How web performance and digital experience influence visitor conversion: 2 key stats

by | Nov 4, 2020 | Application Performance, Articles

Web performance, SEO, visitor conversion and digital business efficiency are intimately correlated, but the impact on your business is not easy to evaluate.

Boris Rogier

Boris Rogier


Troubleshoot performance faults in Cloud native applications
How web performance and digital experience influence visitor conversion? Web performance, SEO, visitor conversion and digital business efficiency are intimately correlated, but the impact on your business is not easy to evaluate.

  • Did you ever wonder what the cost of slow performance is for your digital business? 
  • Did you ever try to convince some of your team members that shortening page load times is worth the effort? 

If you have had interest in these questions, you will find the following data relevant to your job! 

Here are two stats that speak for themselves when it comes to relate page speed to conversion rates and how digital experience monitoring can provide the right return on investment for your business. 

1. Web performance and visitor conversion turned into stats: Page Load Time and Bounce Rates

Keeping in mind firstly that the data hereunder is not as up to date as it should be and secondly the metric set used is not the best in class anymore. Nevertheless… it is a clear evidence that back in 2017, page speed was already affecting conversion rates massively! 

  • When your page load time does not exceed 1 second, you generally retain about 93% of the visitors. Nevertheless, when this reaches 5 seconds, the number of users that remain on your site falls to 62%! if your revenue is driven by your conversion, it means that you may have lost just about one third of your digital incomes
  • From 1 to 3 seconds, the impact on bounce rates is limited; from 7 seconds you lose the majority of your audience. 

How does performance affect the retention of your visitors

2. Web performance and visitor engagement in a stat: page speed and average number of pageviews

This stat is more recent: September 2019 and proves the first stat to be true: page load time greatly affects the visitors engagement rate! It was published by Andy Davies at MeasureCamp last year

To support it, the following graph relates the number of pageviews to the average page load time during a visit. In short, it confirms the first stat: the peak engagement sits between 2 and 3 seconds and the number of pageviews plummets beyond these response times.

Understand how performance influences the engagement of website visitors

Going beyond these two stats

Like any stat, these two data sets have their limits: 

  • Is page load time the right way to measure web performance? Definitely the most used one, but this is more a browser centric metrics than a user centric metric. But page load time takes also into account the load of elements that will not affect your users (as an example, they may be outside of your user’s viewport) and do not take in account other dimensions of user experience like the interactivity (how fast your site responds to user actions) and visual stability. To sum up, there are better ways to monitor your web performance: I recommend that you take a look at this article.
  • Are these valid for all web apps? Well, the concept of page itself is not as valid as a few years ago. For instance, Single Page Applications change the game and user interactions do not mean a page load all the time any more. You need to find new ways to monitor SPAs. Here is a good article on this topic.

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