IC Places hires ApFormance to optimize website

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A screenshot from IC Places' international website
A screenshot from IC Places' international website

IC Places, a media company that produces entertainment content for websites and television, has chosen to work with ApFormance to optimize its website's loading speed, says Steven Samblis, CEO of IC Places.

“You can do everything in the world to get people out to your site, but if once they're there; they leave, your marketing strategy doesn't work,” Samblis says. “We have pre-rolls [videos] that play as soon as you come to our page. That's the core revenue stream on our website.” IC Places makes money off ad space, which it sells based on the number of clicks it receives, he says.

Alan Prather, who founded ApFormance in May and serves as the company's CEO, says that for online retailers and publishers, load time is an oft-forgotten marketing element. “Our customers choose us because customers leave. They hit the back button when it takes too long to load,” he says. “That's lost ad impressions and that's lost sales.” It's important, not only to lure consumers to a site, he says, but to keep them there long enough to make money from them.

Prather says that optimally, a website takes three seconds or fewer to load. Twenty percent of a website's users will abandon a site if it takes more than 5.5 seconds to load, he says.

There was no formal RFP process when it came to deciding which company to work with on Web performance optimization, Samblis says. However, he says he spoke with several companies over a six month period. He declined to specify which other companies were considered.

Up next for IC Places is likely an investment in a core SEO team and an expanded editorial team, Samblis says. “It didn't make any sense to up our SEO first if we weren't going to improve the website,” he says. “It made sense to fix that first before we worried about bringing more people to the site” in the first place.

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