Finally – a way to calculate revenue impact of site speed

The change we all thought was coming has been announced – site speed will, in a more explicite way than before, become part of the signals that influence page experience, which influence Google ranking. In May 2021, three speed metrics will gather under the umbrella Core Web Vitals and hopefully help web teams speed up the website and give the users better experiences.

So, now is the time to fix speed. And to fix speed, developers need time/resources allocated from their stakeholders. And to convince stakeholders, we need to show how speed effects revenue. And that’s why I’ve built a new Data Studio Dashboard that does exactly this.

Get the free Page Value vs Page Speed Dashboard here, and read what you need to know below.

Purpose: Trying to come close to an A/B test

I got the idea for the dashboard after reading the brilliant web.dev article Relating site speed and business metrics by Dikla Cohen, Martin Schierle and Bart Jarochowski. The point they’re making is that companies can A/B test for instance a page by slowing it down in order to prove the value of site speed. The challenge is that A/B tests for speed requires buy-in, and can be tricky for some organisations.

But, there is actually a way to compare slow and fast pages with Google Analytics.

How to use the dashboard

  1. By comparing fast pages that have an Avg. Page Load Time <3 s to slow pages that have an Avg. Page Load Time >5 s, we can see their difference in Page Value.
  2. Page Value is one of the most forgotten metrics in Google Analytics, and is calculated like this: The more often a page helps visitors to the conversion (Transaction or Goal Value), the higher the page’s Page Value. And of course, slow pages aren’t very good at helping visitors to the purchase, thereby, often have a low Page Value. Read Google’s description of Page Value here.
  3. Here’s the trick to get the dashboard as accurate as possible: Use the Page filter and start by comparing for instance all product pages. This way you make sure that the difference in Page Value isn’t due to different UX. If the company has products with big price differences it can also be good to look at only one product type as a second step, so that your analysis won’t get skewed due to an extraordinarily expensive product ending up in one of the buckets. You know your site and your products, so chose a filter that comes close to comparing similar pages with similar products – this way you come close to an A/B test!
  4. With filters in place, see the difference in Page Value. From there, calculate how much more your company would earn from the slow pages if they were to become fast by following the instructions under Business case.

I’ve seen results between +12% to +124%, but most often it’s been around +100%. That’s a good incentive to fix speed!

So what do you say, even without the change in ranking, site speed proves to have a heavy impact on revenue, right?

If you haven’t worked in Data Studio – this is how to connect to your Google Analytics account

  1. Make a copy of the report by clicking the symbol in the upper right corner.
  2. Click [Sample] Google Analytics Data under New Data Source. Chose Create New Data Source.
  3. Chose Google Analytics.
  4. Chose the account you want to analyse and click button named Connect, which turns blue when you’ve chosen your account.
  5. Click Add to Report in the upper right corner.
  6. Click Copy Report.
  7. Click View in order to use the filters.
  8. Happy analysing!

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