A quick start guide to web performance

A quick start guide to web performance

How many visitors will abandon a website if it takes too long to load? According to a 2022 survey, one in two visitors abandon a website that takes more than six seconds to load. The results show that time is valuable to customers, and they are not afraid to spend their money elsewhere if their expectations are not met. Customer behavior has changed in the last decade — from cell phones to social media — and their attention spans have shrunk in measurable ways. More than ever, companies need to be obsessed with the web performance of their site. The inability to capture the attention of your visitors in a matter of a few seconds could cause you to lose potential customers.

This article will cover why web performance matters, how it’s measured, the impact of speed on user experience, and ways to improve web performance.

Why web performance matters

Today, because of the complexity of the changing consumer landscape and increasing demands of consumer expectations, companies are prioritizing the delivery of a great user experience. A faster webpage creates better conversion rates and leads to increased user satisfaction. Studies have shown a strong correlation between slow websites and lost revenue. So, it is even more important to have these early discussions in the site design and development process — while projects are still evolving — and resolve any performance bottlenecks. When visitors have a great digital experience, they engage more with brands’ content and are more likely to come back, explore, and accomplish their goals like making a purchase.

How to measure page performance

To understand the basics of web performance and what to optimize, we need to dive deeper into Google’s Core Web Vitals. They are a set of three metrics that determine the overall user experience and the actual page load speed. In August 2021, Core Web Vitals became a Google ranking factor that will influence how your site ranks in Google search results. By the end of this article, you should be able to measure and optimize these metrics in your own project.

Core Web Vitals measure the following three things:

Core Web Vitals scores are based on real user data while various online testing tools use simulated lab data to generate reports.

Why a functional website is important

For brands, staying ahead of competition and adapting to consumer behavior is not a matter of choice, it’s required. A brand’s website is the single most critical entry point to any user — the speed at which a page loads impacts engagement and conversion, and therefore revenue.

Amazon’s research report showed that even milliseconds matter when it comes to page speed.

What real impact looks like

To give you some insight into why and how focusing on optimal web performance can be a competitive advantage, let’s review Adobe’s real-world case study. Adobe’s digital properties — including website and desktop and mobile applications — had room for improvement on page load times and time spent on site.

Once Adobe implemented Edge Delivery Services from Adobe Experience Manager Sites, the Core Web Vitals greatly improved:

Given that Core Web Vitals have a direct impact on user engagement and conversion, Adobe also saw an increase in key engagement metrics:

The results are astounding, with an uptick across the entire user journey. Adobe saw more visitors come to the website. Visitors stayed longer, interacted with more content, and came back to the site again.

And for mobile users, key metrics improved across the board as well. Mobile users were not only spending more time on the site, but engagement improved as well. For example, engaged visit rate increased by 35%, bounce rates decreased by 6%, and the average time spent on page increased by 21%.

Given that mobile is a key channel for users to find and interact with the site, having a seamless mobile experience is also critical. In fact, research shows that 9 in 10 internet users access the internet using a mobile phone.

For mobile users, plus 35% engaged visit rate, minus 6% bounce rate and plus 21% average time on page

Fast performance is a must-have

Speed matters. Even if pages have met the standard metrics, optimizing them further will increase your future earnings and help you create and maintain a competitive advantage.

Learn how to improve website performance with Adobe Experience Manager Sites.