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Marketing Top Tip Battle!

Website conversion drops to half if your page takes 5 seconds to load

Website speed is massively important to conversion rates.

Go here https://moz.com/ugc/why-site-speed-optimisation-should-be-part-of-your-seo-strategy and scroll down to the bar chart with the orange background showing conversions on the Walmart website, and the Tagman graph underneath.

Between them, they are saying a page load of 1-3 seconds is OK, people will remain calm and all will be well.

Make them wait 5 seconds though, and ALMOST HALF of your audience is gone.

So you can write the cutest headlines in the business but if your page doesn't load fast, you're shot.

This is hugely important. Imagine you are buying visits at 10p each through Pay Per Click ads, and 1 in 50 people buy, so your cost per sale is £5. If your load time is 5s and you can get it down to 2.5/ or 3s, you could get that cost per sale down to £2.50!

That's not all: Google will rank you lower if your page is slow. So with a slow website you are in double trouble with low traffic and low conversion.

Check your website! Here's where to do that http://www.webpagetest.org/ (note, choose your nearest location too).

When it's done, it will show you a table. You are looking firstly at the first byte load speed, which is telling you something about how fast your server is. I'm working on a site now with a figure of 0.463s (under a second is probably OK).

The next figure to check is your Document Complete time. My one is 7.449s, which is clearly way too long so I've got some work to do. The main culprit is image size, it looks like they need more compression. Document Complete is when the web browser receives the end of the HTML (web page language) and it can start to decide how to lay out the page. Until it's received the whole page structure it can't start to draw the page so until then, the screen is blank.

But then within the page and while the browser is laying things out on the screen, there might be images or other content that needs to be loaded, so the final figure to look for is the Fully Loaded time, which for me is 10.366s. Clearly way too long.

A specific (and very technical) to-do list is provided by Google here https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights, and it gives you a speed score for desktop and mobile versions of your website. The one I'm testing is 36 & 38/100 so definitely room for improvement.

So, check your website load speed and if it's more than 2-3 seconds .. seriously, do something about it. Talk to your web developer or talk to me.

Just a last thought. It's worse than that article says because those figures are from 2012. What's happened since then? We've all become that much less patient and we're all using the web on mobile devices over sometimes even slower connections. Slower connections need leaner websites.
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Who is A Million Tweaks?

John Allsopp

Hi, I'm John Allsopp and I founded A Million Tweaks in 2009 to do just what it says, continually improve marketing systems.

Nowadays I'm still just as hungry to learn the latest and most effective marketing techniques in what is an incredibly fast moving world. Basically I buy all the training courses so you don't have to.

Actually that's not an insignificant thing. Back in the day I got a first in my degree (Internet Computing) because I did the work, obviously, but also because I studied well and that means taking information from different sources and mixing things up to find the truth in the middle, and I still do that today. I remember waking up one Sunday, switching on the wooden, push button TV we had next to the bed and Tony Buzan came on with his mind maps .. it's still how I study now.

There used to be a very popular service that read all the business books and summarised them for busy executives. I'm not sure if that's still going, but this service is like a modern equivalent, except we'll actually do the work for you too if you like.

In marketing, however, there is an absolute truth: the result. It's often more effort to talk about marketing improvements than to enact them. Don't talk: test. If it works it works. So A Million Tweaks is about making small, low risk changes every day and iterating our way to your fame and fortune.

Anyway, I was supposed to be introducing myself in this box. I live in Scarborough with my partner (who has ME/CFS). I'm 6'6" tall which I think makes me an observer. I drum in a ska band (come see us it's a great night) :-)

If you want to get in touch there's 07762 941921 but best for me is email john@johnallsopp.co.uk or hook up with me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Even better, fill out the form on this page and let's get talking about how we can apply some of these marketing improvements to your business, it's no good left stuck in my head now, is it?