Case Study: A Look at Page Performance AND Conversions
Most top-ranking sites have optimized pages, fast page load times, and low bounce rates. In a 2017 report on industry benchmarks, Google said that the best practice is keeping your average page speed under three seconds. Despite that, many different industries recorded speeds that were more than triple the recommended load time.
What this tells you is that even the seemingly simple act of optimizing your website for speed can put you ahead of the competition.
We wanted to test our theory, so we ran a NitroPack optimization on a few target pages on a fairly large size authoritative website in the health space. Then we compared the numbers before and after to see what impact NitroPack had on page performance.
Here are those results.
Does It Work? A NitroPack Case Study
We gathered data from three articles before running them through NitroPack. Below are the tools we used and some of the metrics we focused on:
- Page Speed Insights: Overall score, first contentful paint (FCP), first input delay (FID)
- Analytics: Unique page views, average session duration, average actions, bounce rate
- HeatMaps: Engagement rate, lead magnet click rates
Just last month, our three articles clocked in at an average desktop Page Speed score of 2.3. Considering that the score is out of 100, there’s a lot of room for improvement. Not that this matters (it’s just an arbitrary score), but it’s worth noting.
Then, we connected NitroPack to the site, which automatically optimized our target pages. When we checked in last week, we saw that the average Page Speed increased to around 93. That’s a 3,871% increase. Again, just a number, but interesting to see.
In terms of load time itself, we tested Nitropack on our absolute slowest pages with a high amount of elements, such as display ads, opt-in forms, and interactive content. So there was a lot of room for improvement.
First contentful paint (FCP) improved from 3.40s to 2.80s (17.65% improvement).
First input delay (FID) improved from 0.363s to 0.259s (28.49% improvement).
Now let’s get into the impact on user activity and behavior.
Average session duration was one of the numbers that dipped slightly, but a negative trend in this metric isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Since your site is loading faster, people spend less time waiting for the page to come up. This lowers the session duration but improves the user experience.
We don’t want to look at these metrics in a vacuum. Sure, a higher Page Speed score may be a plus for your rankings, but there’s no economic value to that score. So we also wanted to look at how NitroPack impacts the metrics with the most money-making potential: engagement and conversions.
In every article, we inserted three “lead magnets”, or links that start the reader down the sales funnel, placed strategically throughout the page. Each of these links leads to a page where users can sign up for a newsletter, receive a free ebook, or gain access to a special freebie/discount in exchange for an email address. This is how our content drives conversions, so we want to be sure that readers are clicking on those links and giving us their contact information.
Pre-NitroPack, our three articles recorded an average total lead engagement rate of 0.47%, which means that only a very small number of people who read the content actually click on any of the links. After NitroPack, that rate increased to 0.75%. That may not sound like a lot, but that’s a 60% increase in less than a month.
And if we break that down by lead magnet position on the page, some showed even more significant improvement. The third lead magnet (a link at the bottom of the article) was initially registering a paltry 0.03% engagement rate. Post-NitroPack, it went up to 0.19% – that’s 4.7x more engagement than before.
Newsletter subscriptions also rose significantly after running our articles through NitroPack.
This case study demonstrates the real impact that NitroPack has, not just on page performance but on conversions as well. And at the end of the day, those are the metrics that really matter – a faster website is great for rankings (which are very important in SEO), but NitroPack’s optimizations may translate into higher earning potential too.
About the Author
Matt is a Search Engine Optimizer by calling. His website Diggity Marketing is a must read for everyone that is interested in real-world tested SEO tips, techniques and methods.