Study: Slow Website Results In 25% Traffic Decrease

June 26, 2014By
Startup Mobile

Page speed is incredibly important for conversion.

How fast is your website?

There is this weird tendency that humans seem to have. We get used to something and we think that it’s the way things just are and that there is no reason to change. We don’t even think about a different scenario because we don’t know any different.

That kind of happens with the speed of your website. A year or more ago with Ghost Blog Writers I started getting frustrated with the speed of the site. I realized it was host-related.

Over the years I’ve worked on a number of sites and blogs. There are a few things you can do that you control to speed things up. These include:

  • Keeping pages simple with not many elements
  • Not too many elements that call other websites like social sharing buttons
  • Properly sized images

It’s good to have a developer and designer on your team that understand the importance of page speed. They can help when designing your site and on the coding to make sure things are optimized to be fast.

But after doing those things it comes down to the host.

When I started GBW I didn’t need more than a shared hosting situation. It was cheap and easy to get setup. But as the website became more important for the business I knew I needed a better host.

Occasional slow downs occur with basic shared hosting. It’s fine and it works, but sometimes your site will just slow down and there really don’t seem to be answers and solutions and that can be frustrating.

So I went with a premium hosting service called Synthesis.

Since that change the GBW has been blazing fast. This is becoming even more important as more people access the site with their mobile devices.

Now I’m having to think about changing over another site of mine because it’s in a big slowdown and it’s costing the site visitors.

The Country Music Life Slowdown

Here is a look at the stats for my site, Country Music Life, over the last couple weeks.

CML Slowdown

You can see that leading up to June 10-11 the site was averaging about 1,600+ pageviews each day. If we were to look back further we would find that this was the case for several weeks.

Then on July 13-14 the site really started to slowdown. Something was happening with the host.

The result was a drop in traffic to about 1,200 pageviews each day.

That’s a drop in 400 pageviews per day or a 25% drop in traffic.

There really aren’t any other variables that occurred during this time. There are always other factors that could have been happening, but when a visitor comes to your site and it takes them more than a second to see the content they’re going to become impatient and with a couple seconds they’re going to leave.

The proof is right there in the numbers.

The last few days, the site has been a little faster and the traffic has picked back up. That’s good, but the main thing I’m considering now is putting CML on Synthesis.

The site is really a personal site. I review new country songs and have fun with it. I use it as an example for potential GBW clients. It earns a little extra money with advertising, but mostly it’s for fun. I enjoy doing it, but even at that level it’s very frustrating when the site slows down.

It’s frustrating me for me writing the posts because everything is slow to load and to save. And I know it’s frustrating to visitors.

Bottom Line: Slow Page Speed = Less Traffic

I can’t say that the 25% drop is common across all sites, but I think it’s a pretty good example.

If you want to do everything you can to give your target customers a good experience on your site so you can win their business then you need to have a site that is blazing fast. It’s probably in the top 3 as far as online business and web priorities.

Another example is the new PGA Tour website. I love the changes they made, but they kind of packed a lot onto each page. The site has slowed noticeably and I find myself going to different websites to get golf information. I’m waiting for them to make the site faster because even with a great new design it doesn’t matter if the site is really slow.

Speed up your website.

It will make all the difference.

And don’t blame people that might have slow connecting speeds. It’s your job to make sure they have a good experience.