Website speed affects all the metrics that any business owner care about – traffic, engagement, conversions, sales, profits, customer satisfaction, etc. Impatient we are, even Google tested how the users will react when it delays loading time with half a second. And the result? A .4% decrease in searches! Did I hear you say not bad? FYI: Google processes 100 billion searches monthly. So, a .4% drop means 1.3 million fewer searches in less than a second on that particular day.
Speed may be just one Google ranking factor. Maybe, but it can be a single most important factor to affect conversion. Ever wonder why there are few people who buy from you and more buy from your competitors? Faster load times could mean higher ranking. Higher ranking could lead to more traffic. Faster sites create better user experience. More traffic eventually yield to better conversions. More conversions mean more customers and more profits for your business. Hurray! So, there’s no denying that website speed cannot be ignored.
The fact that website speed hurt ranking cannot be emphasized enough. Bounce rates grow. Page views drop. Conversion rates stall.
And, you can lose up to $1 to 2 million or more with just a second delay. Unless you are Bill Gates, you most probably won’t care. But even Bill Gates will care, certainly, if Microsoft’s website will take forever to load. Here’s an infographic of the 12 site speed stats solidifying how low-speed can affect your business in general.
Usability aspects of digital are all that matters with user experience as our #1 job. High rankings are useless if the site doesn’t provide great user experience. User experience is the crux of conversion. Have you abandoned a site that takes a long time to load? You are not alone. Your users have also done so (most probably). Users always expect a fast-loading website. And when their expectations are not met, they will move on to the next one available and more accessible —> your competitor!
- About 47% of the users expect pages to load in 2 seconds or less
- Nearly 57% of the visitors abandon page(s) if they load in 3 seconds or more
- More than 75% of customers opt to order on a competitor’s site during peak traffic hours
- Tolerable load time is only 2 seconds, but it can be extended up to 38 seconds for sites with progress bars or equivalent
- Roughly 8% of the customers will abandon the purchase due to slow web pages
Here’s a simple test
Conduct a simple speed test. Go to your website. How many seconds does it take for the site to load? The rule of thumb:
- If it loads in 5 seconds, the site is faster than about 25% of all websites
- If it loads in 3 seconds, the site is faster than about 50% of all websites
- If it loads in 1.5 seconds, the site is faster than about 75% of all websites
- If it loads in <1 second, the site is faster than about 95% of all websites
- The site is considered categorically slow if its page load time is >19 seconds.
What is the optimal site speed, you might ask. It will be certainly perfect if the site loads in less than 1 second; reasonably fine if it loads under 3 seconds; and still okay if it loads for 7 seconds. However, if the site takes 10 seconds or more, we have got some work to do, or you will lose noticeable profits eventually. Did you know Google requires the developers to get the pages to load in 1 second or less specifically on mobile devices to reduce abandonment?
Now, go to your competitor’s website. How long does it take for the site to load? If the competitor site loads faster than your site, chances are the users are more satisfied with the use of your competitor’s website and are more likely to buy from it. The bottom line is between two websites that target the same niche and sell the same products, site speed will be the deciding factor which site should rank better. That’s how Google sees it, and so are your target market. Why not when users can detect the slightest difference between 100 and 300 milliseconds.
How to improve site speed
Improving site speed means improving the overall user experience, usability, conversion rates and revenue. This also signals the visitors that your business cares. How can you honestly say that you have a great website if you have speed issues. The most important lesson here is: website speed is critical. Period.
Digital is an ever-competitive landscape. Every digital marketing agency Philippines needs to keep improving, or it lags behind the competition. In decreasing excruciatingly long page load times, some of the best practices are below.
1) Minimize HTTP requests
2) Combine CSS files into an external file
3) Use CSS sprites to combine the images into one image and reduce the volume of HTTP requests
4) Use images that are optimized for the web
5) Use server side caching to create an html page for a specific URL
6) Use a CDN (content delivery network) so users can download information in parallel
7) Reduce 301 redirects
Sites load slowly because it is ‘heavy.’ Lighten the load by reducing the number of items that require longer loading time including images, videos, style sheets and scripts. CSS files are loaded on the HTML, which also slows the site. Through combining and linking to it, the external pages would be cached so the site will load faster.
As technical as it may sound, these are not without difficulties but these are easy-peasy for our in-house web designers and developers. They can explain these aspects to you in details. Building a fast website has this for a general principle: keep what you need and discard those you don’t. Thinking of the most efficient way to get the speedy journey started? We will tell you which needs keeping and ditching. Flex those fingers. We are just a phone call away.
Sources: KISSmetrics | Marketing Land | Aykira | Conersion XL | Crazy Egg | Web Pro News