Problem – How does site speed increase mobile conversions?
Solution – Using performance testing, site speed problem areas are highlighted and compared against a rivaling competitor to identify potential conversion-boosting areas.
Read Time – 5 Minutes
Mobile is a force that can't be reckoned with. As user habits change and the popularity of mobile conversions increases, around 79% of us will have made a purchase online within the last 6 months using a mobile device, which is why software performance testing is the pinnacle tool for increasing conversions. Read our Website Testing 2020 guide.
What is performance testing?
Under this umbrella term, website performance testing can be broken down into two key practices: site speed testing and stress testing. For now, we are just going to focus on a site speed website performance test in relation to mobile conversions.
Site speed performance testing examines the total journey time from start to finish using a performance testing strategy that includes scripted tests which are deployed either to a community of testers or to an internal team of testers, depending on the security sensitivity of a website. For example if you wanted to test site speed using performance testing methods on Amazon, you could construct a script starting at the homepage and finishing when a conversion has been completed.
Tip: One of the performance testing best practices is to use incognito mode to ensure no previously saved data is used for autofill. This will significantly decrease the amount of time spent on a certain page, and will consequently skew your site speed results.
It's important that you collect a large amount of data from your testers as external factors such as internet speed will make your results unreliable. You need more than 10 testers to conduct a thorough site speed performance test.
Why is performance testing so important on mobile?
Think With Google released some key stats relating site speed to conversions. Shockingly the probability of a user bouncing off increases by more than 100% if a site takes longer than 10 seconds to load. On average, the probability of bounce increases by 32% if a site takes 1 - 3 seconds to load, whereas if a site takes up to 10 seconds to load then the bounce rate dramatically increases to 123%.
Most importantly, this stat isn't limited to the site speed load time for the transition made between a browser and a homepage, e.g. going from Google Chrome to www.amazon.com, it includes every single step performed in a user journey. Meaning if a product page or form takes longer than 3 seconds to load during a customer's journey then you risk losing a large number of potential conversions. This is where performance site speed testing comes in.
Performance testing will dive deeper into chosen customer journeys, browsers and devices in which site speed and bounce rate increases, supplying you with reliable results that don't waste your internal teams time by providing specific key problem areas.
Site speed and performance testing tools
It's likely that you are aware of the online tools available for site speed testing, such as Pingdom or GTmetrix . As useful as these tools are, they will only provide you with a generalised site speed result, which doesn't dive deeper into the browser and device combinations site speed increases on, or the exact page in which site speed is greatly affected.
Instead, using a dedicated testing community which can provide accurate performance testing metrics, live recordings of pain points in action speeds up the time it takes to perform a site speed performance test and can categorise results in order of severity. For your internal teams, this means the highest impacting bugs are fixed first, reducing bounce rates and improving conversions quickly.
Performance testing evidence
As an expert website testing business with years in the industry, Digivante has worked with many previous clients who conducted performance testing on their site and the results speak for themselves. One previous company who specialised in country clothing based in the UK used performance testing to identify any site speed problem areas that were significantly reducing their conversion rates.
Using an internal team of expert performance testers, the test identified a key load time issue on specific search pages in which the load time doubled, when compared to a key competitor's site. As this issue occurred on Chrome, it was hypothesised that over 50% of users experienced this problem and as a result, conversions were negatively affected.