Site speed seems like a strange thing to worry about, right? But the speed of your site affects every metric you care about.
Bounce rate. Search ranking. Conversion. Page views. Reader satisfaction. Even revenue (otherwise known as money in your bank account).
Really? Site speed impacts conversion rates?
Chad Summerhill, Manager of Digital Marketing at U-Pack, recently explained how their web team buckled down on site speed in 2011 as a major site-wide performance improvement initiative.
Chad said they “revamped code, optimized images, etc. to give our web pages a diet — and we’ve seen real improvements in site speed.”
What they didn’t plan on, however, was this: lowering page load time led to a dramatic rise in conversion rates across the site.
They’d already formed the excellent habit of tracking their website’s overall conversion rate. So they know a dramatic push of the needle when they see one. And a 15% increase in overall conversion made them do a happy dance.
Was speed behind this conversion boost? Their digging demonstrated it was a huge contributor. Their organic pages got the bulk of the benefit.
Think about it.
According to Akamai, the leading CDN service provider, today 30% of site visitors expect a page to load in one second or less, while 18% expect a page to load instantaneously.
Mobile speed matters too
A lot of smartphone and tablet users expect websites on their mobile devices to load even faster than they would on a desktop. 85% of mobile users expect pages to load as fast as or even faster than they load on the desktop. Unfortunately, performance on mobile often falls short of consumer expectations.
A KISSmetrics report found that 73% of mobile users say they have encountered a website that was too slow to load. This problem pushes smartphone users to other sites that load faster on their mobile phones.
To get around this problem, it is important to ensure that your site speed is maintained irrespective of the device being used.
Best practices to keep your site speed fast
Here’s an infographic from our friends over at SingleHop that highlight best practices for a fast website on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. (HubSpot users, be sure to read more below this infographic to see how this impacts you!)
(click for larger view)
Website speed is crucial for developing the best user experience. When it comes to page-load optimization, every kilobyte counts. Your website speed impacts your conversion rate, your visitor experience, and ultimately your revenue. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce load times – like utilizing a CDN, reorganizing your website structure, and hosting your website on scalable, managed infrastructure.
If you site is NOT hosted on HubSpot, test your site speed and follow the best pracices in this infographic.
HubSpot’s ideal page load time
HubSpot considers the ideal page load speed for your website’s HTML to be less than 1.5 seconds. HubSpot uses a powerful Web Application Accelerator (WAA) by Akamai, that improves dynamic Web-based application response times by up to 5x. Whether you’re across the street or the globe, you get the fast load times.
You can view the page load speed within your HubSpot portal by navigating to Reports > Page Performance > click on a page title. Scroll down to the ‘Page Load’ section.
- If the page load time is less than 1.5 seconds (top 20% of pages on the web), there will be a check-mark indicating no errors with loading the page.
- If the page load time is between 1.5 – 5 seconds , there will be a warning message indicating that the page is not loading at an ideal speed.
- If the page takes longer than 5 seconds, there will be an error message indicating that the page is taking a very long time to load.
If Page Performance is reporting a longer than expected page load time for one of your pages, here are some possible causes.
- Image size: We recommend resizing images offline, before uploading them to a webpage, so that larger images do not need to fully load with a page. Use a photo editing tools (MS Paint, Photoshop, Microsoft Picture Manager, etc) to resize an image to your desired dimensions and then re-add the image to your page.
- Broken links: Page Performance already shows any broken links on a page, resolve these errors to ensure that they do not interfere with page load time.
- Amount of rich content: Avoid adding large amounts of rich content to a single page (ex. multiple images, gifs, embedded videos, etc). Not only will each element need to load and could potentially slow down the page’s load time, but cleaning up the amount of visual content will also improve a user’s experience.
HubSpot pages are are heavier than the web average – but faster than the web average
HubSpot COS pages are pretty big (lots of code) — in fact, they are above the web average in size, at 2.5 MB.
Yet, COS websites outperformed our control sample by a considerable margin. Below is the average COS Time-to-Display and Time-to-Interact metrics (in milliseconds).
Mobile devices are less powerful than desktop computers can struggle to download heavy pages. You ceretainly don’t want your mobile website too slow. With these heavy COS pages, how fast is HubSpot for mobile devices? They have lower start render times and a faster time to display than average website pages.
(Above graphs are from Yotta Benchmarking Report)
Why does all this matter?
Your web visitors want two things: they want a rich, dynamic and engaging user experience, and they want that experience to be fast. In fact:
- 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
- 40% abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load.
- As little as 1 second of delay decreases customer satisfaction by about 16% – every second counts. (Source: Kissmetrics)
Because the COS web pages are so heavy and complex, Hubspot has simply built good performance practices into its software platform. Jeffrey Vocell, Product Marketing Manager at HubSpot give some examples:
- HubSpot utilizes a global Content Delivery Network (CDN) for all customer sites to quickly deliver all static assets.
- The back-end of the COS is build using Java to quickly adapt and scale for frequent traffic increases to customer sites.
- The COS is fully responsive for mobile compatible design. So regardless of your design process, the COS automatically ensures your site is optimized for mobile.
- The COS features automated image compression which retains image quality, but significantly reduces the file size which helps accelerate page loading time.
Site speed is critical. Site speed impacts conversion rates, page views, and reader satisfaction. Run a site speed test with one or more of the tools in the infographic, or view your HubSpot Page Performance report today!
By the way, even with this huge infographic. it takes only 2 seconds to load this entire blog page 🙂