A business site’s conversion rate is the percentage of users who take a desired action. Conversion rates are directly related to how much revenue your site generates. Page speed has a massive impact on your customers’ behaviour.

Think about your own experiences in product searching. Have you ever come across a site that advertises exactly the pair of shoes you are after, only to find that the website takes upwards of five seconds to load? It may not sound like much, but in a rapid-paced digital era where convenience is key, this can easily be the difference between making a sale or not.

What is A Website’s Conversion Rate?

In web terms, a user converts when they complete an action that the webpage designers wanted them to take. For example, on an eCommerce page selling camping gear, a user converts when they decide to purchase a tent and click on the “buy now” button. A customer does not have to purchase something for it to be a conversion, however, as a business site can have a variety of purposes. Other examples of user conversions including answering survey questions, submitting a contact form or simply clicking through to the next page on your site.

The conversion rate is the percentage of total users who visit your website and convert. If 100 customers visit the camping gear website, and 2 users select the “buy now” button to purchase a tent, then the conversion rate is 2 per cent. Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the practice of making this number as high as possible. Conversion rate is an ongoing, perpetual process, because unless a site’s conversion rate is 100 per cent, which is typically unlikely, it can always be optimised.

Conversion Rate & Page Traffic

Conversion rate is a different measurement to total traffic, or number of page visitors. If a site’s conversion rate declines, the total user number converting declines even if the traffic remains the exact same. Conversely, if a site’s traffic remains the same but the conversion rate increases, the total conversion number will increase.

How Does Website Speed Affect Your Conversion Rate?

Site performance has a large, measurable effect on business conversion rates. Studies consistently indicate that fast page speed will result in higher conversion rates. Simply put, the faster the site loads, the more likely a customer is to perform the website’s targeted action.

Conversion Rates & Page Load Times

How quickly do people expect a website to load? 47 per cent of consumers think a website should load in less than two seconds, according to skilled.co. The same company also found the following:

  • Pages that loaded in 2.4 seconds had a conversion rate of 1.9 per cent.
  • At 3.3 seconds, pages had a conversion rate of 1.5 per cent.
  • At 4.2 seconds, pages had a conversion rate of less than 1 per cent.
  • At 5.7+ seconds, pages had a conversion rate of 0.6 per cent.

Other companies found similar results.

  • American retailer Walmart found that for every one second improvement in page load time, conversions increased by 2 per cent.
  • COOK saw a 7 per cent increased conversion rate after reducing page load time by 0.85 seconds.
  • Mobify found that each 100ms improvement in their homepage’s load speed resulted in a 1.11 per cent conversion increase.

These ostensibly small conversion increases have a massive impact on how much revenue a business site generates. If a business site generates 10 million dollars in sales each year, and if the conversion rate goes up by 2 per cent after the website’s load time improves by one second, that’s a massive $200,000 revenue increase.

What Other Factors Affect Conversion Rate?

Conversion rate is also largely affected by page layout, page design, text and images on the page and more. If a page visitor is unsure of what action they should take next, or if they are presented with too many options, they may choose to leave the page. Aside from these issues, site speed optimisation should improve conversion rates even if the site still has other aspects that require optimisation.

Website Speed, SEO & Conversion Rate

Page speed affects both SEO and conversion rate. Therefore, improving it can help increase both a page’s conversion rate and total traffic. In a world becoming more influenced by fast-paced technology, where a user can find themselves visiting a number of pages in a single minute, it’s important for your website to be leading the site speed race.

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