Brad Pitt Moneyball and Load Speed

Brad Pitt, Moneyball and Load Speed

Brad Pitt Moneyball and Load Speed

I spent the evening with Brad Pitt last night and watched “Moneyball” a film about the Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane (played by Pitt) who hired Paul DePodesta, a Harvard alumni with a background in economics who had a passion for baseball statistics.

The situation reminded me of how some people approach web development.

The film shows how Bean and DePodesta collaborated and chose their team based on the statistical probability of a particular outcome whenever the player was in a specific position. The analytical, evidence-based, system was developed from the “Sabermetrics” (a term derived from the acronym SABR, Society for American Baseball Research) that detailed every last important number for every player in professional baseball.

Billy Beane was working for a financially disadvantaged team and was unable to outbid other teams for good players. So after reading DePodesta’s work he signed him to the team to advise him and together they used SABR to make decisions and built their team based on the numbers.

Not a Popular Move

It wasn’t universally well received strategy, other team members, management, commentators and the fans all derided the “Moneyball” approach. It took Beane time to get it polished, to get everyone in his team on-board, to focus on the ONE thing that matters. Winning. It doesn’t matter if you follow baseball or not, or if you know the finer points of sporting stats. The one thing that matters is the number do not lie.

Beane knew that fundamentally the underlying trend is what drives the team. Sure a player can have a massively successful game BUT if he then has 5 or 6 bad games his overall average declines rapidly. People remember the high spots, tend to downplay the poorer performances. It is what we do as humans, we ignore the bad, look for the good and try to stay positive.

Beane look at each of the fundamental elements of each player, plotted them out and ignored all the hype, bluster and PR B.S. that surrounded the game and especially “superstar” players. He went right to the numbers, played the numbers and won, by the numbers.

Boring? Possibly. Effective? Darn tootin’!

After years of building, improving and polishing the Oakland A’s came back and had an unprecedented winning streak. On May 30, 2014 the Oakland Athletics were the owners of the best record in the American League.

So what does this have to do with improving your website?

Beane looked at the fundamentals, and improved his team by the numbers. He didn’t rely on “gut feeling”, or how he felt about a player or even based on how that player might feel about hi, No, he just made a call based on how it affected his numbers.

Unemotional perhaps, but you cannot deny the outcome, a 20 game winning streak.

Every bit of business starts with some fundamentals, if you look at those fundamentals and improve them, you increase the % chance of having a better outcome.

Increase the chance of a better outcome and you get a better outcome a higher percentage of times. Like stepping stones, start with the absolute basics, improve them and everything that follows improves.

Example: I was talking to a small business owner about their sales, they were down. So I asked “How many sales conversations do you have a day?”. After we reviewed this it was seen that he’d not been doing as many follow up calls as he’d previously been doing and thus the outcome had been slower sales.

If he increases his calls and follow up, then he has a better chance to grow his Sales.

The same with your website.

Start with the fundamentals.

Before anyone even comes to your website they have an intent, that intent is driven by a want or a need. They have an outcome in mind, it might be whiter teeth, a new car, or just to learn something new. All this is done before they even click the search engine bookmark.

Then they type in the words that best describe their need, want or outcome: “How to whiten teeth” or “Ford Bling with Leather Interior” or “How to you fix a fence” all of these search terms produce results.

Get found in more results, you get more traffic, so have you got content on your website for all the searches that your potential customers might find? That’s the first place to start, go to Google, search for your competitors and find the keywords and search terms they are being found for, look at their meta data and build a list of search terms that you could possibly build into content.

Next up, load time. Sure you can have the best “funnel”, decent “metrics” and the best content in the world, but if you have a slow loading website then you are killing the chances of the best outcome. Load time is a fundamental basic “win” if you can get it below 3 seconds, below 2 seconds if you really want to win online.

The point is you get the content to your visitors and help server their intended outcome as quickly as possible then the load time is not a problem, not a factor and you take it out the way. Increase your load time and it suddenly gets in the way of your visitor’s intended outcome. Like a locked door between your visitor and their outcome, you have just created a problem that doesn’t have to be there.

7 Seconds is Killing Your Business

Recent research we did show that 55% of the small business website’s tested have a load time over 7 seconds.

Think about that number for a moment. 7 Seconds, seems a pretty short amount of time, but imagine your customer is stood in front of you asking a question, you’re standing there with your eyes closed. Now count to seven.
You open your eyes, and finally respond.

Do you think they might be looking at you oddly?

Then they ask you another question.

You reply…

How long before your prospective customer decides to go find someone who answers them a bit quicker.

We all know that answering the phone within 3 rings is a desired number and when you call someone and it is answered “quickly” we feel frustrated. It is the same with your website.

Host it in America, use cheap slow hosting, fail to optimise your website and use a slow loading huge image (or video) and then add a few more in a slider and suddenly your website is closing its eyes and counting to 7 before it answers the customers intended outcome.

So you have gone to the trouble of building a great website with decent content, highly researched keywords and you have an amazing product. That’s all great, Google never penalises a good site with decent content but Google will ignore a poorly “tuned” site with the best content on the ‘net.

If you want to win online then you need “engagement”, and to do this ensure your visitors get engaged you need to get them to your content fast.

You have 3 secs from them clicking the link to seeing the content, you have 12 secs to engage them with the piece of content they came for, then you are off to the races.

Remember these numbers
3 seconds – load time MAX
12 seconds – to engage them

Engagement should be a click, or a view, or something that shows Google the user has found your site to be useful.

Doesn’t matter about any of your other “metrics” if your load speed is slow. Doesn’t matter about your content if your load speed is slow. It doesn’t matter about ANYTHING your business does, offers or sells if your load….. speed…. is…. s….l….o….w.

Moneyball is a film about a real-world situation that shows how paying attention to the fundamental numbers, the details and the desired outcomes helped a struggling team win. What are you going to do today to change your fundamental numbers?

  • What’s your load speed?
  • When is the last time you checked it?
  • Have you tested within the past month?
  • Has your hosting company slowed down?
  • Has your website slowed down?

Time to check and make sure, visit and check your 5 Fundamentals today and we’ll show you what you need to improve.

The numbers don’t lie, face them, improve them and start to win, like Billy.

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About Stuart Morrison

Stu Morrison's background in marketing, entertainment and web development has fused him into a guy thirsty for results in marketing. His regular talks on marketing and web conversion help others to gain more revenue from their websites. He also has a big moustache.