The 275-Year-Old Secrets To Online Business Success

Benjamin Franklin’s Leadership Tips

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Benjamin Franklin Nailed It In 1751

Benjamin Franklin in his early 20s developed a system for achieving almost anything in life that has proven the test of time.

In fact for over 275 years pretty much every person who has achieved significant success has been using this method either consciously or without knowing that Benjamin Franklin developed it all those years ago.

The great news is this method is simple and incredibly effective and will definitely work to help you build a successful online business or a more successful online business.

This is the same method that helped Franklin:

  • Invent bifocal glasses.
  • Make series of critical discoveries about the nature of electricity and how to harness its power.
  • Invent the lightning bolt for buildings to prevent them burning down from lightning strikes.
  • Developed the highly efficient Franklin stove.
  • Developed a flexible urinary catheter.
  • Developed the first public library.
  • Ran his own successful newspaper and printing company.
  • Helped to form a new country…the United States of America and helped to write its constitution.
  • And much more. Franklin was a highly prolific, writer, statesman, businessman and inventor.

So what is the method Franklin developed as a young man that helped him become so prolific and successful?

The answer lies in the habits you form…

 

   Your Habits Make Or Break You…

We’ve all seen people who have a habit that’s out of control and how it can destroy their lives…drinking, smoking, drugs.

 

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What many people are less aware of is how the daily habits you form have such a huge impact on your success in life and in business.

Exceptionally successful people have developed successful habits…either by design or as a normal part of the process of getting things done. Athletes are a great example of this…

 

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What’s powerful is that you can consciously choose to form the habits you need to be successful…and in many cases it’s a whole lot easier than you might think.

Ask yourself this question…

Do you have anything you know you should be doing right now that will move your business to another level? Something you just never seem to get around to doing?

What Benjamin Franklin discovered all those years ago was that he could condition himself to get things done and to become the type of person who go things done simply by focusing on and developing one success habit at a time.

This may sound too simple but it a huge key to pushing through any barrier that’s standing in the way to your success.

Here are some of the keys to making this work…


   Make a List of Important Things You Need to Get Done…

The first step is choosing the tasks and habits that will make the biggest difference to you, your life and your business.

It helps enormously if you get these into bite sized chunks you can get done in 15 minutes or less.

Examples might be:

  • Scheduling 2 posts on social media each day.
  • Writing one new content post each day.
  • Making contact with 2 new potential joint venture partners each day.
  • Writing and submitting and online press release each day.
  • Creating and uploading a YouTube video each day.
  • Writing and sending an email to your list each day.
  • Doing ONE short task that moves your business forward each day.
  • Anything you know you need to get done broken into a short bite sized daily chunk.

 

   Choose ONE Thing To Work On For A Month…

The more tightly focused you are the more likely you are to succeed at developing one habit that will change who you are and what you do permanently.

You can still perform all those other tasks but you need ONE thing you do every day without fail for an entire month…

 

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   Get The Resources You Need To Get It Done…

When you’re developing a new habit you want to make sure there’s nothing obvious standing in the way of getting it done every day.

You’re going to have enough obstacles without dealing with the ones you can see right now.

Get things together so you know you can do this every day. If a particular task requires more resources than you have right now choose another task you do have the resources for.

 

   Get Started Right NOW…

Ultimately you can only become successful by taking action. Don’t over think this.

If you add any type of positive action you perform every day to your daily schedule and you keep doing it week in and week out you’re going to have more success than if you didn’t perform that action.

And you’re also going to become a more successful person…

 

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So start right NOW doing something that moves you forward in your business.

 

   It Takes 21 Days To Form A Habit…

If you have a waste paper basket next to your desk and you put it on the other side of the desk it will take 21 days before you completely stopped throwing your garbage from the side you used to throw it in and throw it into the waste paper basket without thinking.

That’s what you’re looking for…doing the most important tasks for your business success automatically.

There’s magic in this when you get it working for you.

Just get laser focused almost to the point of obsession on of doing something every day for 21 days. More difficult habits can need 6 months to really enforce them.

