Why Does Website Speed Matter?
TL;DR – Website speed is very important as it plays a direct role in SEO and user experience. 79% of online shoppers say they won’t go back to a website if they’ve had trouble with load speed. Slow websites cost you money. I build FAST websites. Let’s work together!
Are Slow Website Load Times Killing Your Chances of Success Online?
If you’ve ever had to wait at a restaurant for slow service or sat in traffic behind a car that was doing the speed limit (or just under), you know exactly how little patience we as humans have for anything that moves slower than we expect.
Well, the same is true with our web browsing. If a website doesn’t load in just a few seconds – or even faster than that – we not only get frustrated with the experience, but we are likely to abandon ship almost straightaway and go visit another website entirely.
In fact, according to the BBC, for every single second that a website takes to load 10% of a website’s traffic will leave – with 53% of all mobile visitors abandoning websites entirely if a webpage doesn’t load in three seconds or less.
Google recently published a study showing that sites that load within five seconds get 70% better engagement with their online traffic than those that take longer than five seconds, enjoying 35% lower bounce rates as well as 25% higher add visibility numbers.
At the end of the day, it’s not so much a question of “why does website speed matter” but how you can increase your sites speed ASAP so that you’re not missing out on visitors (and potential customers) that your faster competitors are gobbling up.
Let’s dig a little deeper into everything you need to know about why website speed is important and what you can do to maximize your load times almost immediately.
Does Site Speed Matter?
As I highlighted above, information direct from Google (the biggest search engine on the planet and maybe the most influential tech company in history) shows that if your site loads slower than what your visitors expect you’re going to be missing out on a flood of traffic.
A 10% drop in traffic for every single additional second that your site takes to load is a huge issue, but it’s also one that can be addressed without a lot of headache or hassle most of the time.
But before I dig into the nuts and bolts of how to improve your website loading speeds, it’s important to touch on why does speed matter in the first place.
Boost Conversions with Speedy Website Load Times!
Study after study by some of the world’s biggest online businesses – including 100% e-commerce operations – show that site load times are critically important when looking to build a business online.
One report published by Mobify found that even just improving a homepage’s load time by 100 ms could increase engagement and conversion rates by 1.11%. Now that might not seem like a whole lot at first, but what if you were able to increase the loading of your homepage by a full second or two and not just 100 ms?
Your conversion rates and shoot through the roof in a hurry!
Online retailer Auto Anything did exactly that by cutting their homepage load time in half, and almost immediately started reporting between 12% and 13% increases in sales. You can move the needle when it comes to conversions when your website loads faster.
Drop Your Website Bounce Rate.
A bounce is a single-page session on your site. In Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, such as when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session.
A moment ago I touched on the BBC reporting that showed how many people leave a website if it doesn’t load within a few seconds already, but it’s really important to hammer this point home.
Your average internet user expects webpages to load within 2 to 3 seconds at most. Some will wait for up to five seconds for a page to load, but if your website takes any longer than that to boot up the odds are good that they are clicking the back button and bouncing away from your site – possibly never to return.
Give Your SEO Rankings a Bump, Too!
Google and the other major search engine networks are very tightlipped about what exactly factors into their search engine rankings, but they have let slip that page load times are a major piece of the puzzle.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone as Google has always been obsessed with getting the most relevant information possible to its users as quickly as humanly possible.
I know through many chats with Google search team members (as well as professional search engine optimization experts) that website optimization plays a major part in your overall SEO ranking – and you need to be sure that your website is optimized to capitalize on this leverage.
How to Speed Up Your Website Load Times
Now that we’ve covered the basics when it comes to why website speed is so important it’s time to dive a little deeper into the fundamentals of actually speeding your website up.
Lighter Website Pages
Right out of the gate, nothing is going to help your website load faster than stripping it down to its bare-bones essentials as far as coding is concerned – or building a lightweight and flexible website from the ground up.
The number of resources that your website has to load every time a new page is selected has a huge impact on the way that it is going to perform.
This doesn’t mean you have to go with an ultra-minimalist website just to get superspeed these days, either.
As a skilled website designer based in Kansas City, I know exactly how to create beautiful, full-featured websites that load in a hurry by optimizing your code and the underlying architecture of your website with speed in mind.
Finding that happy medium is the key to success and why you’ll want to work with legitimate professionals, such as myself, that know how to walk the fine line between gorgeous design on a website that converts and snappy load times.
Smarter/Faster Website Hosting
Your website host that you’ve chosen is also going to be a major reason for your website loading quickly or bogging down for most of your visitors.
The host is where your website is going to “live”, and depending on where that host is located geographically it may take a long time for your main audience to be able to communicate with that host.
For example, if you are a small startup in the middle of Greece and have looked at your analytics and discovered that the overwhelming majority of your web visitors are coming from the United States it may be a good idea to move to a host based in the US to improve their load times and their experience significantly.
In the US, deciding to choose a host located in the Midwest (Missouri, for example) may be a smarter decision than choosing a host based out of Los Angeles or Boston. This way all of your US visitors are pulling from a more centrally located host rather than one coast having super-fast load times and the other coast taking much longer.
With that kind of strategic choice, you won’t have to worry about people wondering “why does website speed matters any longer”, mostly because your website will always load quickly for the overwhelming majority of your visitors!
Work with Experts That Can Help…Like me!
At the end of the day, the real secret sauce to speeding up and optimizing your website for quicker load times – and a much better overall user experience (that inevitably leads to higher conversions and more sales) – is working with top-tier professionals that know exactly how to take the right shortcuts without crippling the quality of your site along the way.
I can help you make the right design and development choices to improve the look and feel of your website, but can also help to build an underlying architecture that your visitors will never see – but an architecture that they will subconsciously appreciate since your website will load so quickly.
If you’d like more information about why website speed is so important or how I can help your website improve its load times significantly, drop me a line today by clicking here!