In today’s digital world, a website has become a necessity for the growth of a business, no matter how big or small it is. Whether you are an entrepreneur or you work for a company if you don’t have a website then you are losing on many great business opportunities.
But have you ever given it a thought that the website’s speed or the time it takes to load a webpage might affect your business? If you have not, then it’s time you consider analyzing your website’s loading speed.
To start with let’s understand:
1. What is page speed?
2. How speed affects your website?
3. How page load time affects user experience?
4. How website speed overall affects your business?
5. What is a good average page load time?
6. What are the factors that can lower your page speed?
7. Are there any tools available to check your page speed?
8. Does website speed affect your SEO?
WHAT IS PAGE SPEED?
Page speed refers to the amount of time a webpage takes to load completely. This depends on many factors, from the host to design, but the good thing is that page speed can be optimized.
Page speed is of paramount importance for both the website visitors and search engines. Also, visitors are less likely to stay on a website that takes a long time to load and Google is surely not going to rank them well.
HOW SPEED AFFECTS YOUR WEBSITE?
Google has been highlighting since 2010 that a fast-loading webpage is crucial as it could impact the website ranking by influencing their position in search results.
However, most of the online marketers don’t understand the importance of increasing their page speed by a few milliseconds. They often overlook page-loading time and tend to focus more on other real-time issues like making improvements in design, SEO, social media and paid ads.
And this is a very big mistake they make because research and data from industry experts have shown that page loading time directly affects user experience, conversions, page views, CPC, SEO, and direct revenue.
HOW PAGE LOAD TIME AFFECTS USER EXPERIENCE?
Suppose a customer is in a hurry and need to purchase something urgent. He is trying to load a specific website on his phone but the webpage doesn’t seem to load. What will be his instant reaction? He will wait for a few more seconds and finally give up.
For him, it was poor user experience. But if the site had loaded quickly then he would have been a satisfied customer, having got all the answers to his queries, or having made a successful purchase, or having successfully contacted the customer care of that company.
Let’s share an interesting fact: According to website monitoring and performance testing specialist Dotcom-Monitor, 75% of all users will generally bounce when the page load time exceeds the 3-second mark. And according to Aberdeen (an intent-based marketing and sales solutions provider) an extra second in page loading time will result in a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.
HOW WEBSITE SPEED AFFECTS YOUR BUSINESS?
It is seen that a slow website affects lead generation and as a result, the sales and overall business gets hampered. Imagine an article that is taking time to open; will you wait to read it? An image, which never loads, a video that is on the buffering mode will definitely make you move out of the website.
You won’t even wait to fill a form to get information about the product you were looking for. And to top it, if the purchase process is slow then you would leave the site without buying. So a slow webpage has not only cost an e-commerce company their business but it seems they have diverted their business to their competitors.
If this was not enough, research shows that more than 40% of visitors who have had a bad experience with a website’s performance would tell a friend or a family member about their experience. And according to Hubspot, (a developer and marketer of software products for inbound marketing and sales) amongst those dissatisfied customers, 80% of them are less likely to visit and buy from the same website.
So a slow loading website doesn’t only affect the incoming visitors but it also potentially discourages future visitors from shopping on the website, hence causing a huge loss to the business.
In this modern digital age, people don’t like to wait for more than three to four seconds for a webpage to load. To prove this Walmart had come up with a significant analysis showing their online sales and how customers actually behaved in consideration to page loading times.
From the above graph two things can be noted:
- There is a “sharp decline in conversion rate as average site load time increases from 1 to 4 seconds.”
- The conversion rates are seen to remain stable between 5 and 8 seconds loading times, but the thing to be noticed is that how much difference it has made for users who have experienced loading time under 3.5 seconds.
WHAT IS GOOD AVERAGE PAGE LOAD TIME?
To know about the average page load time it is necessary to research the industry type you are in, along with your location. This will help you to find out your industry’s average loading time.
But while researching, you should consider the following points which can help to optimize your page speed, because every year the average size of a website goes up.
- Look for the new average page load time
- Consider looking at the average size of a webpage
- Look at the number of resources the standard page load
- Look for the average server delay which should be measured in time to the first byte
WHAT ARE THE FACTORS THAT CAN LOWER YOUR PAGE SPEED?
The factors, which can lower a page’s speed, are:
- The type of host you are using
- If you are using any large images
- Any plugins and apps
- Not optimized for browsers
- Too many ads
- Design heavy themes
- Dense HTML Codes
ARE THERE ANY TOOLS AVAILABLE TO IMPROVE YOUR PAGE SPEED?
Yes, there are a few tools that can be used to improve your page speed and analyze how your website works. Just put in your URL and they will give you a quick analysis.
- Webpage test
- Page speed insight
- GT metrix
- Y slow
- YUI compressor
- On crawl
DOES WEBSITE SPEED AFFECT YOUR SEO?
To get noticed, SEO is one of the most important criteria for your website and if you want a profitable business then your company must have invested wisely on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
To answer the question, yes, website speed does affect SEO. It has been discussed earlier, website speed affects the search engine results page (SERP) ranking. Websites that load faster provide better customer experiences, and as a result, Google and other search engines will rank them higher than slow-loading pages.
A slow page speed would mean that search engines are able to crawl only fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget, and this, in turn, can negatively affect your indexation. A page, which takes a longer time to load, will have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page.
Good SEO can definitely increase your website’s visibility and more and more people can find you. But if your website speed is slow, then it could be a problem with your company’s visibility as your website would start ranking low in search engine results page (SERP). Hence for a better SERP ranking it is advisable to work on your website speed and make it faster.