I have some quick tips of my own here:

  • When building a new habit where you do something, pick something you already do daily, and do it after that. That’s why brushing your teeth after you wake up is so ingrained – getting up is the trigger to brush your teeth. Look for existing actions that you can use as triggers for good habits.
  • When starting a new habit it is very hard… put notes and reminders everywhere to help you keep the focus you need, as it’s all to easy to forget.
  • If it’s a habit you need to break, then use a replacement habit that you enjoy and can look forward too. For example, instead of the drink after work, you might go to the gym instead, play football, hang out with your kids, go to a class, walk your dog, go for a walk with friends. If you are trying to eat less sweets and chocolate, replace those choices with healthy alternatives like fruit, nuts or cheese.
  • Avoid people who reinforce your bad habit while you try to break it.


Click to Tweet: “If you are trying to eat less sweets and chocolate, replace it with healthy alternatives like fruit, nuts or cheese”

   Never Let An Exception Occur…

Once you start working on a new success habit the biggest key is to make sure you perform that task you’re developing every day.

Don’t accept excuses for not getting it done. If you go to lie down in bed at the end of the day and you realize you haven’t done it get up and do it.

By never letting an exception occur…by following through every day…you’re telegraphing to your subconscious that you’re serious and committed to this.

Over time you’ll find this type of self-discipline will pay huge rewards.

 

   Do It First Thing…

The ideal way to make sure you get that key task done every day is to do it first thing…before you do anything else.

Don’t check email, don’t look at messages on your phone…don’t do anything until you’ve performed the success habit you’re working on for the month.

That will ensure that it gets done regardless of everything else going on in your business and your life.

 

   Keep Doing It…

After you’ve successfully performed one task for a month keep doing it and move on to another task.

Over the course of a year that’s 12 different successful habits tasks you’ll take on.

Your business will look entirely different and you’ll be a different person too…

 

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You’ll find some tasks and habits you’ll refine, some you might replace with others and some you’ll need to go back and do for another month to solidify the habit you were developing.

Over time you’ll get smarter at identifying the habits and tasks you need to work on and the process will actually become easier because your subconscious stops fighting you and starts working with you each time you take on a new daily habit.

Now you have one of the most powerful business and people building tools ever devised. Take it and run with it.

I am human and have faults, and a work in progress. I do my best to apply all of these methods, and they work incredibly well. The better I apply them, the better I do.  My strongest area is building powerful habits, but the habit I find the hardest is ‘first things first’ as being teh CEO of a small start-up I’m often pulled in lots of different directions… but I am certainly getting better at this and seeing the results!

What Franklin Tips have you tried that has worked, and what have you had difficulty with? Comment below…

The Most Profitable Online Business Idea

Strategies to Monetize a Website Without Ads in 2016

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Where’s The Money? The Critical Revenue Mistake for an Online Business

Most people start an online business with the major goal of making some good profits.

But many struggle to make substantial profits despite being in an industry experiencing dramatic growth over an extended period with a whole lot more growth to come.

Why is it that some people build large, highly profitable online businesses while others struggle to make any kind of income?

When I first started online I was making over $1000 per month selling an eBook on eBay which took me about 2 hours a week while I was at University… but along the way I drifted of course and ended up working a lot harder, getting millions of visitors, and while successful, getting a much smaller return on my time…

What did I do wrong?

online website profitable ideas

This report reveals a few of the most common reasons for failure in the profit creation area and the simple key to generating revenue online.

These basic principles will help if you’re not making money yet with your online business.

They’ll help if you’re not making enough money and they’ll also help if you want to identify how to increase the profits of an already profitable business.

What Are You Selling…?

Sometimes you can get so focused on building traffic, building a site with all the bells and whistles and chasing after the latest cool online technique that you overlook the most obvious business basic…actually selling something.

You don’t make any money until you sell something.

I’ve seen sites that are fantastic, generating good traffic with no significant revenue.

In fact I had a site like that myself and everything changed when I created and started to sell a product specifically targeted to the kind of people who were coming to my site.

confused

Repeatedly I’ve seen people working hard to build an online business fall into the trap or not getting clear on what they’re selling or not making any attempt to sell anything themselves.

Trying to monetize a website in 2016 and beyond with ad revenue is only going to give you a tiny fraction of the money you could be earning if you sell a product tightly targeted to your niche. It might work for huge sites like the Huffington Post or Reddit, but for the average business focusing just on ad revenue is highly risky and not a great ROI on your time.

If you’re not selling a product yet start thinking that way. Think about where you’re getting traffic from or where you’re going to get traffic from and what’s important to them.

