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How Website Security, Performance, and Conversions All Tie Together

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Load & Performance Testing, Software Testing Trends, Website Testing

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When it comes to creating a profitable website, a marketer needs to understand that pumping in more traffic alone isn’t enough.

To convert your website visitors into paying customers, you need to pay attention to their needs and design an elaborate user experience that will help them achieve their goals — with your product or service at the finish line.

You probably already know that user experience or UX depends on various factors, from landing page design to content quality. Not a lot of marketers, however, realize the link between a conversion-friendly UX, website performance, and cybersecurity.

Here are the points where these three facets of your website and how to take advantage.

1. A Slow Website Increases Bounce Rate

You don’t need to be a veteran marketer to know that website loading speed is crucial to the UX.

Take note that we live in an age of instant gratification.

Most, if not all, users are pampered with fast response times — be it in apps, websites, or device operating systems. They definitely won’t appreciate it if your website greets them with never-ending loading icons or blank spaces.

Statistics show that 40 percent of people and 53 percent of mobile would abandon a website if it doesn’t finish loading in three seconds. That’s roughly half of your potential customers gone before you even get a chance to present your content.

To make sure visitors stick around for your pitch, start with a tool like GTmetrix to detect performance bottlenecks and what you can do about them.

SLOW WEBSITE INCREASES BOUNCE RATE

Aside from the optimizations recommended by GTmetrix, another way to boost your website’s loading speed is to use a Content Delivery Network or CDN.

As the name suggests, a CDN is a network of servers that handle the delivery of website data. Latency is then significantly reduced by utilizing the server nearest to the user.

2. Website Performance Affects SEO

It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a veteran in the digital marketing — you’ve most likely encountered the term Search Engine Optimization or SEO.

The HubSpot State of Inbound 2018 survey reveals that SEO is cited as the top marketing priority by 61 percent of brands, and it’s not hard to see why.

Regardless of niche, every online brand needs to have SEO in their digital marketing arsenal. It can help you cement your authority, generate a steady stream of organic traffic, and pull in qualified, goal-driven leads.

To succeed in SEO and snag a high rank in search engine results, one of the important factors you need to focus on is your website’s speed. It is, after all, a fundamental component of UX, not to mention that fast loading times are associated with higher website conversion rates.  

3. Cybersecurity Breaches Breaks Trust

Moving on to cybersecurity, not even the most well-funded brands would dare underestimate the cost of successful breaches.

$3.62 million — that is the average total cost of data breaches according to the Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study. For individual records stolen or lost after a cyber-attack, companies end up losing a cool $141 on average.

What do these numbers mean for a website’s profitability? Apart from the fact that cleanup and recovery cost a fortune, cybersecurity breaches could also have an irreversible effect on your brand’s image.

Studies show that 60 percent of small businesses fail within six months after a cyber-attack. This occurs when the business wasn’t anticipating the breach until it eventually happens and does damage.

That’s why every website must invest in protection against the plethora of cybersecurity threats that run amok. This includes ransomware, Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS attacks, and SQL injections.

Some of the services you need to consider for cybersecurity are:

  • Web Application Testing
  • Web Application Firewalls
  • Automatic Backups
  • Antivirus and Anti-Malware

4. Security and Trust Badges Improves Buyer Confidence

In addition to preventing the costs of cyber-attacks, investing in security also comes with perks that can directly affect conversions.

One particular example is the effect of an SSL certificate on the confidence of your prospects.

Put simply, an SSL certificate — short for Secure Sockets Layer — provides proof of a website’s identity and encrypts data being transmitted.

SECURITY AND TRUST BADGES IMPROVES BUYER CONFIDENCE

Remember, customers don’t need to be security-conscious to prefer transacting with SSL-secured websites. If the website they’re currently using doesn’t have a valid SSL certificate, modern web browsers present them with a warning page that blocks them from accessing the site.

SSL certificate vendors can also issue trust badges that you can showcase on your website to reassure potential customers. Other services, such as payment gateways and online security tools, can provide your website with similar seals, which you need to weave into your landing pages along with core conversion elements — from opt-in forms to CTAs.  

SSL certificate vendors

Another way to earn the trust of your potential customers is to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR, which involves displaying a cookie consent notification to your website visitors.

The GDPR applies to your website if you cater to EU-based customers and collect their data for various marketing purposes. For compliance, your checklist should include:

  • Hire a Data Protection Officer or DPO
  • Conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment or DPIA
  • Prepare to notify all affected parties in case of a data breach
  • Delete excess data that don’t have a purpose in your processes

5. Downtimes Ruin Customer Experience

Finally, extended downtimes are among the common symptoms of certain cyber-attacks. This directly translates to lost sales and a damaged reputation due to the ruined UX.

The use of proactive cybersecurity solutions is a great way to minimize downtimes caused by breaches, such as brute force attacks, malware infections, and DDoS attacks. Your web hosting service provider also plays a pivotal role in ensuring maximum uptimes for your audience.

An uptime monitoring tool like Uptime Robot can help you gauge the reliability of your web host and determine whether or not you need an upgrade. Other than monitoring the uptime of your website, it can also send you alerts via email whenever downtimes are detected and recorded.

DOWNTIMES RUIN CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Conclusion

As a marketer, you can’t afford to overlook even one aspect of your website’s profitability.

The guide above should be more than enough to shed light on the connection between website performance, security, and conversions. To make the most out of what you’ve learned, be sure to make website testing a core component of your approach. 

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