drive-customers-away

Not so long ago, Google published an article that revealed some interesting facts – and, if you are selling products and services online, you will want to take note of these facts! The Google research reveals that a mere half a second added to the load time for a search results page may erode your traffic and your advertising revenue by as much as 20%.So, what does that tell us, exactly? This research and recent research by Amazon and other major online retailers reveals that online customers and prospects are more sensitive than ever to speed, accessibility and availability of information. Want more evidence of the importance of performance optimization?

Add 100th of a millisecond to your load time and your sales will decrease by 1%

Add 1 second to the expected 2-second page load time and 40% of users will abandon the site or page

Whether you are considering the success of your web site, your pay-per-click marketing campaigns or your internet marketing and social media marketing, you need to accommodate the expectations of your site visitors, followers and prospects or your business will not succeed in its online sales initiatives.

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You want to give your users great content, and sell your products using images and product galleries, but all of that great content must translate into great performance or your site will not attract and retain visitors long enough to make a sale or provide them with information that is critical to your business success.

Take a look at your competitors’ sites and notice what they are doing. Look at the best sites out there from the biggest retailers, news and media sites, public and private sector businesses – look at these sites and notice how they have optimized performance and balanced content with user expectations for speed, ease of use and accessibility.

Great web sites and social media pages begin with planning, and design, and a thorough understanding of what the business wants to accomplish and what its customers and followers expect. An online presence is nothing without sales and conversion. That beautiful background image might impress the management team but, if it takes a long time to load, it will make your customers leave in droves!

If you really want to improve performance, increase traffic and conversion rates, you’ll need to look at files sizes, requests, images, buttons, the number of fonts, shades, colors -in short, you’ll need to look at every factor that affects page load time. While you are in the planning and design phase, you can get some great performance ideas and guidelines from Google PageSpeed and Yahoo! YSlow. Be sure to consider mobile devices, and various screen sizes and displays as well as the different browsers used by your site visitors and customers. For starters, use WebPageTest.org to see how your site performs and to test your assumptions after you have re-designed or re-engineered your site(s)

Consider all of the components that go into page and site design and make each decision based on performance versus the value of that component. Is there another way to achieve the desired effect without increasing page load time and frustrating your users?

Today’s customers and users are more demanding of retail and eCommerce sites, news and media sites, and every other online portal or venue. If they can’t find what they want in a timely fashion (and we’re talking milliseconds here, folks), they will move on. Don’t be left in the dust! Optimize performance and reap the business and competitive benefits!

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