How Much Is Bufferface Costing the Digital Economy Asks ReSRC

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The launch today of a next generation image delivery service by ReSRC which significantly reduses slow webpage load times over mobile networks without the reliance of 4G network coverage by tackling the root cause of Bufferface.


How many websites are still creating Bufferface?

"Page load speed is now a crucial factor for SEO, is one of the tools I can't work without to combat bufferface" Ant Robinson - Pure Optimisation

This week sees the launch of a next generation website image delivery services from innovative startup ReSrc

ReSRC's image delivery technology is at the forefront of the fight against slowly loading web pages over mobile networks.

The digital marketing community has always promised their work aims to put the consumer first. The January 2015 instalment in the series of EE's 4G adverts utilising Kevin Bacon however, aptly demonstrates that many digital campaigns are failing in this goal.

The advert sees Bacon amusingly introduce a range of contorted faces at the sheer frustration encountered during webpage load buffering on mobile devices, and introduces a new word to the British public, ‘bufferface’, to describe their collective look. EE cleverly blame 3G for bufferface, in an attempt to promote and increase the uptake of their higher speed 4G products.

Whilst clearly a faster Internet connection may reduce webpage load speeds a little, it does nothing to tackle the root cause; a lack of focus on webpage load speeds over mobile networks.

In part this is due to a lack of awareness that webpage load speed optimisation techniques are available. However the overriding issue lies with a commonly held misconception that simply having a mobile version of a website, or even a responsively designed website, is enough to keep users happy.

There have been numerous studies carried out to expose this misconception and highlight just how significantly webpage load speed affects all aspects of digital marketing (including SEO, PPC, display advertising and conversion rates) and the commercial impact this can have on the digital economy. One such study undertaken by KissMetrics and the Aberdeen Group looked purely at how delays in webpage load times affect visitor behaviour and concluded that:

“A 1-second delay in webpage load time equals 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and a 7% loss in conversions.” In financial terms, this means that if your site typically earns £10,000 a day, this year you could lose £250K in sales.”

In order to deliver a great user experience to mobile devices, digital marketers must look to tackle the root causes of bufferface. As a staggering 65% of all mobile webpage content is made up of images, images are clearly the front line in the battle against bufferface.

Historically and even today website developers mitigate against bufferface by reducing the file size or quality of an image. In the good old days when there was a clear differentiation between mobile and desktop usage this provided a suitable solution. Not so in 2015 and beyond.

The exponential growth of mobile device use, combined with the ever increasing complexity of responsively designed websites, dictates that digital marketers need to tackle bufferface head on, by insisting their website developers address their bloated imagery.

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Ant Robinson
Pure Optimisation Ltd
+44 7947307076
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