4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Website’s Page Speed
Have you ever landed on a website that seemed to take forever to load?
Didn’t you want to slam your head against your computer screen in frustration?
Have you ever considered that maybe your site is that site and that your web visitors are thinking the exact same thing?
You don’t want to be that site, the one that’s so slow to load that people abandon it before they can take action.
You want to deliver a user-friendly experience that leaves people feeling great about working with you – and page speed factors into that.
Not convinced that you need to speed up your site? Consider these reasons why you should start paying attention to it.
1. It affects your bounce rates
We all love taking a look at our bounce rates because they tell us if our site is working for our audience or not. High bounce rates mean more people are leaving your site quicker while low bounce rates mean you’re doing something right – people are sticking around, giving them more chances to buy from you.
But bounce rates aren’t all about the offer or your site’s design. People are more likely to abandon a slow-loading site, so even if the content on the page is out-of-this-world, smack-you-in-the-face fantastic, it still needs to load fast enough to satisfy visitors.
The stats don’t lie. Just a one-second decrease in load time could mean 11 percent fewer page views.
Furthermore, 25 percent of consumers abandon a site if the page doesn’t load within four seconds, and 46 percent of users will never return to poor performing websites.
Even if they get past the first page, the slow speeds can annoy users to no end. Of the 70 percent of online shopping carts that are abandoned annually, 46 percent of shoppers cite slow site speeds as a reason. That results in $3 billion in revenue lost each year, reports Hubspot.
2. It’s a Google ranking factor
In 2010, Google announced that site speed would be used as a ranking factor. While it’s not as strong a factor as relevancy, it still matters, and it may just give you that little extra push to put you ahead of your competition on search result pages.
In addition to using page speed as a ranking factor, slow pages affect how fast Google can index your site. That means it may index fewer pages overall, which will affect your rankings.
So if you want Google to send more traffic your way, you’ll want to look toward speeding up your site.
3. It impacts your conversion rates
Because people will abandon slow loading sites, conversions and profits will be lower the slower your site loads. Plus, faster sites tend to show up higher on Google rankings, which means the search engine will bring more traffic your way.
For every one second delay in page speed, you could see 7 percent fewer conversions and a 16 percent decrease in customer satisfaction.
Let’s take some examples of how faster pages mean better results:
- When Amazon decreased their page speed by 1 second, it resulted in a 2 percent increase in conversions, which means more profit!
- Mozilla saw the benefits, too. When they decreased their page speed by 2.2 seconds, they saw 60 million more Firefox downloads per year.
- Shopzilla managed to decrease their page speed by 3 seconds. That resulted in 25 percent more page views and 7 to 12 percent increase in revenue. Plus, they needed 50 percent less hardware to run the site!
The evidence is clear. If you want to see higher conversion rates and profits, you should start by speeding up your website.
4. It’s an indication of the quality of your web host
There are a lot of reasons why your website might be slow. If you’ve tried everything you can by combining stylesheets, compressing images, deleting unneeded plugins, etc. and you still can’t pinpoint the problem, the culprit may be your web host.
That’s because your user’s request has to connect with the server in which your website is hosted, but not all servers are created equal. For instance, shared web hosting typically means slower websites because there are multiple sites on one server using up the same resources.
The problem is that if your site is slow due to your web host, it’s an indication that other aspects of your host may not be top-notch either, such as storage space available, tech support, and other features.
While it may be of no consequence right now, you’ll start to notice the other lacking elements as your site grows and you choose to expand your features.
If your web host is the culprit, consider switching web hosts before your site grows to the point where you’re desperate for a better option. Research web hosts before you switch. Once you do, you should notice faster web speeds.
Bluehost is an example of a trusted web host with a good speed record.
What is a good page speed?
In general, you’ll want to keep your page speed below 3 seconds. 2 seconds is even better.
Ideally, your website should load in under 1 second.
3 to 7 seconds is pretty average, but you’ll also lose conversions and revenue if you leave it as-is. Anything higher than 10 and you know that something is wrong with your site! You’ll want to diagnose the problem and fix it as soon as possible.
Start by testing your page speed at Pingdom to see where you’re at. Then, you can help your page speed along by minimizing http requests, optimizing images, choosing a better hosting package, and reducing the amount of plugins you use on your site among other tactics. Consult with a web developer if you need help diagnosing your problem and fixing it.
While many site owners are focusing on web design and copywriting, too many are forgetting about the important factor of pace speed. Don’t ruin your users’ experience with a slow loading site!
How fast does your site load, and how will you improve your page speed?
Guest Author: Robert Mening is a web developer and designer from Sweden who helps people to build websites on http://websitesetup.org. He loves to chat about WordPress and marketing, you can get in touch with him via Twitter –http://twitter.com/robmening
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post