Think about what moves them emotionally and what they’ll put their hands into their wallets to buy.

Take Your Product Creation To A Different Level…

Another big mistake is to create a pile of different products that are unrelated.

Once you have a product or service that’s selling ask yourself the question “what do the people who bought this want?” “What other product can I create for them?”

To maximize your profit opportunities you need to be something specific to a niche market…

lego

By creating a whole range of products and services that appeal to the same niche market you get multiple chances to sell to the customers that you create. You don’t have to make all these products yourselves, you might recommend other products for a commission, or if applicable get people to subscribe and buy more of the same product… the point is you have to think past the first sale and about the lifetime value of that customer!

And that typically means specializing in a particular area.

It also makes it much easier for anyone who wants to promote you or send traffic to you to know exactly who you are, who your best audience is and what you deliver.

Even if you’ve never created your first product you can start thinking this way…about creating a range of products or repeat purchases instead of just one product.

That does not mean making the mistake of spreading yourself thin chasing every product idea that comes into your head, but about adding ongoing sequential value to your customers… whether it be buying related products, repeat purchases or subscriptions.

Is any of this making you rethink or refine your current strategy so you can make more money?

Who Are Your Best Prospects For What You’re Selling…?

Knowing who is most likely to buy from you and why they’ll buy from you is a huge part of getting you tightly focused to build pages on your website that help convert visitors into email subscribers or buyers.

It helps you create follow up sequences by email that convert subscribers into buyers.

It also helps you keep subscribers happy staying on your email list so you can sell to them later.

Of all the things you can have in a business an intimate knowledge of who your best prospects are and what their emotional triggers, needs, wants and backgrounds are is the most valuable.

With that knowledge you can build products, services, web pages, social media and every other component you need to be profitable.

If you’re trying to build your traffic this can help you narrow down to exactly the type of traffic you want.

Being really specific about traffic makes it much easier for you to compete for paid traffic to because you can weed out all the types of traffic that can be less profitable for you.

Does What You’re Selling Have Genuine Value To Your Prospects…?

In our modern information age with the proliferation of social media failing to deliver value to customers can kill a business incredibly fast.

When you create products or services for a market you want to be sure that you’re going to deliver something that has real value to them…a great return on investment (dollar value) or some type of emotional return they’re looking for.

If you’re giving people the type of emotional return they’re willing to pay for they’ll buy from you over and over again like Taylor Swift fans buying concert tickets.

taylor swift

If you’re giving a good dollar return it becomes a no-brainer for customers to buy more from you because the more they buy the bigger their return on investment becomes.

Gear Your Marketing Material To Communicate That Value…

Once you know who your prospects are, what you’re selling and the type of return your product and service will deliver to them it becomes a whole lot easier to gear all your marketing material, your social media, your emails, your web pages etc etc to sell that value in a way that appeals to your best prospects’ emotions. When FedEx first started they nailed it…

plane

So how does this apply to your online business?

You can produce great free content, and that content can be structured to help lead people to the product you are selling. Your visitors might start reading an article (just like this one), join your list, and then become interested in the product/s you are selling. You just have to be sure you are providing value along the way.

People make the decision to buy based largely on emotion then they’ll often justify that purchasing decision with logic. This can be incredibly hard for some people to accept… but science proves it over and over, and any top copywriter or sales guy will agree.

The more tuned in you are to your best prospects and what they want, what pains they have, and how they feel, the easier it is to sell to them effectively.

It’s also easier to continue to deliver products and services they want.

Focus On Building A Business That Serves People…

While some people get into an online business with the aim of building something great, the majority of people start out just wanting to make some money online.

Then they jump from one idea to the next trying to find an easy push button way to get that fast easy income. They fight for the scraps hoping a loophole will last just long enough for them to make a quick buck… the fail rate is tremendous!

But the vast majority of people who actually succeed online are building serious businesses that have at their core the idea of serving real people with real needs and charging for delivering those people something of value.

Once you start focusing your attention that way and start selling what people want and need in a niche you’ll find it many times easier to start making serious money.

And that really is the biggest revenue key… that is the most profitable idea for your online business that you can run with…

serving

2 Branding Psychology Rules

A Name Choosing Strategy (Powerpoint)

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happy-blondie-branding

Our instincts with branding are usually way off. For example, a couple of unorthodox rules I have found that hold true for branding are…

1. If you ask a few people on the street and they like it, its probably not a good brand name. If they hate it, its probably good.

