You’ve followed best practices for your landing page, made the design easy to use, personalized the persona, researched the right keywords, and found the perfect imagery.
But what happens if users leave the lavishly optimized landing page while charging because it loads too slowly?We’ll show you why a fast-loading landing page attracts more users and leads to more conversions. In addition, you get 3 tips for fast improvements in the Page Speed and a use case, which proves that the optimization of the loading times is possible without much effort.
So important are loading times for landing pages
The “page speed” indicates the loading time of a web page. If it is ready after 1-2 seconds, everything is ok for most users. At 3 seconds and more threatens her patience to tear.
This has a massive impact on the most important key performance indicators(KPIs) on your pages: the bounce rate , conversion rate and the search engine ranking .
Lower bounce rate through fast load times
If users leave a page during the loading process or after a short stay without interaction, ie jump off, this is recorded within the framework of the so-called “bounce rate”.
Google has demonstrated the direct relationship between page speed and bounce rate in a study . Based on a load time of 1 second, it was artificially increased and the respective bounce rate was measured:
- With 3 seconds of charging time, the bounce rate increased by 32 %
- At 5 seconds by 90 %
- At 6 seconds by 106 %
- At 10 seconds by 123 %
It only takes a few seconds to decide if users will even see your landing page.
Higher conversion rate thanks to fast load times
The job of a landing page is to sell a product or generate leads . When users become customers or leads, they convert what is expressed in the so-called “conversion rate”.
Amazon has studied the impact of page speed on the conversion rate for its shop years ago and found: Already 100 milliseconds less load time lead to 1 % more conversions!
Zalando was able to repeat that in 2018: With a faster page speed of 100 milliseconds, they were able to earn 0.7 % more profit.
The effect of a fast website also pays off for the conversions: The faster users perceive the information, the more likely they are to trust them and deal with them.
Better SEO ranking due to high page speed
Back in 2010, Google announced that Page Speed is a ranking factor for its search engine. In 2018, this was reaffirmed and especially the speed on mobile devices highlighted.
As of July 2019: The mobile index replaces the desktop index for new domains. Thus, new websites at the standards for smartphones and Co. are measured. Google has already announced that pages that load too slowly on mobile devices will be penalized in the ranking.
The Google Page Speed Insights tool helps determine what this means for your landing page. After entering the URL, a score is created and the loading time is measured in different stages.
Do not be afraid: Google sets for the mobile variant very strict criteria and rated accordingly harsh. The readings for load times are good indications of whether your landing page is currently fit.
3 quick ways to improve your Page Speed
A number of measures can help to make your landing pages load faster and bring in more conversions. Since landing pages are a special form of web pages, they have their own requirements for their optimization.
With the following three tips we would like to suggest those measures that we think you can implement quickly and that can most speed up the page speed of your landing pages.
1) Visual Slimming: Compress pictures
On many landing pages, high-resolution, full-surface images that promote positive emotions have become standard. However, the image files of these so-called “hero images” are correspondingly large. And that in turn leads to slower loading times.
Hero images are mostly available as JPEG files. The easiest way to reduce the file size would be to lower the resolution. But the pictures should also be clearly visible on widescreen monitors and JPEGs can only be upscaled ugly again.
However, you can adjust the pictures in quality. JPEG files have a quality level of 0 to 100, and the lower the quality level, the smaller the image file .
Keep in mind that your images will remain attractive to the human eye, as image degradation and streaks may increase as the quality level decreases. This may vary from image to image, so there is no overall quality level at which all images are optimally compressed.
To compress JPEG images:
- PC / Mac: Photoshop, IrfanView
- Online: Compress-Or-Die , TinyPNG
- Automated: Akamai, wao.io , Cloudflare
2) Load first content faster: Caching with CDN
Caching preloads your landing pages or individual content into a cache for faster output. Caching is commonly used in these two places:
- In the browser, when content, eg. For example, images are cached on your computer so that less time is consumed when reloading.
- On the web server, where the results of computationally intensive processes such as database queries are stored, resulting in less effort.
That sounds great, but does it really make sense for a landing page?
- Landing pages should be optimized for the first call. The browser cache does not work until after the page has been loaded.
- The content of landing pages is usually not dynamic, but static. The web server is thus hardly relieved by server-side caching.
But there is another way to use caching: Through a Content Delivery Network (CDN). The CDN is a large, often intercontinental network of servers that stands between the calling browser and the web server with the landing page data.
Your landing page is cached in this cloud. When a user calls it, it is forwarded to the next server in the CDN and receives the data from there.
Depending on where a user calls the landing page, this can save a tremendous amount of time by not only using the cache, but also keeping latency as low as possible when establishing the server connection.
Especially if you expect visitors from other regions on your landing pages, the use of a CDN can be worthwhile. In addition, you become less dependent on your web server and its utilization.
Examples of a CDNs:
3) Transfer data more efficiently: Switch to HTTP / 2
Imagine, you and your friends wanted to order pizza. Instead of having all the pizzas delivered at once, you would have to place an extra order for each pizza and these would also be delivered individually.
Sounds absurd and inefficient? But the web works just like the HTTP / 1.1 protocol.
The protocol HTTP / 1.1, with which data is transmitted in individual connections, stands in the way of fast transfers and therefore fast loading times.
The alternative HTTP / 2 continues to gain acceptance and is supported by all major browsers. HTTP / 2 loads all data through a single persistent connection
To change your landing pages to HTTP / 2:
- You need an SSL certificate (for security and UX reasons, you certainly have).
- With access to your web server, you can make the change in the configuration yourself (example: Apache web server ) – otherwise contact your hoster.
- If you have opted for a CDN, the transition to HTTP / 2 is usually included in the features, eg. On wao.io.
12 % higher conversion rate in the online shop
For the content marketer Hero Images are, for Martin Sailer-Arnold, the head of e-commerce of delife.eu , high-resolution and zoomable product images . The medium-sized shop deals with fine furniture made of real wood and therefore optically also optically for the best quality online.
However, by using large product images, the size of the shop’s home page increased to over 4 MB . Especially on mobile connections, this ensures long loading times and 60 % of Delife customers shop via tablet and smartphone.
To reduce image sizes, Sailer-Arnold initially used plug-ins . With these, however, he could compress the images only to a specified quality level, so that some images appeared optically unattractive.
Finally, with wao.io, Sailer-Arnold found a way to automatically compress the images via a cloud service. H
Together with other security and optimization solutions that Sailer-Arnold implemented with wao.io without any development effort, the size of the start page was reduced to less than 1 MB .
After just 3 months, Martin Sailer-Arnold realized that the measures had paid off. The conversion rate for the entire shop rose by a staggering 12%.
Conclusion: Faster is better
Page Speed is not only the current lever for better conversion rates. Due to the increasing importance of mobile usage, fast loading times will become even more important.
Pioneer Google’s “Pagespeed Insights” show that most websites still have a lot of page speed optimization potential. By switching to the Mobile Index, loading times are also more important for the ranking.
If you already want to reduce the bounce rate for your landing pages and especially if you want to gain more leads, then you should try the optimization tips listed above.