How Much Do You Lose in Sales When Your Website is Down - or Even Just Slow?

Having an attractive website is wonderful, but what you really need is a site that converts visitors into paying customers. A slow site can be one of the biggest obstacles to high sales conversions, so learn why it’s a problem and what you can do about it.

Your deck is prepped, your scripts are written, and your website is up and running, full of stunning graphics and persuasive CTAs. Perhaps most importantly, you’ve got a great product or service to sell and a buyer persona that actually needs what you’re selling.

What could possibly go wrong?

Your website.

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Businesses that depend on their websites for lead capturing and sales conversions stand to lose significant revenue when their website goes down or loads too slowly. You probably designed your website with conversion rates in mind, but page speed might not have been one of your top concerns.

Think about it. If you have the choice of purchasing a baby gift from three different sites, you’ll go to your favorite first. If it’s taking time to load, you’ll bounce over to the competitor’s site within seconds. You’re short on time and must complete the task before jumping on a business call in five minutes. Completing the purchase is more important than waiting around for your favorite store to load up.

Nearly 70% of users say that the speed of a page affects their willingness to buy from an online retailer.

Unbounce conducted their own study and discovered that 22% of your website visitors will close your tab if your site takes too long to load. Another 14% say they’ll visit a competitor’s site instead. If you count on 1000 daily visitors, that’s 360 potential customers lost. 

Try this formula out for yourself. How many visitors do you expect on your site per day? Multiply that number by .36 to determine how many visitors are potentially lost due to a slow webpage. (You can connect your website to google analytics to obtain real numbers regarding your website traffic.)

Still not convinced? Website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time (between seconds 0-5).

How do I measure my page speed?

Before panicking, first, determine your page speed by measuring it.

There are many tools available including:

Solarwind’s Pingdom

Google Pagespeed

These tools not only measure your page speed but also capture many other metrics as well to help you improve your end-user experience.

3 Reasons why your website is down or slow

There are many reasons why your website may be sluggish or completely down, and more often than not, the solutions are straightforward. Read about more ways to speed up your website here, and try these 3 tips below.

Your website hosting service

Not all web hosts are created equal, which is why Witty Sparks produced this guide on how to compare different options and choose the right one for your needs. According to WebsiteSetup, although most web hosting services promise 99.99% uptime, the average uptime of 32 shared web hosting providers was actually 99.59%. When calculated, that amounts to about 35 hours 32 minutes of downtime per year, per website!

WebsiteSetup recommends web hosts that provide you with an uptime of at least 99.94%.

There are other points to consider when choosing a web hosting provider.  Does your web hosting provider offer the following?

  1. A CDN: If your business is global, a CDN (content delivery network) enables you to distribute your content from servers located around the world. For example, if your web host’s main server is located in New York, and your user is located in India, a CDN will replicate your site and place it on a server in India  (and other global locations) so that users in India can access it more quickly. 
  1. Managed services as opposed to shared services

There are different ways to be hosted. For small businesses that run few campaigns or host less daily traffic, sharing server space with other sites will probably be fine.

For larger businesses with more traffic, campaigns, and frequent spikes in traffic, a managed WordPress hosting option with a dedicated server or a VPS (Virtual Private Server) will give you more flexibility and space for additional traffic. 

2) Your website content

A website with all the bells and whistles may be attention-grabbing and aesthetically pleasing, but fancy websites tend to load more slowly.   

Backlinko’s research revealed that the total content size impacts fully loaded page speed more than any other variable on both desktop and mobile. 

Too many images, videos, and third-party scripts (like Google Analytics, video hosts, etc.) weigh down a site. As a result, large pages (greater than 3.49 MB) take 486% longer to fully load compared to smaller pages (less than .83 MB). 

Perhaps that’s one reason why many modern websites have opted for a minimalist design with fewer images and assets.

Have your website developer audit your site.  Depending on the results,  you can then reduce the weight of your website content by:

  1. Optimizing and compressing your images and videos
  2. Limiting the number of plugins
  3. Reducing the number of JavaScript and CSS files
  4. Installing website caching

There are also specific plugins that can help you with all these tasks, like WP Rocket, as recommended here. It includes lazy loading, caching, CDN configuration, and a few other tools that speed up your site.

3) Your end user’s device and network

Your end-user may experience a slow load time because he’s working from an outdated device or is located in an area with poor internet service. Even if your site is perfectly optimized, there’s nothing you can do about the end-user. On a positive note, your competition won’t fare any better in this scenario.

Your customer’s expectations matter

The first step in any sales process is prospecting or lead generation. If you’re running an online business, part of that process occurs through your website. Your prospect explores your site, your product, your blog, and all the assets provided to determine if you offer what they need.

For your potential customers, this research occurs early in their buyer’s journey. If you want them to see your value proposition at its best and convert them into real leads, your website needs to be user-friendly. It’s not just about having a cool design and top visuals; your site speed is probably the most important factor contributing to your site’s UX, although there may also be other design mistakes affecting user experience

Don’t risk losing potentially solid leads and lost revenue because of a slow website. Test your page speed as well as your site speed, and then, fix your site accordingly.  

Also, with mobile searches on the rise, your prospects expect their mobile load speed to match their desktop speed. Keep this in mind as you optimize your site.

Then, sit back and watch your leads click and convert.

As managed WordPress hosting experts, we know what we're talking about, whether you need advice on what's making your site slow, how to secure it, or how much bandwidth you really need. You can trust us with the entire gamut of WordPress questions, so the only one left is... why aren't we hosting your WordPress site yet? Click below and join us.

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