Do you know how long consumers wait for a website to load? According to numerous studies, more than half of all internet users wait less than two seconds before closing out a site if the content does not display. Website speed is imperative to the overall success of your business. We live in such a technologically-advanced world that a fraction of a second could mean the difference between the success or the failure of your business. Continue reading to learn more.
Has Website Speed Always Been Important to Businesses?
Yes, website speed has always held a high level of importance for businesses. In fact, it has been one of the hottest topics pertaining to general usability since the year of 1994.
As people, we have both an impulsive and a highly emotional “need” when it comes to speed. The internet has experienced broad changes since its first induction.
Examples include the relevance of graphic integration, the transition to sites that are mobile-friendly, as well as interactive/immersive features. Generally speaking, today’s internet is faster and highly reliable. Additionally, we have become more dependent on its features and capabilities.
Does Slow Website Speed Effect SEO and Google Ranking?
Yes, slow website speed will always have a detrimental effect on your search engine optimization and your rank in Google. In fact, if your website loads slowly, Google will actually penalize it. This started in the year 2010. This marked the first time that website speed was utilized as a specific ranking signal in the algorithm Google uses.
The company has established that slow speeds negatively impact the internet user’s overall experience. They rank factors high that help ensure that the internet is fast, useful, and accessible.
If your site fails to integrate features that allow for the success of these goals, you will find that your business will not rank high in search engines. If consumers cannot easily locate you, you are sure to have a challenging time in racking in profits.
Does Website Speed Affect an Internet User’s Perception of a Business?
Yes, website speed is the very first impression that is given off by a business. Consumers and other visitors will make an immediate judgment about your business the first time that they visit your website. If it loads too slowly, a less-than-favorable opinion will immediately form. If the website loads very quickly, that will result in a very strong first impression.
“Fast” often equals “professionalism” and “reliability” on the World Wide Web.
If your website speed is fast, those that land on your site will view it as a reflection of a business that is trustworthy and efficient. They will gain confidence in your business, which will immediately transition into confidence for the products and services that you offer. That – of course -will lend heavily to your overall success!
Do Internet Users Expect Speed?
The internet -in and of itself -sets a tremendously high bar, in terms of speed. As a result, internet users now come to expect and even demand exceptionally fast speeds. This is especially true when it comes to website loading times. Even mobile users expect mobile-friendly sites to load just as quickly as tablets, laptops, and desktop pcs.
Today’s users want quick access, quick results, and quick answers.
If major sites -such as Facebook -load slowly, internet users are willing to wait it out; however, the same does not hold true for most business websites. You have to “hit the ground running”, as the saying goes, right from the start or else you will find that the internet users move away from your website very quickly.
How Are the Conversions on a Slow Website?
Let’s say that about 40% of all people move away from your web site if it takes too long to load. If you get about 100,000 visitors each month and your website is loading too slowly, that translates to a loss of about 40,000 potential customers a month.
When you look at it like that, the damage of slow speeds has the potential to be absolutely devastating! Tests have actually been done on this.
Amazon -for example -conducted a speed test where they reduced their speed by just one second. The result? They could lose $1.6 billion a year in sales! If customers are not willing to wait just one more measly little second for Amazon, the rest of us can guarantee that they will not wait a second than they have to for our business websites.
Are There Long-Term Consequences to Slow Website Speeds?
Yes, there are many long-term issues associated with slow loading website times. These include the loss of potential customers, the loss of sales, poor user experience, and losing your credibility.
To be viewed as professional and trustworthy, that website of yours better be of the highest quality and the highest speed!
If not, you are actually stunting the growth of your business and ruining your reputation in the process.
What is the Impact of Instant Gratification on Website Loading Times?
We have the capability of clicking through multiple websites at exceptionally high speeds. Internet users are – essentially -a product of the environment in which they are a part of. The digital era that we are part of now actually reinforces the need for instant gratification and the joy of receiving it.
