An article by Darrell Wilkins on 29 Nov 2021
Summary: Investment in website performance drives positive return on investment. High performance websites lead to more conversions, better SEO performance and improved user experience.
Regardless of the metrics and KPIs critical to your Fintech success, investing in web performance should be a top priority.
I’d make a bet you track most, if not all, of these. These numbers matter as they measure how well your website contributes to overall business success.
What might not be as obvious is that optimising your website’s performance can improve every one of these metrics. And improving these metrics (think increasing conversions and revenue) adds real value to your business.
Need more concrete evidence? Consider three specific ways a high-performance site can positively impact your FinTech.
1. High Performance Websites Foster a Better User Experience
Core Web Vitals are Google’s way of measuring website performance. You can check out how your web pages stack up using tools like Lighthouse or WebPageTest. In the reports they provide, you’ll see Core Web Vitals measure three primary aspects of performance:
- Largest contentful paint. This measures how quickly the largest, above-the-fold element on a page loads.
- First input delay. This measures how quickly a user can interact with a page — say clicking a link or button.
- Cumulative layout shift. This measures how much a page’s content shifts and jumps around as the page loads.
You know how frustrating it is when a header image loads slowly or the content on the page jumps down as it appears. It’s frustrating for your site visitors and a poor User Experience (UX).
Each Core Web Vital is a proxy for measuring UX. They attempt to put a score on how user-friendly your pages are. Improving site User Experience has a direct positive impact on every website metric you care about. And optimising for speed enhances every aspect of User Experience.
Slow-loading pages are more than just irritating for your users. They can also impact your FinTech’s bottom line. Use our calculator to see how page load speed affects metrics like bounce rate and conversions.
Page load time (in seconds)
Probability of bounce increase
Page abandonment increase
In Tammy Everts’ book Time Is Money: The Business Value of Web Performance, she notes:
- Unhappy users — those who experience a mere 2-second slowdown in how a web page loads — simply do less. They make almost 2% fewer queries, they click 3.75% less often, and they report being significantly less satisfied with their overall experience. Worse, they tell their friends about their negative experience.
- 78% of users felt some kind of negative emotion due to slow or unreliable websites.
- 44% of users say that slow online transactions make them unsure about the success of the transaction.
- 42% of men and 35% of women have decided not to use a company again as a result of experiencing a slow website.
You are quite literally losing business if your website is slow and underperforming. Better performance = better UX = added business value.
2. High Performance Websites Have Better SEO and Rank Higher
Google assigns every website a crawl budget — it’s the number of pages Google bots crawl and index in a given timeframe. Website performance, particularly speed, affects this process.
For one, bots can crawl more pages in a shorter period of time if your website is fast. And if they’re crawling more pages, you have more opportunities to rank on SERPs (search engine results pages) for at least one of those pages. That’s straightforward enough.
Additionally, the fastest, highest performing sites get a ranking boost post-crawl. We know Google ranks pages primarily based on relevance. That’s unlikely to change. But Core Web Vitals are more than a tie-breaker — they’re a ranking factor in their own right.
The importance Google is assigning to Core Web Vitals’ is increasing. Just as they continually tweak their ranking algorithms, they are improving how they measure your pages' performance.
As more organisations optimise their sites in other ways — like making them mobile-friendly or using HTTPS instead of HTTP — there’s less and less to differentiate one site’s pages from another. Since high performance is difficult to attain, that’ll likely remain a potent differentiator.
In sum, optimising your Core Web Vitals can result in better rankings.
But how do higher rankings affect business value? If your site pages rank higher in search engine results, they’ll be more visible and more users will click onto them. More clicks ultimately mean more business for you.
3. High Performance Websites Drive More Conversions
We’ve established that a high performance website will rank higher and have a superior user experience. Users are finding your pages more easily and engaging with your user-friendly content. As a result, high performance websites are also more likely to convert visitors.
It goes beyond rankings and UX. The faster a page loads, the less likely someone will leave or bounce off that page — or become distracted and/or annoyed.
There’s an overwhelming amount of data to support the fact that high performance websites lead to more conversions. Consider the following stats from Cloudfare:
- Pages that loaded in 2.4 seconds had a 1.9% conversion rate
- At 3.3 seconds, conversion rates dropped to 1.5%
- At 4.2 seconds, less than 1%
- At 5.7+ seconds, conversion rates were 0.6%
What conversion rate would you rather have?
What You Gain When You Invest in Website Performance
There’s potential for real ROI and added business value if you spend money improving your FinTech website’s performance.
If you’re wondering how much you’ll have to spend, think about it this way. If you measure the lifetime value of your customers in the £hundreds of thousands to £millions, then spending £100k to gain just one extra customer per year is a no-brainer.
An investment in performance isn't a one-off; it continues to pay back into the future. For example, if improved speed and better UX deliver one new customer, it will likely lead to many more over time.
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