Performance digital marketing starts with a website that performs. For most websites, especially mobile sites, the most critical problem is that your website takes too long to load and it's hurting your brand.
Most Internet users expect a Web page to load in less than two seconds (40 percent abandon sites that take more than three), yet most websites don’t even come close to hitting that mark. Think your website is innocent of angering visitors? Go to Web Page Test or Google PageSpeed Insights and see how well your website truly performs. Take a good look at how long your page took to load and then think about another statistic: During the first second of delay, your conversion rate drops by more than 7 percent, with the percentage growing exponentially for every additional second you make someone wait.
Your most important task in digital marketing this year, unless you have mobile and desktop sites loading in less than two seconds, is to optimize your page load times for both mobile and desktop. Fast websites lead to better interactions with the brand and do not lose visitors who refuse to wait for sites to load, which leads to more conversions. Effectively, if you make your website load faster, you will increase revenue with minimal costs. Fortunately, starting a page load time management program isn’t too difficult!
To start, create a baseline report using free tools that will diagnose most of the problems that your site has and even supply you with advice on how to fix each issue. Some of these tools are YSlow, Google PageSpeed Insights, WEBPAGETEST, and Chrome developer tools. Going through these reports, you can easily identify common themes that span across multiple aspects of the page:
This is far from a comprehensive list, but focusing on optimizing the elements talked about in this article will get you ever closer to your end page load time goal of less than one second!
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
Josh started off working for a boutique traditional agency, before discovering digital marketing nearly 10 years ago. After starting 2 search marketing agencies, he joined iProspect in the U.S. where he managed a team of SEO specialists spanning 14 accounts including GM, Talbots, Journeys, Disney, and adidas globally. In his current position as SEO Director, Josh oversees global SEO accounts across APAC, Russia, the Middle East, and South Africa. He’s also the product leader for SEO throughout the APAC market.
March 19, 2014