Last Updated on by Artem K.
SaaS companies thrive on user adoption.
Converting users into habitual life-long customers is a software company’s dream.
But without exceptional user experience, that’s not possible.
One of the most overlooked components (besides link building of course) of great user experience is a website’s load speed.
Load speed is the first impression you make when a visitor lands on a website. It affects search rankings, conversion rates, and SEO.
But how fast are SaaS company websites?
We analyzed the top 20 SaaS companies to see just how fast their websites are.
Using this data, we’ve discovered a few key findings to help you optimize your load speed and improve user experience.
Let’s jump in!
Why do you need a fast site?
Building a fast website with a good mobile experience is essential, especially for SaaS websites where better performance can directly drive conversions and more users.
- Pages that load within two seconds receive a 9% bounce rate, while pages with a five-second-load time experience bounce rates of 38%.
- 40% of consumers won’t wait longer than three seconds before leaving a site.
- A one-second day in a-page response may lead to a 7% reduction in conversions.
- 73% of mobile users say they’ve encountered a site that was too slow to load.
The proof’s in the pudding. Consumers respond better to faster sites.
Reviewing the Top 20 SaaS Companies
In this study, we break down the load speed and how it can affect user experience and conversions.
We’ve taken 20 of the Top SaaS companies in the world, many of the names you’ll recognize, and analyzed their website speed performance.
Then, we’ve organized the data based on Google SEO’s core vitals, along with other prominent metrics.
Based on the data, we can draw specific correlations. For example, how does load speed affect the bounce rate within these 20 SaaS companies? Or how doesn’t the page size affect page speed?
From there, we’ll discuss these key insights and provide a few pointers to boost your web performance, resulting in improved traffic and conversions.
How Fast are the Top 20 SaaS Companies?
Taking a look at the load time, here are the data points regarding load speed:
|SaaS Median Load Speed||1.73s|
|SaaS Minimum Load Speed||461ms|
|SaaS Maximum Load Speed||7.06s|
To give you a further breakdown, we’ll include the exact SaaS companies we’ve tested and their corresponding load speed.
|Adobe Creative Cloud||299s|
For optimal results, your site should load in under two seconds. While not all top SaaS companies fall within that metric, 19 out of the 20 companies have under a three-second load time.
Coincidence? I think not!
Load Speed Metrics
Without getting too technical, we’ll dive deeper into the various metrics within the load speed so that you know what changes to make when analyzing your results.
|First Contentful Paint (FCP)||What do you see? When the browser renders the first initial piece of content and tells the user that the site isn’t hanging.|
|Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)||Is the site useful? This is when the important components of the page load.|
Based on the metrics above, we’ll look at the minimum, maximum, and median from the Top 20 SaaS companies.
|SaaS FCP Median||2.7s|
|SaaS LCP Median||3.3s|
|SaaS TTI Median||4.1s|
A high FCP and LCP affect the credibility and optimization of a webpage. Here are several tips on how to improve these metrics by preloading the largest contentful paint image on a page:
- Image sizes play a vital role in determining the LCP. The load time is much faster when the images used inside the webpage code are the right size.
- WebP is the most efficient web image format since it’s 25 to 50% smaller than JPEG while maintaining the same quality.
- The image dimensions also play a vital role in the FCP and LCP. Stick to 300 to 400px for your main image size, 500-600px for full-screen images, and 1500px or 2000px for your zoom image.
- Using a content delivery network (CDN) reduces the hassle of fetching script packages, resulting in a faster server response. That’s because it accesses the content packages from the nearest available source and not the main location.
Time to Interactive
Even if a page loads, all elements must be usable for the visitor to interact with. Time to Interactive is the time that a page takes to become fully interactive for user input.
The TTI for the top 20 SaaS websites is 4.1 seconds. Google interprets your TTI score by:
|0-3.8 seconds||Green (fast)|
|3.9-7.3 seconds||Orange (moderate)|
|Over 7.3 seconds||Red (slow)|
Within Google Optimization Score, Time to Interactive is five times more weight than First Meaningful Paint.
|Time to Interactive (TTI)||5|
|First Contentful Pain||3|
|First CPU Idle||2|
|First Meaningful Paint||1|
To help you lower your TTI, here are a few practical tips:
- Minify JS and CSS: Remove any clutter, such as new lines, spaces, and other unnecessary punctuation. This allows time and space for the most relevant content to be rendered first.