2. Avoid using a name which describes the product or service precisely. A subtle link to the product or service in the name, or no link at all is better.

Both of these seem illogical and its why the vast majority pick bad brand names.

A Brand is Like a Person You Know Well…

Pick a random name of anyone you personally know out of a hat. You immediately have opinions, qualities, values etc. attached to that person.

That is the same for branding. And it is on an INDIVIDUAL level just like how you form associations and opinions about people, you do the same for a brand.

“Nobody would call their kid Happy Blondie”

Do we name our kids using words that describe them?

Of course not, nobody would call their kid ‘Happy Blondie’. It’s generic, it doesn’t stand out, and there are millions of people that could be given the same name. It also devalues them as a person – it makes them less ‘real’ like an inanimate object.

The same is the true for brand names and companies. For example, any Scuba company could call itself ‘Best Scuba‘, and it sounds like just another and signifies it is not different.

Names are there to express uniqueness, not similarities.

Neptune Diving’ would be much better, and even better than that ‘Deep Neptune’ which has an even more subtle connection to the service.

Just In: ‘Britney Spears’ & ‘Virgin’ used in same sentence TWICE…

When you hear a name like ‘Britney Spears’ your brain will make lots of immediate associations, just like you will make associations when you hear ‘Virgin Airways’.

Both Britney Spears and Virgin Airways have brand associations, and our brain did not need a descriptive name to remember the name, or the instinctive association with what that brand means.

In fact a descriptive brand name would have made memorizing and positive associations harder, and here’s why…

How We Think About Brands…

Our mind can work like a thesaurus and when you use descriptive names, your brain remembers the meaning, rather than the individual words. So you’ll probably think something like ‘Good Diving‘ when trying to remember the name of ‘Best Scuba‘.

If the words have less or a confused meaning, we are forced to remember the name, and then decide the meaning for ourselves.

This is perfect because we truly like to make our own conclusions about what we associate with a brand, not have it forced upon us. A descriptive brand name like ‘Best Scuba’ forces an association, and raises our resistance to believing it because its someone else’s opinion and not our own.

Whereas a non-descriptive name allows us to draw our own conclusions (even though such conclusions will likely have been prompted by how the brand presents itself).

Brands & Brains…

A brand to a person is simply a collection information that leads us to a conclusion about what that brand is about, and this happens whether it was intended or not. The words of the brand name, the actions of the brand, the colors, the type of products and services, and how the brand presents itself all play a part in how we make and recall these associations in our head.

When we see a brand, subconsciously or consciously, these associations effect our decisions and thoughts towards that brand.

The Meaning of Words in a Brand Name…

In fact, the choice of words is important, as words themselves have associations in our mind, by the way they sound, and what they may represent.

For example, an Apple represents fruitfulness, freshness, good health and sweetness. While not all apply to computers, the positive associations like good health and freshness, along with the help of great products and a solid marketing campaign, pave the way for people to see Apple Computers as a fresh computer brand that delivers a healthy operating environment.

Yet instinctively we want to use directly descriptive names when choosing brand names, and the man on the street will tell you that your subtle non-descriptive brand name makes no sense.

A few decades ago the man on the street will huff ‘What’s an Apple got to do with a computer?’, and ‘Microsoft sounds like a penis dehancer’

If we were selling to robots, the man on the street would be right, but we’re selling the brand name to humans, and they think a little differently.

This applies just as much to small companies as it does Fortune 500 companies. If you have customers or an audience, then that audience is making associations with your brand name, and it effects how your company and products are perceived and if they will keep coming back to you.

Read the powerpoint summary of this great branding book below for more branding tips…

What do you think? Did you choose the right brand name for your business?

$50,000 in 3 months

(failure rate = 75%)

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50k-hands-pact

TRUE STORY: In a fresh internet chat room 20 strangers made a pact together to make $50,000 revenue in 3 months by getting their ideas out there as fast as possible. It was a big but serious dream, especially considering some members were close to broke!

In just 9 weeks two of the people in the group exceeded $50,000 and a few more are close behind and making great progress. However, at the same time over half the group is barely making a dent.

So what’s the difference? Why are some racing ahead and others being left behind?

