In the web era faster means better?
The answer is yes. At least for what is related to our topic. Indeed, today we are talking about page load time: what is it and why is so important that we write an entire post about it?
Page load time indicates the time needed to download and view the whole content of a web page in the browser window. This parameter is also called “page speed” (speed of the page load). Page load time has calculated from the beginning, when you click on a link or type a web address, to the completion, when the page is fully loaded. Is usually measured in seconds and it is formed by two components:
- Network and Server Time: is based on the internet connection speed and on how rapidly static elements as photos are displayed
- Browser time: how long does it take to analyze and execute the entire document and make the page available for the interaction with users
The same web page could have different page load times according to the type of browser used (i.g. Safari vs Internet Explorer), the device (i.g. mobile vs desktop) and the geographical location of the user. For instance, if your website uses a datacenter in Italy but you have also customers in America and Asia, they may suffer a slower page load time. Using a Content Delivery Network solutions (CDN) you can deliver your contents all over the world keeping high performance, and the issue is easily solved. In the same way, web pages of the same website could have radically different page load times, due to the developers decision on the contents richness, page structure, functionalities, number of element on the page.
Why page load time is important
Nowadays, especially for the popularity of ecommerce sites and online shopping, a fast page load time is essential for a website. First of all, page load time affects search engine rankings. Google uses a particular algorithm to determine a website positioning, and the page speed is one of the factors analyzed. That means Google guides shoppers to faster web contents.
In addition to ranking, the page load time optimization has a great influence on customer’s satisfaction. The speed at which you can complete the purchase generates clients satisfied for the online experience and a more likely conversion from interest to sales. In addition, a pleasant experience feeds a positive word of mouth, by increasing the popularity of the brand and, indirectly, the potential sales.
In fact, page load time drastically affects also the bounce rate, that is the percentage of website abandonment by users. That means once they have visited your ecommerce, they leave and will never return. To give you a more concrete idea about what we are saying here, let’s see some numbers.
The data tell us that just a second more in the page load time produces a loss of 11% of page views, 16% of customers satisfaction and, the most important number, a loss of 7% in the conversion rate. Besides, more than a half of users (51%) don’t complete the purchase if the website is too slow and 1 in 2 abandon it if it takes more than 3 seconds to be displayed.
Page load time is influenced by many factors. It depends on the infrastructure that hosts the website and on its optimization, bandwidth, web page design, as well as the amount, type and weight of contents on the page. Other elements include the user location, the device and the type of browser used, as mentioned previously. Each factor can be optimized to achieve the best page load time and boost your sales.
Do you want to improve your page load time? Reserve a free consulting with our specialists.