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How to Reduce Bounce Rate with Better Page Speed

Page speed

What is Page Speed?

Page Speed is commonly described as either “Page Load Time,” referring to the duration it takes for a specific page’s content to fully display, or as “time to first byte,” denoting the time it takes for the browser to receive the initial byte of information from the server where your site is hosted. For the purpose of this discussion, I will primarily focus on Page Load Time, or PLT, as it is more adaptable for the majority of readers. However, I will briefly touch on the alternative method. If you aim to enhance “time to first byte,” it is essential to assess the location of your host servers in relation to the average location of your target audience. For instance, if your target audience is in the UK but your server is located in your bedroom in Australia, you might want to consider hosting elsewhere.

Now, delving into the concept of Page Load Time, let’s decipher its true meaning. When you initiate a website launch on your browser—whether it be Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc.—the browser undergoes a process of fetching information from a physical location, commonly known as a server. This server may be facilitated through a platform such as Wix, Webflow, WordPress, etc., or it could be a direct connection to platforms like AWS or GCP, which are among the more prevalent choices. For the majority of users, the website hosting is often done through a platform that directly hosts on servers like AWS or GCP; if not, this article may not be particularly relevant. During the process of fetching the website, the browser sends a request, acquires the information, and then proceeds to load the content in front of you. Notably, when dealing with smaller file sizes, the request and retrieval process is rapid, whereas larger file sizes necessitate more time. This simplifies the underlying system, offering a straightforward perspective on the dynamics of Page Load Time.

pagespeed diagram

This (above) is a good diagram to explain what goes on when you send a web page request on your browser. So why is this important? It is important for when I explain how to improve PLT in a moment, but first let me explain why it even matters…

Does Page Load Time really matter?

According to a study conducted by Small SEO Tools and Strangeloop, a mere 1-second decline in Page Load Time (PLT) can result in a substantial 7% reduction in a site’s conversion rate. This impact is significant for virtually every website owner. For instance, if your site generates £10,000 in monthly sales, a 1-second delay could equate to an annual loss of £8,500 – essentially, almost a month’s worth of sales lost due to a slightly slower website loading time. The conversion rate represents the percentage of users who visit the site and take a desired action, whether it be making a purchase, signing up, or downloading an app.

Additionally, it’s crucial to note that User Bounce Rate (UBR) experiences a notable decline after 3 seconds, as illustrated in the graph below. UBR, or Bounce Rate, is the metric that gauges the percentage of users entering your site and then promptly leaving without exploring additional pages. This underscores the importance of swift page loading times not only for conversion rates but also for retaining user engagement and preventing premature exits.

graphbouncerate

As you can see in this graph after 3-seconds or 3.21 to be exact user UBR increases at an exponential rate until around 8 where it starts to level off until 100%. This means that websites that take longer than 3.21 seconds to load will be considerably dropping conversions with every user coming to the site.

How to Increase Conversions by Improving PS & PLT & UBR?

Now, let’s consider your website’s platform. Squarespace and Wix lack extensive customisation for code minification and enhancing Page Load Time (PLT). These platforms are built on larger codebases, often retaining unused code within the webpage on the server, subsequently increasing the website size and diminishing PLT. While WordPress can minify code, it still harbours unused code, affecting site speed. In contrast, the Webflow platform, our preferred choice, boasts a smaller code base, facilitating swift development and deployment of web pages without compromising site capabilities. Webflow enables code minification for JS, CSS, HTML, enhancing overall site responsiveness and increasing conversions without the need to expand your marketing budget.

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