Can the Speed of a Website Affect Traffic and Conversion?

The short answer is “yes,” page loading speed does have a measurable effect on both website traffic and conversion rates. Studies consistently show that after speeding up page loading speeds,  conversion rates improve. In other words, the quicker your page loads, the more likely your visitor is to perform the desired action on your landing page.

According to one study on page speed vs conversion rates: 

  • 5.7+ seconds →  0.6% Conversion Rate
  • 4.2 seconds → less than 1% Conversion Rate
  • 3.3 seconds →  1.5% Conversion Rate
  • 2.4 seconds →  1.9% Conversion Rate

Page speed is often confused with “site speed” and many will use the terms interchangeably. In reality, page speed measures the load time of a single URL and site speed is the average of a number of URLs on that domain. Page speed can be described as the time it takes to fully display the content on a specific page or how long it takes for your browser to receive the first byte of information from the webserver.

Increasing site speed will improve overall performance, and increasing page speed can improve the performance of a page where you are gathering leads or selling products.

So, how fast does your website need to be in order to convert?

According to a survey by skilled.co, 47% of customers expect a webpage to load in under 2 seconds and Google Search Console metrics seem to indicate that Google considers load times over 3 seconds as “slow.”

What does this mean for you?

Even small increases in page loading times can produce significant results.

  • Walmart increased page load time by 1 second and increased conversions by 2%.
  • Mobify found that a 100ms improvement in their homepage load time-correlated to a 1.11% increase in conversions.

Based on those numbers, if your company normally brings in  $1m in online revenue, just by increasing your website speed by 1%, you could see up to a $20k increase in gross sales.

What is the difference between traffic and conversions?

Website traffic measures the number of people who find and visit your website. In simple terms, people need to find you and then they need to click through to the site. For companies, like nonprofits, or educational sites, you may be more interested in traffic than in conversions. (Although even non-eCommerce sites usually gather leads).

In order to generate more traffic, you need to increase your online visibility. 

Google has stated that site speed (and page loading speed) are signals used by its algorithm to rank pages.  Plus, research done by MOZ seems to indicate that Google measures the time to the first byte as it’s speed indicator.

What does this mean for you?

If you want to rank at the top of the search results, every second is going to count. 

Site Espresso is a service of Effect Web Agency, a boutique web design and development company based in Granger, Indiana. Our company has been helping clients design websites and grow website traffic for 15 years. We are currently the highest rated web agency in Northern Indiana. See what our clients say on our Effect site. You can also check out our reviews on Google. We have a team of 8 web specialists, focused on helping clients achieve real-world goals through their websites.

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