Is Your Landing Page Load Time Killing Your Conversion Rate?
by Sarah Rodriguez • August 10, 2016
Have you ever clicked a link, a google ad, or typed in a URL and had to wait as the page slowly displays its content section by section down the page?
Did the wait fill you with anticipation? Were you glad you had an extra few seconds to text your friend? Or did you hit the back button and look for a less irritating page?
Suspense can be great in a movie, but it’s terrible for conversion rates.
Why Pages Take Forever to Load
For example, you might have super high resolution photos, complicated scripts or back end data on your page that require a lot of communication between servers.
As a result, your page takes a while to load, your users get frustrated and you lose out on conversions.
In fact, several years ago Google experienced a 20% traffic drop because of a mere 0.5 second delay in their search results load time!
Now, in theory, landing pages should all have a fairly quick load time. A good landing page is tightly focused on the needs of a specific audience, so your page typically has minimal content and scripts to load.
Unfortunately, just because landing pages should load quickly, that doesn’t mean your landing pages are loading quickly.
Why is Load Time Important?
When it comes to your actual website, your page load time is important, but a quick load time is critical to landing page performance.
In today’s digital age, near-instantaneous load times have become an expectation for web users. In fact, 55% of visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on a site.
So, if you’ve only got 15 seconds to capture your audience’s interest, you can’t afford to waste 5-10 seconds of that time loading your page.
Moral of the story? The faster your page loads, the more conversions you will get.
How can I accelerate my page load time?
Unfortunately, landing page or testing platforms are focused on data speed, not data volume.
This works to your advantage if you only have a little bit of content to load, but if your page has large files or a lot of content, it can actually increase your load time.
And, if your page has a load time problem, here are a few ways to fix it:
Clean Up Your Code
If your website or landing page is one big mess of codes and scripts, a thorough clean up might significantly increase your page loading time.
Look for unnecessary codes, embedded fonts, etc that you can remove from specific pages without decreasing its effectiveness.
If the answer is “no,” skip the script.
Take Advantage of Browser Caching
Browsers are able to cache or “remember” a lot of your site’s images, scripts, etc. That means that if a visitor returns to your page, their browser doesn’t have to reload the entire page.
If you need to improve your load time, you can check to see if you have expiration dates set for your cache and change that time period based on your page, how often it might change and how often people return to your page.
You can use a tool like YSlow to check this information.
In general, setting your cache expiration to 6 months or a year is a pretty good time frame for most pages.
This is typically most useful for websites, but if you are using site pages as landing pages, this can be a quick and simple fix that might help your pages load faster.
Check your WordPress account and see how many plugins you have installed. Chances are, you are not using some or most of these plugins and you can uninstall them.
This should help your page load quicker, especially if you have a lot of unused plugins!
Resize and Optimize Images for Web
This is one I see a lot. Did you know that photos on web typically don’t need to be higher that 72 dpi?
Similarly, images that are only 300px wide on your webpage shouldn’t be uploaded at 3000px wide.
You might have noticed when you hit a page and the image slowly ticks down the page until fully loaded. This is what happens with large photos on your website or landing page.
Typically, your web images shouldn’t be larger than 80Kb-100Kb and smaller content photos can be around 20Kb-30Kb. Check your site for large file sizes and background images and try optimizing them for web to increase load time.
Optimize all of your online photos for web by scaling them down to the correct dimensions and file size.
Improving your landing page load time is one of the easiest ways to improve your conversion rate. In many cases, all it takes is a few tweaks and you can get your landing page loading smoothly and quickly.
By the way, if you’d like me to take a look at your landing pages and help you identify some ways to improve your loading time, let me know here or in the comments. I’d love to help!
What are some of the slowest loading pages you’ve seen? How do you think slow landing page load times affect conversion rates?