Today I read a great presentation from Joshua Bixby (Strangeloop). He showed a nice way to create a business case for Web Performance Optimization (#wpo). The case is that a slower user experience leads to less revenue, but it's not easy to prove that. What you could do is set up an A/B test with a slower page as B variant. The upside is that you can make a business case, the downside is that you will lose revenue. Joshua came up with another option: we already have the connection speed and browser version in Google Analytics!
The older browsers and slower connection types have a negative impact on page load times. So they should show us numbers for people with a slower user experience.
I created a spreadsheet and downloaded the data from lots of clients into this sheet. I segmented them by connection type and browser and calculated the average revenue per visitor. These numbers are based on 206.778.873 visits that did €4.540.594.926,86 on revenue. That makes an average of €4.97 per visit.
We all know that Internet Explorer has 3 versions that have improved a lot in time: IE6, IE7 and IE8. And all three of them are still responsible for a lot of visits, although IE6 is losing fast lately. I created three groups and the results are:
Amazing isn't it? The value per visit goes from €3,59 to €5,45 (a 50% improvement). So please force your customers to update their browsers so they are willing to spend more....or do we have to speed up our sites
The connection speed is also a major factor in the user experience. A slow dialup connection doesn't make you happy when surfing around a shop that has uncompressed 8MB images online to show their products. Let's see if this is also represented in the numbers:
The difference is not as big as the browsers show, but there's still enough impact.
I combined both browsers and connections so see if for example IE6 + Dialup would be the worst performing couple, and yes:
From left to right the browsers and connections in the order as you would expect. Especially IE6 has a big impact on the numbers, but dialup is not te be ignored also.
You have the data.
You can calculate the numbers.
You can create a business case.
Start optimizing your site!
The load time of your pages has impact on SEO, AdWords Quality Score, the conversion percentage, server load, pages-per-visit, etc, etc. You can't afford to have a slow site.