I recently came across a very interesting article which spoke about Google’s experiment with loading time speed.In the experiment, the participants were asked whether they would prefer 30 or 10 search results per page. The response was 30. Google then applied this to their search page and was unpleasantly shocked. Traffic to pages displaying 30 search results per page saw a drastic traffic drop of 20%.
When further studied, the difference in loading time between 10 and 30 search results pages was half a second. If half a second can make such a difference, how do you think it would affect your e-commerce sales? Of course we must consider here that the nature of content matters, and Google has set a high standard of a very fast loading time for itself, making it intolerable for regular users to wait longer than usual. In a situation where the visitor interacts with your site for the first time the situation is a little different. The visitor does not know what to expect and therefore has more patience for your site, however with today’s competition a regular visitor will wait only 3 seconds for your site to load before moving on to your competitor. This is disappointing but do not panic! Improve your landing page loading time with a couple of simple steps mentioned below.
Using GZIP compression
This tool reduces the size of your files without affecting the quality of the visual content. To find out whether your site is GZIPPED you could ask your web host if they use this compression on their servers or you could run the test here.
Optimize those images
You could use Photoshop or Fireworks to “save for Web” your images which will reduce the size of the file while keeping the quality intact.
Browser vs. Redirect
301 redirect is the most common way to change your site structure without losing the search engine popularity, however too many redirects will confuse the browser and result in a slower loading time.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Finally, if you have a popular site but still can’t manage to decrease the loading time you may consider using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Amazon Cloudfront.
Sources: Kissmetrics – Speed is a killer