It is generally accepted that the loading time of a website is one of the key factors for success in e-commerce. Accordingly, the page load of a website has an immense impact on SEO and SEM, but above all on general user experience and ultimately on revenue. Slow websites have a much lower conversion rate and a higher bounce rate. Essentially, long loading times lead to poorer user experience, which means that users leave the shop because nobody has the patience to wait for a website to load if the competition is faster.
In 2009, Amazon presented a study which states that a loading time of 100 milliseconds more results in a revenue loss of one percent. This means that every second more waiting time leads to sales losses of about 10 percent, because most users simply do not complete the purchase when they have to wait. In this article, we'll look at how the page load time of an e-commerce website affects factors such as user experience (UX), SEO and marketing costs.
The first impression is priceless
You have managed to lead a customer to your online shop with the help of targeted marketing. Now is the moment to remember that there is no second chance to make a first impression. The first visit of the user is a familiarization process, which will be much more positive if your online shop loads quickly, because the customers associate a fast loading time with professionalism and know-how. But if your servers respond slowly, you force the user to wait. As a result, he loses the feeling of having everything under control, which leads to the fact that he will avoid your online shop permanently.
Effects of website speed on SEO
The page load time of your e-commerce website is a ranking factor that should not be underestimated. Google ranks web pages with a long page load time lower than pages that generally load faster. The reason is simple: The search engine giant wants to provide its users with qualitative search results. Websites with a fast load time are an essential quality factor, because the page speed is first and foremost a sign of a high-quality website. A fast website leads to a much better user experience, while a slow one does exactly the opposite. Ultimately, it can be said that a user usually stays longer on a website when it loads quickly.
We consider a page load time of less than one second to be up-to-date in e-commerce. Depending on the type of website and industry, this varies slightly. However, if your website loads in less than a second, the user stays longer and the likelihood of conversion is higher. Once you exceed this loading time, you will face less optimal rankings and worse user experience.
A practical example: We've minimized the load times of a customer's WooCommerce online store from over 3 seconds to less than 0.3 seconds. The success in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) was immediately recognizable - the customer's placements in the organic search improved by several positions in important keywords and the sales figures increased noticeably. This shows that the loading time of a website has a direct influence on SEO and conversion rate.
Effects of loading time on paid search (SEM)
For SEM campaigns, it is important to get a low price for a special keyword bid and to place it as high as possible in front of the competition's ads. The magic word is Quality Score, which determines how much you pay for a click in your Google Ads (formerly AdWords) campaign:
Ad Rank = (Quality Score) x (Maximum Cost-Per-Click)
Actual CPC = (Ad Rank of the Advertiser Below You/Your Quality Score) +$0.01
For ads campaigns, the quality score is essentially the basis of how Google evaluates the cost of your ad for a particular keyword. User experience, as in SEO, plays a decisive role (we remember the fact that the search engine giant is primarily interested in qualitative results for its users): Finally, the slow loading of a landing page is evaluated by Google as a negative indicator that lowers user experience. This results in a lower quality score for the ad server. Therefore, whenever you place paid ads (SEM), remember that a slower website will cost you more money.
It becomes clear that the quality score ultimately determines how much you pay for a click in a CPC campaign (cost per click). If your page load time is longer than that of your competitors, you simply pay more than your competitors - it's that simple. For this reason you can say that websites with fast load times have a higher quality score, pay less for SEM and have higher rankings.
Effects on Facebook Ads
Similar to Google, Facebook also prefers fast websites when it comes to advertising. Just like Google, Facebook wants to show its users the most qualitative advertising results. For this reason, an algorithmic change was made to Facebook in August 2017, prioritizing user experience. Page speed became one of Facebook's key criteria for user satisfaction, leading to faster ads being prioritized.
Especially in e-commerce a fast page load time of a website is essential. The loading time of a landing page is a decisive reason why users leave websites (bounce rate). For this reason one can say that it is much easier for the shop owner to convince a user during the purchase decision with a fast website.
As you can see, the speed of the website affects a number of digital marketing channels and ultimately directly affects sales. The bottom line is that user experience is much more important these days. It affects the success of your SEO, SEM and Facebook ads campaigns.
The page load time depends on the infrastructure hosting the website, its optimization, bandwidth, software used on the server, correct server configuration, the amount, type and weight of content on the site, and whether or not a CDN (Content Delivery Network) is used. Each of these factors can be optimized to achieve the best performance and increase your revenue. Don't save in the wrong place. Invest in quality hosting from Storepace: We are the right partner if you need more performance. Users expect higher performance from your website. If you don't keep up, you'll lose potential customers and be left behind in the long run.