All 20 people work in the same niche and market to the same audience, they are all intelligent people, but the difference between the winners and losers is in how they act and how they think…

The Winners…

The personality traits of winning entrepreneurs. Do you pass the test?

  1. The winners set launch dates, deadlines and aggressive goals like releasing a new product/update/offer every two weeks. They may miss, but they try hard to hit them.
  2. The winners focus on this one project with pinpoint precision. They make more money because they can say no to pursuing other projects. That makes sticking to #1 much easier.
  3. The winners don’t focus on perfection and are more focused on getting something good out there quickly, that getting something perfect out there sometime in the distant future.
  4. The winners accept “flops” as inevitable, and embrace the “flop”. They know their early attempts probably won’t do great, so it is important to get those early attempts done and dusted as quickly as possible.
  5. The winners hunt out their mistakes. This is against our natural emotion to accept we did things wrong but it is vitally important to improve. The winners know that mistakes are normal and are not wrong at all. They hunt out what they did wrong so they can improve next time.
  6. The winners say “If they can do it so can I”, and they find out how they did it. They network, analyze, scrutinize, and reverse engineer to find out why someone else did better than they did.
  7. They focus on a few USPs (unique selling propositions) and copy the rest from other winners.
  8. The winners focus on extending their strengths (after identifying them) and rely on using or copying others in areas they are weak.
  9. The winners hunt out successful people they can learn from and put a big effort into networking.
  10. The winners are generous to their partners and stakeholders. They pay generous commissions, good wages, share profits and help others. Their generosity stands out against the competition. This motivates their partners and creates opportunities.
  11. The winners focus on marketing more than the product/idea/service. In fact the marketing drives the product creation.
  12. The winners block out distractions and set time aside to get things done. They are disciplined to turn off email, chat, television and any other distractions that stop them from working.

The Losers…

  1. The losers drift and don’t held themselves to deadlines or targets. Ask the loser when his next deadline is and he won’t know.
  2. The losers can’t say no to shiny objects and have a lot of projects on the go and find it too hard to abandon any one project to focus more on others. Quite simply they can’t focus.
  3. The losers focus on perfection. They want everything ‘just right’ for when they make that all important launch. Perfection takes a long time and they miss opportunities and the learning process from launching NOW!
  4. The losers fear the flop. So much so that they may never launch, and if they do they may hide away or seek to blame others and not accept responsibility when things don’t go to plan.
  5. The losers are stubborn and blame others. They don’t want to be shown or face their mistakes. They want to prove to the world that what they did was right, and that it was others that were wrong. They’ll even go as far as calling their customers stupid for not buying their product, they’ll highlight the stupidity of the ad-network that does not approve their ad, they’ll blame a guru or teacher for their failures, and they’ll blame their friends and family for lack of support. They will be very reluctant to change or admit where they went wrong, despite the fact being wrong is NORMAL.
  6. The losers look at the winners and make excuses about why they can’t do what the winners have done. Instead of looking for ways to emulate the winners, they hunt out differences which they can identify as excuses for not being a winner.
  7. Losers forget about having any USPs at all and just try to copy someone else (and do a worse job). Just as common in losers is that they think they must do things differently to all the winners to stand out, and that doing this gives them a USP. So they choose not to do everything that the winners do to be “unique” and “clever”, and fail at the same time.
  8. The losers focus on trying to handle and be good at everything, and are reluctant to put their weaknesses in the hands of others.
  9. The losers avoid talking with successful people, or agitate successful people, because they don’t take advice and criticism well. Just being around successful people depresses them rather than motivates them because it shows that they have made mistakes and need to change, so they avoid it.
  10. The losers are greedy. They don’t want to share their profits and success with others and will offer lower commissions, wages, profit share and less help to others. They ultimately alienate themselves from opportunities.
  11. The losers focus on their product foremost and marketing second. They may produce an awesome product, but without solid marketing it flops.
  12. The losers are easily distracted. In fact they unconsciously routine their day to have distractions like email alerts, chat, television, news, chores, phone calls etc. so they don’t have to face the music. They invite distraction rather than actively take steps to block it out. Even though these distractions lower their quality of life and stop them from achieving their dreams, they will defend them like a drug addict.

So are you a winner or a loser?

Milgram Experiment Creates Killers

Powerful Words & Psychological Tricks

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We like to think we can think freely, but the more you delve into the human mind, the more you realize how we’re driven by illogical emotions and instincts.

