Website speed is a controversial matter. There are those who say you should not underestimate it. Others believe speed is second to content. Both are probably right.
It’s an understatement to say that content is crucial. However, devoting all the attention to it would be a mistake, especially if it is at the expense of loading speed. We will explain here why improving website speed can be both practical and cost-effective.
From a sales and marketing perspective, SEO is extremely impactful. In fact, there are entire businesses that specialize in search engine optimization. Why? Because it pays off.
Search engines are the best way to promote your business. Optimizing your content so that your pages get a better search ranking can increase your profits. Unfortunately, slow speed can undo your efforts here.
Google made it public knowledge that its search ranking algorithm takes page speed into account. Tests confirmed this—slower desktop pages perform worse in search rankings.
And, starting this year, this applies to mobile websites. Google stated it would penalize only the slowest websites. But, if you consider that the average mobile page loads in 22 seconds, many websites will drop in ranking.
This is not all. You might have heard of bounce rates. They refer to the number of visitors who leave your site after only seeing one page. Bouncing is a good sign that your website has no content relevant to a particular search engine query.
Even if that’s not strictly speaking true, the problem is that most people are impatient. So, slow websites sometimes have double, or even triple, the bounce rate of regular websites and Google penalizes them for it.
Even if Google’s algorithm doesn’t recognize your website as too slow, long load times can undermine your search engine optimization.
Again, the goal of your marketing efforts is to get customers to your website and convince them to buy your products or choose your services.
We have seen how long load times can prevent you from bringing in traffic.
Now let’s see how they affect the customers who actually open your website.
The Hosting Tribunal have collected some interesting data on this. Let’s focus on the numbers. If your load times are longer than 3 seconds, 40% of customers leave. That’s two-fifths of potential buyers eliminated from the get-go.
But what about the three-fifths who stay? Well, each second of delay decreases customer satisfaction by 16% and 64% of customers avoid business they are dissatisfied with. If you run an ecommerce website, long load times mean your shopping cart abandonment rates will soar. Slowness alone is enough to make 18% of customers abandon a transaction.
All in all, each second added to your load times costs you 7% conversions. It doesn’t matter if you invest resources in search engine optimization or social media marketing. If your website is too slow, all the customers you bring in will lose interest.
As you can see, improving your load times is in your best interest. Not only does it bolster your search ranking, but it increases sales and customer loyalty. If you wish to learn more about this or see what happens when you speed up your website, check out the infographic below.