Why Landing Page Loading Time Matters To Affiliates

by Josh Todd on May 12, 2011

This is a guest-post written by Kate Carpenter, the lead designer over at the web-oriented design and development studio, Fireworksable.

What are page loading times?

I assume that simply by reading the phrase “page loading times” most of you understand what it means, but for those who don’t I’ll elaborate:

The page loading time is the time it takes for a web page to complete loading of that it’s content in a visitor’s browser. The time it takes to load a page increases as the file-size’s of the it’s content increases.

Making sure that page loading times are optimized should be a key concern of developers, however when you hire a cheap freelancer from Digital Point or Elance to put together your landing page or website, it’s often not taken into account, ultimately at your own cost.

 

So, why exactly do page loading times matter to me as an affiliate?

 

If you don’t take into account how fast your page loads, chances are you’ll experience a higher bounce-rate and lower conversion-rate than you would had you optimized properly, due to:

Impatient visitors, which tend to make up the majority of us.

In this day and age, we’re used to getting stuff done very fast. That’s why when we visit a web page that appears to load slowly, even if it’s just by that tiny little bit, we’re very much inclined to hit the back-button.

Google and it’s various algorithms.

Google search now takes into account the loading time of a page when ranking pages, so if you get a lot of visitors from organic search, you could see your primary source of traffic start to slip away.

It also plays a part of your “Quality Score” if you’re using Google AdWords as an advertising platform to run PPC campaigns (NB: I think I read it only effects the search network and not the display network, but I’m not entirely sure).

What can I do to improve my page’s loading time?

 

Here’s two things you can do to improve the loading time of your web pages pretty significantly without diving too much into the technical side:

Compressing those images of yours.

 

Images are by far the biggest contributor an increased page loading time, as they tend to make up the majority of a page’s content in terms of file-size. Compressing an image allows you to remove unnecessary little bits of data from it, and reducing it’s file-size.

For the average affiliate whose not too technical, the best way to compress images is by using Yahoo!’s SmushIt, image compressor.

“Minifying” any JavaScript you’ve got.

 

Often JavaScript files can contain additional comments, white-spacing or code indentation that pumps up their file-size. Removing these additions is called “minifying”.

 

Again, for the average affiliate whose not too technical, a great way to “minify” JavaScript files is by using Google’s Closure Compiler.

 

Some final words on the subject of page loading times…

You can also calculate your page loading time on a scale of 1 – 100 by using Google Page Speed, as well as advice for improving loading time, specific to your page.

In all seriousness, I really recommend that you check out the resources I’ve mentioned in this guest-post, as it shouldn’t take you much longer than 10 or 15 minutes to compress your images and “minify” your JavaScript, and while the impact won’t be a 200% increase in conversions, it will certainly be worth far more than the time spent doing it.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

JeanPierre Khoueiri May 16, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Great Tips mate. I like that tool you mention smushit by Yahoo, never heard of it before, thanks. It's funny how all of a sudden everyone is talking about website speed, I've been telling my customers about it for years, so many peeps are mentioning it that I'm launching a site just to offer website speed performance optimization exclusively. The site should be up by next week, so let me know what you think when we launch at http://www.WebsiteSpeed.co

Thanks again for spreading the word about website speed.

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Jason May 16, 2011 at 9:18 pm

I'm a BIG fan of using FireFox's Yslow plugin to analyze speed issues. (This and seo are what I used to do.) And since our pops are always first view, never repeat views, one thing that helps too is to put any CSS directly in the head section on landing page to save on the http request to a CSS file, since we're not caching it anyway. (Google does this with their homepage too so it loads as fast as possible on the first view.)

p.s. MediaTraffic just raised minimum bids for URL targets to $.02 today. Crazy, eh? Good thing I'm jumping ship to LeadImpact anyway, then hope to try TV someday. Funny, Jonathan Van Clute said the same thing as you did about MT not working well for him, when I talked to him. And I read on Andrew Wee's blog a comment by David Ford from about a year ago, saying the same thing, recommending LI or Adon instead of MT for newbs that can't get on TV. Seems to be the consensus. So far I've spent about $22, made about $10.65. Unfortunately, both those conversions were from offer urls within the many I targeted, so I don't feel like I've accomplished a whole lot yet. But I'm keeping the grind on. ;)

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David Polykoff May 31, 2011 at 9:41 am

Great advice. I can call myself guilty when it comes to abandoning a page when it takes more than a few seconds to load. It's incredible how impatient the world has become. But those little things can impact your conversion rate.

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Direct Response CRM June 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Load time is HUGE for conversion. Loading all your graphics from a CDN can have a big increase on speed.

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John Robberson June 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Great info,

I agree. I read a post on the Google Blog issued after the Google Panda Update that specifically spoke about loading times affecting rankings.

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Carl August 2, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Good, solid info. I do like Yslow & Google page speed, but I've seen the best results from simply using fewer images. Pages aren't as pretty, but gets the job done.

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Glenn Vanden Bosch August 16, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I am interested in seeing the product that will spy on others that you can implicate. Is this something that is usable? Please get back to me. Thank you. Right now I have cpvlab. I would like to know if yours is better? Please get back to me. Thank you. Glenn

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