Watch in the video below how about 2 thirds of everyday people are turned into killers, because the situation is right, the psychological weakness is exploited, and the right words slither into their ears.

  1. Please continue.
  2. The experiment requires that you continue.
  3. It is absolutely essential that you continue.
  4. You have no other choice, you must go on.

This just goes to show how people can be manipulated into doing things they think they never would. Create the right environment, and use the right words and people react in predictable ways.

You are part of the experiment…

In the online marketing world this phenomenon is not unknown. Every time you browse the internet it is pretty much guaranteed you are part of some marketers scientific experiment.

Statistical tests to see how you react to different words, different colors, different designs, different images are carried out by websites every day. Google is doing it, eBay is doing it, Facebook is doing it, and I’m doing it too.

The right words can make an incredible difference too how successful your website and marketing campaigns are. The right words can see you go viral all over Facebook, see sales of your product triple, and have people going click crazy for your emails.

In the Headline Handgun I share some of the hooks, headlines and words that have worked really well for me. Steve Lorenzo reveals his email marketing word wizardry and tested strategies in Sexy Email Marketing.

What has worked for you?

Effect of Website Speed on Users

Statistics Reveal Slow Loading Times Cost Sites Serious Money

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I really don’t like to advocate wasting a whole bunch of time trying to fix something that is not broken, or something that is not really going to help you make additional cash.

At the end of the day there’s a lot of aspects of your business you could be spending time and money on. To decide where you should focus your time and resources depends on where it will have the biggest impact.

If your website’s speed is not going to stick some extra silver coins in your pocket, and your own users don’t really care that much, then why should you give a munch?

Here’s what we really need to know…

What impact will site speed have on your bottom line?

Test Your Knowledge

  • User’s will be happy if a website loads in under ____ seconds or less.
  • How many extra seconds before I lose more than 20% of my visitors?
  • The average website would lose __% per year if the site was 1 second slower.

Now let’s dig in with what we all know…

Really Slow Websites Are a Disaster

You don’t need a smart-ass study or clever conversion rate scientist to tell you this. But what a solid scientific study can tell us is just how much of a disaster slow websites really are…

A 2006 study by Akamai revealed:

  • 75% of people would not return to websites that took longer than 4 seconds to load.
  • The big spenders on the net ranked page-loading time as a priority

Would we agree that a 4 second load time is slow? Well 75% of people think so, they would not even go back to that site.

That was in 2006. Akamai did a study before 2006 and found that the threshold for really annoying visitors was 8 seconds instead of 4 seconds. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that these days people’s expectations are going to be even higher. Cowboy Speaks

A more recent study by Fiona Fui-Hoon Nah in the University of Nebraska said that tolerable wait times have decreased to just 2 seconds.

Count 2 seconds out loud… one…. two… any longer and you’ve just lost a big chunk of your audience!

A study released by Akamai in September 2009 came to similar conclusions:

  • 47% expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
  • 40% will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
  • 52% of online shoppers claim that quick page loads are important for their loyalty to a site.
  • 14% will start shopping at a different site if page loads are slow, 23% will stop shopping or even walk away from their computer.
  • 64% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with their site visit will go somewhere else to shop next time.

Google Gives a Munch!

Google has stated that they now consider site speed in the rankings of a website.

You may have heard that here at Google we’re obsessed with speed, in our products and on the web. As part of that effort, today we’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed.

-Google Webmaster Central Blog

This has been confirmed by bloggers and webmasters who have tested the effect of site speed on rankings.

A study by LightSpeedNow showed that by making a website faster Google sent 15% more traffic, and Bing and Yahoo also sent more traffic.

I’ve come across several webmasters stating that there website traffic dropped significantly when Google introduced site-speed into its algorithm. One even saw an 80% drop!Cowboy Horse Jim Carrey

A Slow Site Will Alienate Your Audience

Will people hold it against your brand if your site is slow? Will they come back? Will they go to a competitor instead? How will the rate your site?

Let’s find out…

People Run From Slow Sites…

The Gomez Peak Time Internet Usage Study conducted by Equation Research on 1500 consumers (February 2010) confirms the negative impact of poor performance:

  • At peak traffic times, more than 75% of online consumers left for a competitor’s site rather than suffer delays
  • 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience
  • Almost half expressed a less positive perception of the company overall after a single bad experience.
  • More than a third told others about their disappointing experience

Put bluntly, if your site is slow your readers will get angry and go somewhere else.

