So what does this all mean for PPC? Well, the main benefit of this asynchronous tracking is an improvement in site load times. And site load time is a commonly overlooked factor in landing page optimization. Consider this paper by Ron Kohavi and Roger Longbotham. In a web experiment, they tested the effect of site load times on Amazon.com. They found that for every 100 millisecond increase in site load time, sales decreased by 1 percent. One hundred milliseconds! That’s only a tenth of a second. It’s barely perceptible, yet somehow has a drastic effect on the psychology of e-commerce. A poorly implemented analytics tracking snippet could probably hold up your site loading time by this amount.
Sure, the new asynchronous tracking snippet promises greater accuracy in Google Analytics (always a good thing), but I think it’s the improved site load time that’s going to make the real impact. Good PPC marketers should always pay attention to what their analytics programs are telling them. But maybe we should be paying attention to what our analytics snippets are doing to our pages, as well. Having a web page that loads slowly and awkwardly could be costing you sales and conversions, and you wouldn’t even know it.