- Optimize CSS Delivery: Compress and combine CSS scripts, avoid using style tags in the HTML body and prioritize above-the-fold content.
- Delay and Reduced Unused JS: Delay the loading of JS files until after the user interaction, such as scrolling to the end of the page or clicking a button.
We recommend consulting with an advanced developer to implement these strategies.
Page Size vs. Load Speed
Every time a visitor enters your page, a whole bunch of technical tasks happen behind the scenes. Generally, the more content you have on your site, the more time is needed to load its content.
If your SaaS website has a heavy page size, such as large images and videos, and your server response time is slow, or web hosting is inadequate, the page will take longer to load.
The slower your page contents load, the longer it takes for users to see visible content and interact with it.
This is typically caused by two factors:
- Weight of resources
- Number of resources
The larger the file size of a resource, the longer it takes to load. Images are typically the heaviest resource on a page. Image compression and optimization are vital to site speed.
Keep in mind every image or plugin you add will increase the number of requests made to the server, which adds to the load time. Therefore, optimizing your page’s content, like plugins, scripts, images, and theme, significantly impact your site speed.
Now that we’ve prefaced the reasoning for these data points, we’ll look at how page size and requests have affected these SaaS websites.
These data points are plotted using the page sizes of the top 20 SaaS companies.
This scatter graph shows that larger page sizes tend to have a longer load time. Even adding two extra MB can add a second to your load time.
Now let’s look at the number of requests vs. load speed.
Based on this graph, the top-performing sites have between 100 to 200 requests. Slower sites have between 200 and 400 requests.
The secret to reducing the number of requests is removing unnecessary images. Any image that isn’t contributing value should be removed.
Another way to reduce the number of requests is to combine two or more CSS files together. This can be done if multiple CSS files look similar.
Lastly, we’ll look at bounce rates. Bounce rates are the number of users that visit your website and leave without clicking on any other pages.
Google calculates your bounce rate by dividing the total single-page sessions by the total page visits.
The average rates vary on a wide spectrum between 26 and 70%.
Based on our data scraping of the top 20 SaaS companies, we’ve found the following:
|Minimum bounce rate||25.59%|
|Maximum bounce rate||85.12%|
We took this a step further by comparing how load speed affects bounce rates.
Most of the top SaaS companies fall between 50% and 63%. Some companies with a higher load time of 3 or more seconds tend to push past a 65% bounce rate.
It’s crucial to note that speed isn’t the only factor that affects bounce rate. Here are reasons why you may have a high bounce rate:
- Bad content: Content doesn’t address visitor’s needs
- Poor user experience: Trouble navigating or using your site
- Technical error: A ton of 404 pages will make people leave
- Speed issues: Content that takes too long to load makes users impatient
Based on our research, it seems that SaaS companies have a higher-than-usual bounce rate. Therefore, fixing your page speed is a high priority.
The top 100 SaaS companies get about 5,115,000 monthly website visits. A large company like Canva receives over 88 million visitors each month.
A website that receives 5 million monthly visits with a 60% bounce rate receives 3 million visitors leave without navigating to any other page.
If you reduce your bounce rate by 5%, you will receive an additional 250,000 visitors each month. Fixing your speed is an easy way to get back more visitors, improve user experience and potentially rank higher. That’s because Google has made page speed a ranking factor!
What Should You Do Next?
Never stop improving your websites and giving your visitors better, more engaging experiences. Keep these load speed metrics and bounce rate benchmarks in mind, and get to work on bringing them down.
Here is the simple five-step process to improving your load speed.
- Access your current SaaS website speed using Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom, and GT Metrix.
- Determine the current bounce rate using SEMRush.
- Analyze metrics and look at your current Page Size and Number of Requests, which directly affect speed.
- Strategize ways to optimize your JS, CSS, HTML, Images, Videos, and Fonts.
- Follow the tips mentioned in this post to ensure your page speed is falling below the optimal range.
If you’d like us to optimize your SaaS website, we’re happy to help. Our processes can help improve your site’s user experience and ultimately acquire more customers.
Schedule a call, and I’d be happy to walk you through improving your page speed and identifying other factors hindering your site performance.