Nobody likes a slow website! Slow websites can be tedious and frustrating for users, and annoyed people don’t spend money.
Your website page load speed (PLS) should be as fast as possible. Speed is measured by the time it takes for a page to load after a user clicks on the link on a search engine like Google. The importance of website speed is not a brand new topic: Google has been advising of this for over a decade!
But, why is site speed critical, and how do you improve it? Let’s take a look.
Any first impression of your website could quickly become the last impression if you don’t work towards an excellent user experience. Part of a good first impression is to make sure your website looks decent and loads quickly. Don’t underestimate the importance of speed because the majority of first-time visitors will subconsciously judge everything related to your website quality when trying to determine whether your business is credible or not.
The first encounter with your website is what usually stays with users and sets the relationship they will have with your brand. Page speed can immediately influence any opinion visitors form about your business – if your pages don’t load instantly, they’re going to question your professionalism and the position of your company on the market.
Page speed matters for search engine optimisation (SEO). In recent years, Google has been incredibly vocal about page speed as an actual ranking factor, particularly for mobile searches – meaning that faster websites have the advantage of ranking higher in search results.
So, exactly how fast should your website be? Google says ½ a second or about the amount of time it takes to blink is the benchmark to reach for website loading speed. The average load time of the top-ranking websites on Google is under 3 seconds.
Simply put, users prefer staying on faster websites.
The logic behind a high conversion rate and a fast website goes like this: when a website loads faster, it attracts more traffic. A higher ranking on search engines allows it to become quickly accessible to a large audience which means your site is seen by more potential customers. Then, when somebody logs in to your fast-loading site, they tend to spend time searching for information they need.
Because your site meets their expectations, when a website visitor navigates to the end of the page, there’s a higher possibility they will take action. This is particularly true for e-commerce websites, where time really is money.
Let’s do some not-so-fun math: only a 1-second delay can lead to a 7% decrease in conversions. If your online store makes $20,000 daily, that one second will make you lose $511,000 in a year!
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who enter a site and then leave (or, they “bounce") rather than continuing to view other pages within the same site. What makes them leave? One of the detrimental factors can be low website speed. Today, most people don’t have enough patience to wait for a slow website to load, especially if they are browsing the internet looking for a certain product or service. When a visitor closes a window that takes too long to load, it sends negative feedback to Google. Over time, you can lose both your customers and your ranking position because the site is too slow.
If you want to get more technical, here’s a quick overview of how you can optimise your website for a higher speed:
And what’s the most efficient way to increase your e-commerce site speeds? Working with a digital marketing agency that knows how to provide users with the best user experience is crucial when designing and developing your website. Here at AirVu Media, we specialise in making websites that your customers want to explore and render lightning fast.