Fast pages convert 2x better

Ian Lurie

My latest Search Engine Land column just went live:
29 ways to speed up your web site

It’s timely for me, because we just finished a review of page performance versus page speed, and found that everything—conversions, time on page, scroll depth—improves when a page loads faster.

That’s obvious. But the difference is amazing:

Conversion versus page load speed

Pages that load in 3,000ms (3 seconds) or less converted 2x better than average.

Average page load time on Portent’s company site is 4,400ms (4.4 seconds)

So trimming 1.4 seconds off of page load time doubled conversion rates.

Doubled. Conversion. Rates.

Do you want to double your conversion rates? Speed up your site.

Note: This is preliminary research, run site-wide. Our next test will compare the same page before and after speed improvements.

Search Engine Land article: 29 ways to speed up your web site

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (that's more than 25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team, training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at

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  1. I’m curious, have you separated mobile users to see the lift in conversion rate just for those users? I’d suspect faster load time would increase conversions even more on mobile platforms than the effect it has on desktop users.

  2. Dear Ian:
    Thanks for this reminder.
    So what we need is a way to check out how fast our web hosts are loading pages on our sites, right?
    And then there is the issue of how fast our pages load across browsers and devices (mobile).
    Can we look into this more deeply? I am wondering what kind of hosting account loads relaiabley fast?
    Cloud/non cloud or does it also have to do with the video you have on your page and whether you want it to start playing as soon as the page renders?

  3. Hi Mark,
    Yup, I agree – Portent doesn’t get a large enough % of mobile visits yet for me to say for certain, but it seems pretty certain that SLOWER pages will just kill conversion rates for mobile. Faster pages will clearly drive much better conversion on handhelds, if the pages fit the form factor.

  4. Does this split test include pages where the sales copy is of poor quality? Do they convert better as well if their load time is faster?
    Just wondering what other factors might be affecting the increase in conversion.

  5. @Dianna These were all pages where we’d done our best to have good copy, a good layout, etc.. The 2x faster result we got is almost certainly in a situation where all things are roughly equal.

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