Does the speed of your website matter?
To a surprising number of internet users, it DOES matter, and a lot.
Think about this- if Amazon were to slow their website down by a mere 1 second, they would lose around 1.6 Billion dollars, according to hostingfacts.com.
Most internet users know that a fast website is much easier to navigate and doesn’t create frustration when using it. It allows the user to focus on the object or goal of the website and the user experience, not the issues that arise from a slow website.
But, from a hosting and website development aspect that very much includes search engine optimization, site speed is also a huge factor.
- Conversions (Sales)
First and foremost is your bottom line… sales. Site speed can dramatically affect your conversion rates, which means total sales and revenue.
Using the Amazon example, they have a potential loss of $1.6 billion per year with a 1 second delay. Why is this? Because:
– 40% of users abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
It’s been widely shown that if a site takes over 3 seconds to load, most people will move on to something else. This isn’t long- but long enough. This equates to a rapid loss of potential customers and missed sales. If the number lost is roughly 40%, then that can add up to a massive number of lost potential conversions. Amazon may be able to keep people on the site just based on name alone, but a small business vying for each customer should do everything they can to get each new client.
- User Experience (UX)
It probably hasn’t been that long since you visited a site that took a long time to load. If that time is too long, a user can begin to get bored or frustrated, or just not have much time to browse. This is a poor user experience for the end user. As soon as they enter the website, the speed in which it loads can heavily impact the remainder of their visit. It can also heavily impact their decision to purchase your product, submit a contact form, or absorb the content you are hoping to provide them. And, odds are, they won’t be back. In fact,
79% of web-based consumers say they will not return to a site that is too slow or not performing well.
A great user experience begins with how fast the page is displayed to that potential customer. Interaction is all about first impressions, and one chance is all you get. You want to make your visitors happy and provide that enjoyable user experience right away, and use that first impression to the fullest potential.
There is a fairly simple formula for creating that positive user experience for your end users- you give your visitors what they are looking for, and as fast as you can.
If a user gets slowed down or distracted from the content you want to deliver to them, it results in a bad user experience. Good UX design and interaction is to focus on removing these barriers, not creating new ones. It is imperative to remove any blocks or obstacles your users might experience that would slow them down, and a major component of this is the site speed.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Full search engine optimization is a complex goal. There are many factors that frequently change to adapt to new technologies, new ways to deliver content, and new ways to exploit these algorithms.
One of these factors that remains evident is that slow loading times can affect the placement in search engine result pages (SERPs) of your website.
Even if your site pages are optimized, you have great content, and you have social interaction, if your site is painfully slow, it will not rank as high as if it were fast. Speed is a defining component of how you rank.
To be fair, site speed isn’t the largest factor in ranking compared to site authority and relevancy. But, it is still a major factor, which Google has been very open in explaining. Every little bit counts- down to fractions of a second. And, if it’s too slow to function well, Google can even blacklist the site. According to Google’s blog, they can and will reduce the amount of crawlers your site gets from them if it takes more than two seconds to respond. If their crawlers can’t see your site, you will eventually drop off the radar of search results.
And that is a major issue for your search engine optimization strategy and success!
A faster site will not correct all your SEO issues, but it will ensure that your site is frequently crawled and indexed on a regular basis. New content you add will be added to results. It will help you’re your entire online strategy on track, and ultimately provide you better results from your efforts, which can lead to more customers and conversions.
- Slow sites vs bounce rate
Put simply, bounce rate is a count of how many visitors leave your site (abandon) without clicking on an internal page. They leave without viewing any products or reading much, if any, of your content. They hit the home page and then move on to other things.
This typically points to the end user not finding what they were looking for or expecting from your website. Bounce rate can be used as an indicator of their user experience, measuring how much interaction they have with your site. A high bounce rate is bad, and means your visitors are exiting your site very quickly.
This also affects your SEO efforts as an indicator to Google as to how relevant, and fast, your website is- directly affecting potential new customers and conversions as well.
So- if a slow site can cause 40% of your visitors to exit your site, you have a 40% bounce rate before any other factors are even considered!
- Users do expect your website to be fast
These type of stats should show you how much site speed can affect your online business- but here is another one;
According to wired.com, pproximately 47% of visitors expect a site to load under 2 seconds!
Under 2 seconds is a very high expectation, and there are no exceptions for mobile. Almost 90% of visitors think that a mobile site should perform just like a full desktop website.
No easy way around this- as a business owner or website developer, you have to meet those expectations to remain competitive. And, if you can exceed them, even better!
For a small business that needs to capitalize on any advantage it can get, site speed is an easy target.
So how does your site stack up for site speed? There are a few tests- start by finding out how your server performs. Server speed is a core component of your site speed, and it’s the best place to start!
TechnicalRx servers get an A to A+, which is faster than 90% of the 10 million tested websites. Call now to discuss an easy transition to our hosting platform!