Slow Loads Sabotage Your Conversions: See The 2019 Page Speed Report

Slow Loads Are Sabotaging Your Conversions: The 2019 Page Speed Report Is Here

Did you know that 86% of women between 18 and 24 admit they’re less likely to buy something when a webpage is slow to load?

It’s a clear sign of how long waits—by “long,” I mean more than 3 seconds—can take a chunk out of your bottom line. But, heck, it’s also kinda intuitive, right?

So how about this one:

19% of marketers don’t think that load times have an influence on their conversion rates.

I guess it’s not so intuitive after all.

Which is why our newly released Page Speed Report For Marketers is so important. It’s full of insights about what consumers and marketers are thinking and doing about page performance in 2019. And as much as the topic of page speed can be a snooze, our research shows marketers need to make it a priority. (My executive summary: fix page speed now, nap later.)

How’d we do it? Last autumn, our two surveys asked about spending habits, advertising priorities, how people experience the web on mobile devices, and more.

Along the way, we learned lots.

Like how often slow loading pages end up driving your customers to the competitors (more often than you’d think). Or how many other marketers plan to use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in the coming year. Or why adding that swanky new video to every single one of your landing pages might not be the right move after all.

You can jump right into the full report here, or keep reading for more fast facts.

For instance, did ya know…

Nearly 70% of people admit that page speed influences their likeliness to buy.

Millennials may be among the least patient when it comes to shopping online, but across the board, consumers told us that unexpected delays can have a significant impact on their desire to buy something from you. Check it out:

Page speed report reveals slow loads impact buying

If your landing page is too slow, almost half your potential visitors admit they’re less likely to make a purchase, and a third say they’re less likely to come back to your site. (Even worse, another question revealed that a quarter of them will hit a competitor’s site instead.)

As SparkToro founder Rand Fishkin puts it:

Few things can have a faster positive impact on everything you do than page load speed.

And few things can hurt an otherwise stellar campaign more than being too slow. Considering you’re likely paying for all that traffic, you can’t afford a page speed exodus.

But the thing is…

Marketers get that page speed is a priority. It’s just not their priority.

As part of the report, we asked more than 700 digital marketers what they thought an acceptable mobile load time might be. They surprised us. Their median answer of 2.8 seconds is actually faster than Google’s recommendation of 5 seconds on a 3G connection:

Speed predictions from the 2019 page speed report

Either the word about page speed is finally getting out there or, more likely, most of us have experienced the speeds that keep us happy versus the frustrating slowdown of a page that, never, quite, loads.

What’s surprising, though, is that when it comes to speed, the report shows most marketers just aren’t committed to making improvements.

Whether it’s A/B testing or designing an incredible looking experience, they’ve got other things to do. We don’t blame ‘em one bit, but it’s quite a problem. If your pages load slowly, you’re cutting off a significant portion of your possible audience and shrinking your conversions. Quality Scores in Google Ads can also plummet, leading to fewer impressions for more money overall.

Orbit Media‘s Andy Crestodina provides some insight into why page speed often sits at the bottom of a marketer’s to-do list—and why you’ll want to arm yourself with a report like this one:

Page speed falls into a twilight zone between technical SEO and content, so it gets missed a lot for two reasons:

1. The Blame Game. Developers can blame designers and content kids for slow pages (Too many big assets!) and the designers can always blame the developers (Code bloat! Slow servers!). So everyone has deniability. Everyone is responsible. So who owns it?

2. One and done? Or ongoing? Even if technical issues are all addressed and every issue is “fixed,” next month a giant, uncompressed image is uploaded. Or a feature with some slow Javascript is added. So page speed is both a one-time and on-going job. So when does it get done?

This reports bring it back into focus, reminds of us the importance and urges us to keep an eye on things.

We couldn’t agree more with Andy’s point here, which is why Unbounce is making page speed our priority in 2019. In particular, we’ve been busy removing the obstacles to building faster landing pages.

What else can you learn about page speed?

The 2019 Page Speed Report For Marketers answers a whole lot more questions, like:

  • Who’s more patient—Android or iOS users?
  • What forms of media will people give up if it means faster landing pages?
  • What else did marketers say about their speed improvement efforts?
  • How much do they know about Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)?
  • And a lot more…

(Plus more insights about page speed from Andy Crestodina, Krista Seiden, Rand Fishkin, Ryan Engley, and Peggy Anne Salz.)

If you want to know about the impact that page speed has on your campaigns, you’ll want to dive head first into the rest of our findings. (Don’t worry, the report is plenty deep.)

We think these discoveries should encourage a more accessible web and they’ll lead to better internet experience for everyone in 2019, so you don’t need to give us a thing to see it.

Take a look, and let us know what you think in the comments below.

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About Colin Loughran
Colin was formerly a content wonk at Unbounce (and editor-in-chief of this blog). He's been known to sling a big word or two, but he's got a soft spot for the cute lil' ones. He adores search engines, digital marketing, and descriptive grammar. He's so fun at parties. 🥃
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