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More on how web performance impacts revenue…

At Velocity this year Microsoft, Google and Shopzilla each presented data on how web performance directly impacts revenue.

Their data showed that slow sites get fewer search queries per user, less revenue per visitor, fewer clicks, fewer searches, and lower search engine rankings. They found that in some cases even after site performance was improved users continued to interact as if it was slow. Bad experiences have a lasting influence on customer behavior.

What about smaller websites that aren’t yet at this scale?

Alistair Croll and Sean Power, the authors of the new book Complete Web Monitoring, have continued this research for sites at smaller scale.

They used a Strangeloop Networks web acceleration appliance to optimize half the sessions to a smaller production website, tagging optimized and unoptimized visitors so they could be analyzed in Google Analytics. The Strangeloop device applies many of Steve Souders’ performance rules to an existing site automatically (a kind of “Steve-in-a-Box” ;-).

The results of their analysis show how significant a reduction in page latency can be. In addition to reducing bounce rates, and increasing pages per visit & time on site, they found a 16.07% increase in conversion rates and a 5.50% increase in average order value.

conversion-rate-and-order-value.png

Check out the full post on the Watching Websites blog.

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  • http://www.millionthanksbook.com/ manuel

    good info

  • http://www.ppcsoft.com/blog Atle Iversen

    Hmmm… very interesting !

    The impact was bigger than I would’ve imagined – time to test our website again.

    Also, thank you for the link to Steve Souders’ performance rules – very useful !

  • http://www.bestwebimage.com BWI

    Always new it was a big deal, but seeing figures like that it’s time to review and reduce….

  • Don

    What are the units of the horizontal axis in the top graph (Impact of Page…)?

  • Greg Horby

    This changes the game- I keep telling my boss we should do this but I don’t have any numbers to validate it- thank you for making my business case real.

  • RLM

    Why should this be surprising? Historically, users have always hated lags between a behavior and an expected result. Typists hate lags bewteen print response and key press, Software users hate slow reponse between a widget selection and subsrquent screen display. My wife hates it when the browser won’t open when she wants to check her email… And the beat goes on….

  • http://www.danielbrockman.com Daniel Brockman

    RLM – As you point out, it’s not surprising, but as Greg Hornby suggests, those who control budgets in corporate heirarchies manage by measurements and won’t commit funds without them. I recall once having a conversation with a CIO in which I advocated user-friendly inhouse applications, and he responded that there’s little evidence of demonstrable value in user-friendliness. Public websites and the people who want them to run faster will benefit greatly from these findings. Next (I hope): Intranets. [ I see a note on the Post-A-Comment page: " (please be patient, comments may take awhile to post)" :) ]

  • http://www.forest-and-trees.com Akishige Iwata

    Be careful. No causal relationship has been found/proved. The data just says there is a proportional relationship between the response speed of a website and the customer response to the site. That happens maybe because:
    - The website is famous. The website provides useful, attractive information or products.
    - Therefore, customers like the site. They give more queries, click more links within the site, drop more money, get more satisfied, etc.
    - Therefore, the company who owns the website earns more money.
    - Therefore, the company can spend more budget in the hosting server, the software development, and the network.

    If the scenario above is true, the explanation the author has becomes false.

    The point is, we need more investigation into whether the site response does have impact on the site revenue.

  • mansoor

    nice info!!

  • Samson

    Yes, I agree, the company who owns the website earns more money and can spend more budget in the hosting server, the software development, and the network. It is an excellently written article, if all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a much better place. Please keep it up! BTW, there is an interview in mp3 on this topic at http://www.mp3hunting.com/ . It might be useful for those who are concrened about this thing. Enjoy!

  • http://www.auto-ready.com porsche mieten

    Nice summary Dave.

    The Shopzilla case is especially interesting, because of the SEM part: making load times faster can actually result in (a lot) more traffic from Google Adwords campaigns.

    Talk to you soon (mail/IM).

    porsche

  • http://daftdomain.com DaftDomain

    Nice article, Dave. It makes perfect sense too. If the site I’m on doesn’t respond quickly I’m off to the next search result. If you’re going to start an internet site spend the few extra bucks and the deluxe package or a VPS.

  • http://theperfecttoys.com/ Jane

    “Their data showed that slow sites get fewer search queries per user, less revenue per visitor, fewer clicks, fewer searches, and lower search engine rankings. They found that in some cases even after site performance was improved users continued to interact as if it was slow. Bad experiences have a lasting influence on customer behavior.”

    I totally agree with you Jesse, I have similar experience while running some of the ecommerce sites in our country.

  • http://www.altenpflege-haushaltshilfen.de Altenpflege

    Nice article, page load time is definitely essential for better conversionrates!

  • http://www.rankandfilerecords.com David S. Ware

    Yes, page load time is essential. But so is content, seems that many out there forget when they complain about missing traffic on their blogs.

  • http://www.maikoworks.com Sayaka

    It seems that as our internet speeds get higher, our patience and attention span gets lower. If a website doesn’t deliver it’s content in a timely fashion, then visitors are likely to quickly click away and continue their search elsewhere. This click-happy nature will only increase as time goes on and people want their info or entertainment instantly. No one wants to wait around any more, and this impatience will be the death of your website unless you can also offer some valuable, unique content that is not found anywhere else.

  • http://www.buygoldbullion.org.uk/ andrea

    Yeah we live in a face paced society and people want your page to load faster than the speed of light and that is a determining factor whether people with come back or not or if they will stay for a while and window shop on your site.

  • http://www.rotisserieoven.info Diane

    Nice article, Dave. It makes perfect sense too. If the site I’m on doesn’t respond quickly I’m off to the next search result.