Build Web Performance Into Your DNA

23rd January 2018

Web performance should be high on the list of priorities for a website manager or business, but why is it paramount to have a speedy website? Website performance matters. Poor web performance has serious implications on the customer experience, conversion rates, and search engine rankings, therefore, it makes sense to prioritise measurement of performance regularly.

The loading speed of a website is unquestionably important in determining the experience that the user has, but the performance of the website impacts on other sectors.

What does web performance affect?

Poor web performance affects site performance, mobile performance, conversion rates, marketing campaigns and ROI, and search engine rankings. It’s imperative to consider the buying journey from your customers perspective analysing each moment, page, and section.

Site Performance

Site performance can make or break your website as delays impact the customer experience instantly. If your website takes even an extra second to load, you’ll lose that potential customer. Unfortunately, this means that no matter how amazing your content is, it can’t help you here as your potential customer has bounced before your website has even loaded.

Imagery is important today and large images can load very slowly – make sure they are compressed before uploaded.  We always recommend either TinyPNG or JPEGMini – both are great tools, simple to use, and either free for limited use or cheap for larger bulk processing. We can also perform server-based optimisation on upload depending on your web platform (Magento / WordPress) or hosting provider.

Mobile Experience

Your website looks awesome and is performing well, but have you checked out the mobile experience? What looks great on desktop won’t necessarily perform well on mobile. In February 2016, IMRG found that smartphones and tablets accounted for 51% of UK online retail sales. So, when you’re bigging up your websites performance, It’s important to remember that mobile responsiveness matters too.

Conversion Rates

You’ve captured the attention of that visitor, they’re ready to buy your product, they are enjoying the experience thus far; until they reach checkout. If your site performance lags at the point of checkout: that almost-customer is going to run a mile, very quickly.

Marketing Campaigns

Site speed costs. If your website takes too long to load you’ll spend more on marketing campaigns. Lower performing websites reduce your ads ‘quality score’, which means higher costs and lower return on investment.

Rankings and Indexation

Search engines can stop crawling a website that loads slowly. They can even remove your website completely in SERP (search engine results page). It doesn’t matter how much you spend on optimising content and ads: your website will rank lower and lower in search results. You can even be penalised by Google.

“40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.”

- Kissmetrics

What about your customers?

Whether your website is currently converting or not, if website performance is poor, it’s likely that you’re losing a scary number of customers. Kissmetrics reported that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. If you want to take advantage of a greater market share of potential customers, then delivering a speedy response to begin a positive buying journey is crucial.

“A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.”

- Kissmetrics

Running a business successfully takes plenty of hard work. You’ve got the brand, an awesome logo, a genuinely great product, and a website; but it’s a bit slow. Unfortunately for you, your website being ‘a bit slow’ means that you’re losing customers. A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.

Technology today means no one is waiting around for a website to catch up with them. Poor website performance is frustrating, and it’s unprofessional. Customers need to trust you know what you’re doing and, as they are looking to your website for their purchase, your website should portray this.

How can you build performance into your DNA?

Browsers can load a handful of things at a time and every click counts. There are countless ways in which you can boost the performance of your website. The foremost would be front-end performance, and web-server and server-side scripting optimisation:

  • Lower HTTP requests by combing CSS and JavaScript

  • Reduce file size by saving images in the correct format (this is a must and simple fix)

  • Reduce file sizes using server-side compression

  • Use a third party website to offload features on website

  • Use as few as possible external links as this will reduce the load time

  • Regularly monitor the performance of the website

So, now you know exactly how to build web performance from the offset; you’re good to go.

There are many methods and tools that can help you optimise your website’s performance. As a starting point, here are some tools that we can recommend for basic and regular testing. These tools provide recommendations based on any issues identified, so you don’t need to be a techie to use them:

At LogicSpot, when we start working with clients we initially do a Website Audit which covers the following areas:

  • Front-end website – speed of key pages, HTML, CSS, general site performance, error pages, image usage/optimisation.

  • Code – PHP issues, Magento issues, core code changes, extensions used

  • Performance and security – caching, indexing

  • SEO – GA review, landing pages, converters, channel split, keywords, device

  • Hosting – review your current hosting provider, hosting stack and usage

Speed optimisation is an invaluable investment, make sure you make it a priority!

Other sources we recommend if you want to read more on this topic:

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