While the vast majority of marketers realize that poor landing page speed could affect whether or not a customer purchases something, they are more focused on things like A/B testing content and refining ad targeting, according to a study from Unbounce released Tuesday.
Based on a survey of close to 400 marketers who spanned industries such as technology, consulting and ad agencies, Unbounce — a Vancouver-based company that makes software to create and manage landing pages — showed 56 per cent are satisfied with how fast their content loads currently. Seventy two per cent, meanwhile, said they’ve already taken some steps to improve landing page speed, and 81 per cent admitted it likely has an impact on conversions. Common fixes included optimizing video, images and other heavy files, according to 56 per cent, and back-end fixes such as changing hosting providers, according to 43 per cent.
The Unbounce research also included data from an online survey of approximately 750 consumers. While Unbounce concluded that 70 per cent said a slow landing page speed would lead to a drop in purchases, less than half, or 45 per cent, said they would not buy from a site with a slow page, and even fewer, or 37 per cent, said they wouldn’t return to a site hosting one. That could be because 51 per cent also said they tended to blame their Internet service provider, rather than the company hosting a landing page, for slow loading times.
Though responses from enterprise buyers weren’t included in the research, the report’s finding suggest almost everyone expects to get the information they’re looking for near-instantly, said Ryan Engley, Unbounce’s vice-president of product marketing.
“For most B2B companies, page speed won’t impact the final purchase decision the same way it might with a B2C business,” Engley told B2B News Network. “If we look at a classic B2B model, the impact will be farther up the funnel as you’re building brand awareness or gathering leads. There you’ll see slow pages hurt engagement, conversion, and even brand reputation.”
One possible way to address landing page speed is to create them based on Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), an open source initiative designed to make it easy for publishers and brands to create mobile-friendly content once and have it load quickly. However less than half of the Unbounce sample of marketers, or 42 per cent, said they had a good understanding of AMP and how it works. Thirty two per cent, meanwhile, said they lack the in-house developers to work on implementing AMP as part of their marketing strategy.
“Since slow speeds have long been the standard, many marketers still don’t see it as a cause of poor campaign performance. Instead, they look elsewhere — testing visuals, ad copy, CTAs,” Engley said.
The research also suggested getting too fancy with landing pages could cost firms if it affected loading speeds. For example, 57 per cent of the consumer sample said they could do without video on landing pages.
“This should be a warning for both B2C and B2B companies. We’re not saying marketers should avoid video—there’s plenty of evidence supporting its use — but it’s not a magic bullet,” Engley said. “This finding suggests we need to be more mindful of why and, more importantly, when we use video and animation in our marketing. There’s a cost to everything and in the case of including video on a web page, the cost is speed.”
Given the pressure to turn prospects into customers, Engley suggested slow landing pages could explain why some campaigns fail to entice busy CIOs, CFOs or other key decision-makers.
“Attention spans are so short that if your pages fail to load in just a few seconds, most visitors will move on to the million other things they need to do to run their business,” he said.