Cowboy ipad

People Stick Around on a Fast Site…

A case study from Aptimize showed that when they made the website Geekzone faster the following results were achieved:

  • 35.10% increase in average time on site
  • 13.63% increase in number of pages per visit
  • 3.7 percent reduction in bounce rate

People Change in a Bad Way on Slow Sites…

A 2004 Study by Skadberg & Kimmel showed that speed affects people’s evaluation of the attractiveness and the content of a Web site. In other words if your website is slower, people will actually like your actual content less, even though the quality of your site’s content should in theory be the same whether your site is fast or slow.

According to the study:

  • When people are in a state of flow they tend to learn more about the content presented on the website.
  • The increased learning leads to changes of attitude and behavior, including taking positive actions.

There’s a lot more to this than just having a few visitors hit the back button because your site is slow, those that do stay on a slow site will be less likely to buy from, subscribe to, read, engage in and recommend your website.

The advanced SEOs will know that improved user engagement helps improve website rankings (Google has a lot of tools at its disposal to track this and it does). So even if Google did not measure site speed directly in its ranking algorithm, improving site speed would still help achieve better rankings.

The fact Google does look at site speed as a factor in rankings means that there’s a double impact on rankings when you improve site speed. You make Google happy by having a faster site and improved user engagement.

That will explain why some people have seen such positive results with Google rankings when they make their website faster.

The Proof That Milliseconds Matter

The big guys in the industry have really dug deep and proved that those milliseconds matter.

  • For every 100ms increase in load time of Amazon.com decreased sales by 1% (Kohavi and Longbotham 2007).
  • Google discovered that a change from loading a 10-result page in 0.4 seconds to a 30-result page loading in 0.9 seconds decreased traffic and ad revenues by 20% (Linden 2006).
  • Google Search found that a 400 millisecond delay resulted in a -0.59% change in searches/user. What’s more, even after the delay was removed, these users still had -0.21% fewer searches, indicating that a slower user experience affects long term behavior.
  • Another study by Google found that an extra 500ms in loading time resulted in 20% drop in traffic.

That’s just half a second to lose 1/5th of your visitors!

  • Yahoo also found that a 400ms slower page would see 5-9% more people leave before the page finished loading.

So let’s revisit your initial assumptions…

  • User’s will be happy if a website loads in under ____ seconds or less.
    Well the average user expects a site to load in 2 seconds or faster. There’s not been a study on how fast = happy, but I think it is safe to say that 1 second or less is what to aim for to keep your audience happy.
  • How many extra seconds before I lose more than 20% of my visitors?
    Well this depends how fast or slow your site was to begin with. A popular fast site like Google could lose 20% of it’s visitors if it site becomes just 0.5 seconds slower.
    We also know that if your site is 3 seconds or slower you could have lost almost half your visitors.The important take home point is that even fractions of a second matter and can mean you are alienating your visitors every day.
  • The average website would lose __% per year if the site was 1 second slower.
    Well this of course varies depending on how fast or slow the site was to begin with. But if a site was to load in just over 3 seconds instead of just over 2 seconds then we could see 40% of visitors lost based on the findings from Akamai.
    It’s also likely that those visitors that leave were more experienced web users (their expectations have been shown to be higher) who were likely to spend more, so those that remain are the ones that spend less on average.Not only that but those that still remain on a slow are shown to be less engaged in the website, are more likely to leave earlier, and are less likely to buy something than if the site was faster.

Therefore it’s very possible that in some circumstances 1 second can  see a 50% reduction in a site’s revenue.

The Time of “Us & Me”, Not “You & We”?

Correlation of Social Trends & Stock Market Booms & Busts

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The above statement refers to a broad change in behavior that has begun to kick in with increasing force since the stock market top in 2007, and also from the previous top in 1999.

The implications of this are overwhelming! Just look at the events of the last two years.

Economists, businesses, the media and just about everybody appear surprised and shocked by the evolving change in society’s character. “CHANGE” – that’s been the big buzz word of 2009, but all this change need not be such a shock with a little perspective…

It is no coincidence that when the economy suffers people’s behavior, overall mood and outlook changes, sometimes very drastically.

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