed a 1% decrease in sales for every 0.1-second decrease in response times (Kohavi and Longbotham 2007). And according to studies by the Aberdeen Research Group, the average impact of a 1-second delay meant a 7% reduction in conversions.

page load speed chart

Typical results from the Gmetrix page load speed tool

The Psychology Behind Page Load Speeds

Slow web pages return a decrease in both perceived credibility and site quality by viewers (Bouch, Kuchinsky, and Bhatti 2000). Keep your page load times below tolerable attention thresholds, and users will experience less frustration, lower blood pressure, deeper flow states, higher conversion rates (Akamai 2007), and lower bailout rates (Nielsen 2000).

As a website owner, you may feel that your site holds enough quality that a few seconds of load delay won’t deter your visitors.  The reality is, your potential visitors have hundreds of websites to choose from. When one site slows them down – they are quickly on the way to the next.

page load speed readout

Test Your Website’s Load Performance

To find out how fast your website pages are currently loading, try gtmetrix.com. The site presents a free and easy to understand user interface that will tell you how fast your site is loading. Gtmetrix.com also has a re-test that reveals how efficiently your website loads on the second visit.

That is critical.

After someone first loads your website, the downloaded information should be cached in order to deliver quicker page load speeds on repeat visits.

Are you comfortable with a 7-second load? Ideally, your site should be fully operational within 2 seconds … on the first visit … and within 1 second on the second visit.

pingdom page load speed results

Same site: Pingdom page load speed results

Solving Slow Page Load Issues

Test your URL with both Gtmetrix and Pingdom Tools. Compare the results. Both will provide ideas about how to proceed. If you are unsure, though, you will need to get help.

Trying to fix problems on the back-end, when you aren’t sure what you are doing, can lead to catastrophe. Download the results of your crawls and show them to someone with experience. If the quote you get for a fix is too high, try someone else.

Do what you have to do to get help, then pay attention to the repair and be sure to get a log of actions taken … just in case there are troubles down the road.

Since page load speed is such a vital part of your conversion strategy, failing to address problems in page load time can stop you from being successful with your online marketing.

By  doing what it takes to shave even a few seconds off your page load speed, though, you could boost conversions and add considerable girth to your bottom line.

Find out more about how to page load speed and its effect on your Conversion Rates. Call 888-659-2680 for a no cost, no obligation initial consultation with the Conversion Max team.

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Marie Dean

Marie Dean has spent the last 10 years enthralled in user research studies and implementing the statistics found into creating better website user experiences. Starting in the field in 2003 with her own ecommerce website, she believes that leaving money on the table is never an option and guides businesses in lifting their conversion rates. She speciallizes in shopping cart optimization and reducing cart abandonment.

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