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How can I Fix my Slow Website?

Phil Haslehurst  |  February 24, 2016

Phil Haslehurst  |  February 24, 2016

        

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How long do you wait for a website to load before you give up and browse elsewhere?

If you're anything like the rest of us, it's not very long. 

The modern consumer is particularly demanding in this area. In fact, a quarter of visitors will abandon a page in less than 4 seconds if it doesn't load - that's according to IT Hosting experts Singlehop

It's a no-brainer, then, that slow loading times are a major obstacle to good conversion rates. If your pages load slowly then visitors disappear to spend their cash elsewhere.

Everyone has a problem with slow-loading pages

We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but it's also very likely that you have a problem with slow loading pages on your own website. How can we say that with confidence? Because it's the case for almost every website. 

There are so many different variables that contribute to load time - the device being used, the strength and speed of the internet connection, the operating system and browser, the dynamic and personalized elements on the page itself... I could go on.

The challenge being for digital marketers and web analysts: how do I know my loading times, and how do I improve them?

There is software that can help you

Here's the sales bit: Decibel Insight collects a lot of data about page loading which enables our users to break down in detail the pages, operating systems and browsers that are prone to slow loading. We even break that loading time down into more granular sub-categories - connection time, download time and render time.

It makes it easier for our users (and their technical teams) to isolate the problems that create slow loading times and fix them.

To illustrate how common slow-loading times are, we looked at the 50 slowest-loading pages from the last 24 hours on a selection of our clients' websites. As expected, we saw a lot of slow loading pages which would cause visitors to abandon. And we saw a significant amount of traffic to those pages too. Here's a chart:

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There's a significant long tail of visitors who experienced slow or very-slow loading times and as a result were far less likely to convert. 60% of the visitors to those slow-loading pages experienced a load time of more than 4 seconds - meaning at least 25% of them would abandon, if not more. 

Fixing slow-loading pages is a quick win for CRO

The point being: slow loading time is something every business could and should be doing better. It's a quick win in terms of conversion rate optimization because it doesn't require any user testing or hypotheses creation or split testing to put into action, and the impact on user experience is immediate. 

So how can you improve your website's slow-loading times? Have a look at this infographic from Singlehop for some helpful tips (click the thumbnail for a full size version):

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What about you?

Do you have a problem with your website's loading time, and what strategies have you employed to try to get a handle on them? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!

Phil Haslehurst

Written on February 24, 2016 by:

Phil Haslehurst

Phil is Head of Marketing at Decibel Insight.

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