No, the title isn’t clickbait. I mean it. If you’re an offer owner, read on.. I still see this regularly.
Why do advertisers (offer owners) in our space, hire the cheapest of the cheap web-development teams to design their landing pages?
Are they wanting millions of dollars worth of paid traffic directed to your sales funnel or… just to annoy affiliates ?
The amount of awfully designed & resource-heavy landing pages i’ve come across is numerous, some get it right, and some get it really wrong.
How is the age-old concept of fast-loading pages so easily forgotten about?
We all know that the attention span of a user is pretty slim, if a page takes 1-2 secs or longer to load, your premature exit-rate goes up exponentially.
I’ve had a word advertisers directly and gave them all my suggestions in order to speed up page load times, as this is a true and tested metric for better performance, and the pages that actually do get worked on, typically perform better (less clickloss).
Here’s an example that I stumbled across today of an offer I was pointed to in order to run a test.
Not only is their page design absolutely dreadful, this was the page load-time (5.4 seconds) according to GT-metrix.
A Basic Process
In 1 short workday, you could improve your landing pages significantly (just based on simple optimizations) and potentially boost conversion rates across the board.
It doesn’t even require that much work. There’s a lot more you could do, but realistically, you can get away with doing a handful of tweaks in the majority of cases.
First things first. Run your site through gt-metrix and attempt to solve any issues it lays out.
One advertiser hadn’t even had GZIP Compression enabled on his server, which is a pretty basic setting for most servers which enables on-the-fly compression of served up resources.
Compress Your Images
I can’t believe I actually have to point this one out. Compression means smaller file size, which correlates to faster load times.
So, open up photoshop, resize the images on your page to their correct dimensions, then once you’ve saved that, head over to this hidden gem: kraken.io and drag all your images over, have it compressed using their secret sauce algorithm (lossy compression works well), download the files via a zip file. Wallah!
Here’s one I prepared earlier.
Remove Unused Scripts and Stylesheets
If I had a penny for every landing page I found using bloated stylesheets, bloated frameworks, unused scripts, you name it, I’d be a Saudi Prince.
NOT EVERY PAGE NEEDS JQUERY.
What about all those useless CSS files that don’t affect the page, but you’ve referenced anyway?
Do yourself a favour and have that page repurposed starting from scratch, using properly structured and more modern HTML5 / CSS.
Consider a CDN
Unless you live under a dusty rock on Mars, you should hopefully know what a CDN is by now.
If not, go get yourself an account somewhere that provides CDN services, such as MaxCDN and learn how to use it. A CDN basically just mirrors what you point it to (URL) and request via their cdn link. For example, if you store all your files on mystoragelocation.com, and the CDN url is cdn123.maxcdn.com, you would replace all references to website assets which are external to the page code (css/js/images) with the cdn url. You’ll want to ensure your reference corresponds to the correct directory on the server (for example /public_html/images), which would make http://mystoragelocation.com/images.
To load from the CDN (if you configured it right), you’d refernce this instead to load all your resources:
What’s the benefit of this?
CDN’s are useful for hosting static files such as images, stylesheets, audio, etc.. and serving it up to your user from a node (server) closer to their physical-location. For example, I’m in Australia, if you hosted your files with MaxCDN, they’d most likely serve me all your CDN hosted files from a server in Sydney or Singapore. Much faster to load that then something sitting in the USA or Europe.
Talk To Your Hosting Company
Have a nice little sit down with your hosting company and figure out what optimizations you can do to the server in order to speed things up. For example, you can switch from Apache to NGINX or, if you’re so inclined, and are using cPanel, switch to Litespeed (extra monthly cost).
You could enable compression if it wasn’t already enabled. I’m no server guru but there are, I’m sure, numerous optimizations such as caching that can be made specific to the server environment you are using, in order to serve up pages as quickly as possible.
And lastly, here is an infographic courtesty of KISSmetrics.com on the matter (Click image for larger version).
– Andrew, aka Andy D
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