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Slow websites can hit sales. Check your speed now.

free website speed testSlow websites affect whether your users engage with your content.

What do you know about your website’s speed?

You may recall my February 2016 post about “Can you do it in 4 seconds?”. (To read that in a new window now click this link: www.clickingmad.com/blog/can-you-do-it-in-4-seconds)

In that article I was suggesting that a slow website could hurt your rankings in Google. Now the BBC has reported on the same topic, so I must be onto something.

There is now evidence that speed of a website can impact on the actual sales volume of an online ecommerce store. The BBC ran a story recently on a report by US metrics company; Dynatrace, that the speed of a website loading has a direct affect on sales success. (Read the BBC article here)

As websites have become more complex in functionality, with multiple and often larger images, embedded videos, downloadable documents and other “rich” content, websites have become slower. As our broadband speeds through fibre and 4g have become quicker, websites have been allowed to become more cumbersome; slowing them down – again.

“…Globally, the average page load time
has gone up by 7% compared to last year…”

Norstrum, a US fashion retailer reported a fall in online sales of 11% when its website response time slowed by just half a second! When your sales total £10.6 billion per annum, that’s a significant amount.

Your websites physical hosting can also affect its speed performance. Many websites are on cheap shared servers as just “being live” was the most important thing at the time, and not the quality of the hosting itself.

Unfortunately the website design industry often neglects the technical performance of the websites that they create. If your website has any commercial impact on your company then you need to look carefully at the hosting setup. Is it fast? Is it secure? This is really important.

So it’s not just what Google thinks although lets face it, that’s important enough. It’s also about how quickly users expect the speed of your website to load on their devices.

If you ignore the speed of your website, you ignore the success of your website.

Would you like to know how
quick your website is?

If you are unsure what to do, give us a shout and we will help.

If you ask nicely we will do a free speed test!


Why do online shoppers buy off certain websites and not others?

With the Internet being now a major player, if not the number 1 player, in the sales of almost all types of goods and services, customers are becoming more astute and harder to please while on the other side of the spectrum businesses are trying to save when it comes to marketing.  So how do we go about balancing out this situation?
Starting with website marketing – nowadays there is no excuse for claims about not knowing whether your marketing works or not with so many monitoring tools available out there.

Businesses can obtain an amazing amount of data about their website users or/and customers.  However, such data is only valuable if it is effectively analysed and subsequently used to create and implement your next marketing campaign. Failure to recognise the value of collected data is a major shortfall of a lot of businesses when it comes to their online activities and sales.
Collated data can reveal a lot about your customers and potential buyers, their needs, wants and of course their buying habits.  The information we get from a number of website analysis tools clearly show us what really influences online shoppers.
Furthermore, there are forums, blogs and social media sites already set up to reveal any potentially useful information to all online shoppers, such as your website useability and credibility, product quality and satisfaction, customer service and delivery options and many more.

With this mind, businesses wanting to sell online need to take their website activities at least as seriously as they do their face to face selling, if not more seriously due to the speed in which information spreads across the internet should something go not quite according to plan.

So whilst with online sales you may save on personnel costs, thinking you can get away with poor customer service and no after sale service is a big mistake.

When selling online, remember:

  • Have a well-designed and well-structured, easy to use website
  • Do not forget about security and privacy protection when selling online
  • Invest in SEO and advertising platforms such as Google Adwords
  • Make sure you deliver on your promises (delivery timescales etc)
  • Ensure your customer service is of a very high level
  • After-sales service should always be a part of your online sales strategy
  • Actively seek feedback from your existing customers (helps you improve your product and service)
  • Analyse data you receive from your website monitoring tool and use it in your next marketing strategy – this is a huge part of your ROI apart from the obvious – revenue

Finally, the best way to make the most of your website in terms of sales is to invest in a good quality website and its online and offline marketing together with high level customer service.  Think about this when creating your next year’s marketing strategy and deciding upon the marketing budget. If you cut corners you will cut your ROI.

Improving Web Conversions

Understanding what your web visitor is doing can help in many ways.

Communicate with your buyers to improve your conversion rates.Magnifying-glass

In business we have to communicate all the time, both internally and externally. Your company’s website is your opportunity to communicate your key messages to your next customer. Your website speaks for you 24/7/365 – whether you like it or not. If you don’t look critically at your website messaging you might be sending out the wrong message.

I always suggest client have their content written professionally. A good journalistic style without fluff and to the point will result in more enquiries in my experience. Since most business products and services are now researched online your potential customers already know a great deal about your business before they contact you. The question is are you controlling the information they are learning about you effectively? It will certainly make the difference to whether you get the phone call, email or the order.

Clickingmad does a lot of useability testing – we find out what customers they think about the respective website; how it works, whether the conversion rate can be improved by monitoring – very carefully, what people do on the website. If you know which pages they like and which they don’t you can make progressive changes to your website.

Understanding what your web visitor is doing can help in many ways. This is key information when deciding how to measure the success of your website overall and to help you decide how to improve the results.