Modern internet users want to be provided with a perfect user experience that’s marked by quick load speeds and easy navigation. The speed of your website is more important than it’s ever been. While some website owners will choose to eliminate many of the multimedia components of their website in order to improve speeds, there are more effective methods that you can use to improve site speeds without reducing the quality of your content. If you want to determine what the current speeds of your website are, you can conduct a website speed test.
Once you have determined what your current site speeds are, you can focus on making improvements to these speeds. Nearly 50 percent of modern users expect websites to load in under two seconds. Around 40 percent of these users will choose to leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load, which is why it’s essential that you reduce your current load speeds if they are higher than 3-5 seconds.
The reason why site speed is essential for companies is because current internet users have many options at their disposal. Unless you’re at the top of your industry, there will always be other websites that users can go to if they find that your website is taking too long to load. Unless your services/products are substantially better than what the competition offers, it can be difficult to retain users if they are given a poor user experience.
- This article takes a closer look at five of the main reasons why the speed of your website is important for the success of your brand and business.
1. The First Impression When Entering a Website
Likely the primary reason why the speed of your website matters is because it’s the first impression that the user will have when entering your website. First impressions are considered to be essential on the internet. As mentioned previously, users have myriad options at their disposal and can click or swipe out of your website in an instant. In the event that your website loads quickly, users will invariably have a good first impression of your website and brand.
Along with making the visitor happy, most site visitors associate fast websites with reliability and professionalism. On the other hand, slow websites automatically make users frustrated and cause them to believe that the website is untrustworthy and unsafe. The feelings that a user has about a website will be directly linked to what they feel about your brand. While a positive first impression can be worsened over time if the remainder of your website is poorly designed, a negative first impression is very difficult to change.
2. The Main Expectation
Another reason why speed matters is because users already have expectations when they enter a website for what the speed should be. As was discussed earlier, nearly 50 percent of all internet users expect websites to load in less than two seconds. If a website takes longer than three seconds to load, around 40 percent of users will choose to leave the website for good. As for mobile websites that are being accessed on tablets and smartphones, around 85 percent of users believe that a mobile website should load as quickly or quicker than a standard website that’s being accessed on a desktop device.
Keep in mind that website users are more willing to wait longer for sites that are well-established and have a strong reputation. What this means is that speed will be imperative for your website and brand image if your business isn’t extremely well known. Without strong brand loyalty in place, users will find it easier to switch to a competitor. Whether your business is smaller in nature or has just recently started, a top priority for you when building your website should be to make sure that site speeds are as fast as possible.
3. User Experience
A core component of user experience is speed. It’s possible for a website to set itself apart from the competition by providing users with a premium user experience. There are many elements that make up a good user experience, which include everything from straightforward navigation to relevant content. To ensure that the UX design of your website matches what you want your brand image to be, make sure that you provide visitors with what they’re looking for and that they can reach what they’re looking for quickly. When users are having a great experience on a website, they are much less likely to leave, which may give you enough time to convert visitors into customers.
A great way to improve the user experience of your website is by making it simpler and easier to use than others. This type of design will make it easy for users to navigate your website and make a purchase or subscribe to a newsletter. Having a simple and sophisticated website indicates that your website is modern and stylish, which is what most users want from a website. Minimalism has been a very popular design style over the past few years because it allows users to be provided with relevant content without the clutter and busywork that plagued websites in the early years of the 21st century. To bolster your UX design, consider using Google AMP, which is a kind of technology that allows you to build websites that load instantly.
4. Conversion Rates
The key to the success of any website is to increase conversion rates, which indicates that people who visit your website are staying on the site long enough to make a purchase, subscribe to your newsletter, or take a similar action that benefits your business and brand. Slow websites kill conversion rates because modern customers don’t have the patience to remain on a website that doesn’t load quickly. To better illustrate this point, let’s take a look at the statistic mentioned earlier that stated that upwards of 40 percent of users leave websites that don’t load in less than three seconds.
If you typically receive an average of 200,000 visitors to your website every month, slowing your website down to 4-5 seconds could cause you to lose 80,000 of these visitors, which will automatically reduce your conversion rates. Amazon has performed numerous tests on what slow speeds do to conversion rates. They found that slowing down their website by a single second would lead to a loss of $1.6 billion in sales every year. If your website is currently slower than it should be, increasing your site speeds has the potential to boost your sales and conversion rates.
5. Affects Google Rank
Having a slow website speed will also adversely affect your Google ranking. The Google rank that your website has with various search terms is essential if you want your website to be successful and bring in a large number of new visitors. Having a high ranking means that the visibility of your website will increase substantially. Keep in mind that the vast majority of users will never click past the first page of results. If you want to have a good search ranking, it’s important to understand that Google values site speed.
Even though speed isn’t valued as highly by Google as page authority and page relevance, it still carries weight and can help you improve your ranking. If your website takes longer than two seconds to load, Google won’t send as many crawlers to your website, which means that Google is considerably less likely to rank the latest posts and updates to your website. To increase your chances of receiving a high number of crawlers, it’s essential that load speeds are fast on every page.
How to Improve Your Website Speed
If you’ve tested the speeds of your website and have found that they are slower than they should be, it’s likely that various page elements are causing the slowdown of your website. The good news is that speed problems with a site can usually be fixed. Some of the things that you can do to improve the speed of your website include:
- Compress your files in order to reduce rendering times on mobile devices
- Minimize plugins, link shorteners, and landing page redirects
- Use multi-region hosting to enhance server response time
- Remove any unnecessary data that may be slowing down loading
- Implement asynchronous scripts in order to lessen render time
- Focus on visual content as opposed to above-the-fold content
- Optimize the images on your website in order to lessen file size
Some of the speed tests that you can use to identify current site speeds include Pingdom, PageSpeed Insights, GTMetrix, and Uptrends. No matter how aesthetically pleasing your website is, users won’t continue to browse the website if it doesn’t load in a couple of seconds. If you want your business to grow now and in the future, converting visitors into loyal customers is essential, which can only be achieved with fast load speeds.