This is so severe in today’s world that most people are incapable of comfortably going eight seconds without having some degree of external-based stimulation!
Do you know that today’s consumers are capable of creating an opinion of your business based on the loading speed and content on your website?
That’s why it is as important as ever before to ensure you have both high-quality content AND fast loading speeds!
How Can I Improve the Page Load Speed of My Business Website?
If the pages of your business website load slowly, that equates to bad news for your business; however, there is a little good news. That is – with a little concentrated effort -you may easily improve the page load speeds of your business website. The following outlines a few of the best steps that may be taken to succeed in this endeavor:
- The first way to provide a boost to your website speed is to compress both the textual-based content and the images that are on your site. These are considered to be the main culprits when it comes to slowdowns in websites. Simply decrease or even convert the sizes of your images and even the scales of those images. If you have videos on your site, remove any that are not imperative. For images, utilize those that load as consumers scroll through your site.
- Make certain that your website is mobile-friendly. While we all once accessed the internet through our desktop computers, this is no longer the case. We also use a multitude of mobile devices, so do the consumers that may be interested in the information, products, and services that your business offers. Your website should always be designed in such a way that it is responsive to the screen size and the device that your customer elects to use when shopping online.
- Next, evaluate your hosting company. You will want to use only the best that offers the best service and support. If you have a good, reputable hosting company, they will have excellent speeds. In turn, this will reduce the amount of time that your pages take to load.
- To increase your website speed, be sure to have a static version of your site that may be stored. This will help to increase the load times when a consumer goes to your website. When a user visits your site, caching software will store the information of your site on their device. Then, when they visit your website again, that information will instantly load. Even if you update your site, the initial version will still load quickly and integrate the new features on that page.
- If there are plugins on your website that are not being used, they should be completely deleted. Many content management special systems – like WordPress -may start to lag because of the fact that there are way too many installations on the back-end that negatively impact load speeds. Each website has its own amount of memory. If you are constantly updating with new plugins, it could be that the memory of the site is getting bogged down. By simply removing the plugins that are no longer necessary or relevant to the content, theme, and goal of your site, you have the potential to drastically improve its loading speed.
- Do you have content that has large files -such as videos? If you answered “yes”, you should consider placing those on external websites -such as YouTube. You can then engage in the process of embedding the files on your website instead of uploading a massive file. It is still hosting, but through an external provider. This will help cut down on the amount of lag that your website experiences and will also aid in creating a new means of acquiring traffic to your business website.
Does Slow Website Speed Affect the Bounce Rate of a Website?
The “bounce rate” of a website is defined by Google as the amount or percentage of website visitors that actually leave your website immediately following the viewing of just one of its pages. It is well known that factors such as pop-up advertisements and a failure to integrate call to actions throughout the website lead to a high bounce rate, slow website speed can also lead to a high bounce rate.
In fact, if your speed takes only two additional seconds to load, it could result in an increased bounce rate of 50%!
If you want to make sales, retain customers, and experience higher profits, your website must perform optimally. If it does not, you will not experience the success that you desire with your business.
Are There Extra Steps That I Can Take to Make My Business Website Better?
Previously, we covered a few steps that would increase your website speed. Below, there are additional steps that you may take to further improve your business website:
- Always avoid integrating too many redirects into your website. Not only is it frustrating to be pushed from one page to another, many mobile users will experience sluggishness when engaging in a redirect.
- When constructing your website, you should have a business that specializes in building and maintaining websites to complete the task. These companies build websites in such a way as to increase page load times and optimize for the best ranking.
- Have a speed test performed. We here at Brick Road Media offer speed optimization services. Not only will we test the speed of your website, but we can pinpoint the areas that require the most attention. We can then go in and resolve any and all issues with your site so that it performs optimally across all devices and connections.
Our website design specialists are standing by to assist you with all of your needs. By contacting us today, you will experience higher levels of success with your business tomorrow: 765-439-4029