How long are you willing to stick around a web page while you wait for it to load completely? Chances are, the longer you wait, the more impatient you become.
Now, if you own that slow-loading website, you would have created a bad first impression, poor user experience, and reduced conversions. This is not good news for your business.
Page speed is an essential element in your overall marketing strategy. Your website needs to be correctly designed and optimized so that the pages load up in the shortest time possible. Google isn’t pleased with slow-loading web pages, but more importantly, so do your visitors. If your website takes time to load, your visitors leave and fail to convert.
Don’t put them in an agony of waiting forever on your website to load. Otherwise, your business will miss out a lot.
What is Page Speed?
Page speed refers to the “page load time” or the amount of time it takes to display the contents of a website page completely. It is also often interchanged with “time to the first byte,” or the length of time that a page starts to load.
If you were to ask Google today, the ideal page speed should be less than two seconds. However, that isn’t always as straightforward as it seems. Page speed varies according to one web page to another, website to website, device to device, and several other factors.
With these factors in mind, you’ll see that you cannot control page speed completely. However, you can identify the key issues that cause your website to slow-down, and then correct these issues to get your site racing.
Why is Your Page Speed Slow?
Slow page speed has become the bane for website owners. It can be caused by one or more different factors, including:
- Inadequate bandwidth
- Poor performing scripts
- Unoptimized CSS
- Caching issues
- Overly large files
- Overload of ads
- Page size
- Bulky code
Since Google announced that page speed is going to be one of the top-ranking signals, it’s only right to try to accelerate your website’s page speed. But more than that, page speed is vital for your website for the following reasons:
1. Search Engines Value “Relevancy”
For search engines to stay in the game, they need to churn out relevant results, and relevant results are determined by a number of things, including page speed. If you have slow page speed, chances are, the search engines will start dropping you from their results page, which would, in turn, minimize your business’ online presence.
When your website is deemed irrelevant by search engines, you stop showing up on the top search results, and you must know that ranking high on SERPs is where the money is.
In the past, search engines were plentiful – Yahoo, Bing, Ask Jeeves, and Google was just the new kid of the block. Today, Google has managed to surpass them and is now setting the standards for web owners on how to make it on the top list of the SERPs. Since Google considers page speed as a ranking factor, then your website needs to have fast page speed to stay in Google’s good graces.
2. Page Speed Makes or Breaks People’s First Impression on Your Website
The first impression is essential to your business’ online image, and page speed could be such a huge deal-breaker.
If you have a website with fast page speed, you make a great first impression towards your visitors instantly. Fast-loading sites are often regarded as trustworthy and professional, and they’ll be more likely to build a relationship with visitors than websites with slow page speed. On the other hand, a slow website gives the impression of it being insecure and unsafe to do business with.
It’s difficult to change first impressions, especially now that consumers have become impatient. If you value your visitors’ time on your website, then you should make every second count.
3. User Experience (UX) is Important for Consumers
User experience gets thrown out a lot in the world of digital marketing, but it’s also one of the most overlooked aspects of website design. User experience is all about how your visitors interact with a system (or your website), and their perceptions of how such a system can fulfill their needs.
Therefore, your website needs to reduce, or better yet, remove all the irritants and nuances that hinder your visitors from having a wonderful experience. Page speed is one of the factors that make up for user experience.
A sluggish website frustrates your visitors, and it’ll be less likely to help you achieve your business goal. How do you expect people to sign up on your mailing list if it takes a couple of seconds before the form ultimately shows up? How do you expect people to check out in your eCommerce store if the transaction process is too slow?
Not only does slow page speed make up for poor user experience, but it can also lead to increased bounce rate and minimal conversions.
4. Page Speed Defines How Well Your Visitors Engage with Your Website
Visitor engagement is another critical metric you have to consider when optimizing your website’s page speed. Do you have poor conversion numbers, high bounce rate, and less dwell time? These numbers tell you what you need to know about your site’s page speed and how it is affecting your visitors’ behavior.
Did you know that even massive companies like Amazon, are regularly optimizing their websites to ensure pleasant user experience and collect more sales? According to Amazon’s studies, a slow down in page speed by 100ms can mean a loss of 1% in their revenue.
Your site may not be as huge as Amazon, but if it’s telling you one thing, it’s that faster page speed can foster better visitor engagement on your site. This leads to other great things, such as more sales, better click-through rates, reduced bounce rate, and more. Therefore, having a faster website is one crucial ingredient to your brand’s overall marketing success.
5. Page speed also helps or hurts your social media campaign
Your website and social media platforms are two of the foundations for today’s online marketing campaign. When you share website content on social media, you want people to click on it, read through it, and even interact with it by liking, sharing and commenting on your content.
A lot of people nowadays have a very short attention span. If you can’t capture their interest for the first few seconds, you’ve likely lost their interest entirely. So, whether you’ve created a viral content or a highly-comprehensive study and linked it with your social media accounts if your website is slow, it will not be interesting for your visitors. You’ve already lost half the battle if you have a slow website.
6. Time equals money
If you’re running an eCommerce website, your page speed needs to be topnotch. Every second of delay in page loading can mean a significant difference in your sales. Slow websites create a terrible first impression and reflect poorly on your brand. Fast websites quickly seal the deal with visitors because you’re giving the best user experience.
According to a study conducted by Eggplant in 2018, 80% of visitors say it’s more frustrating to deal with a slow website than a website that’s temporarily down. Google said in 2016 that 53% of mobile users click away from sites that load more than 3 seconds. In 2017, Google also said that a delay on page speed from 1-5 seconds could increase the bounce rate by 90%.
What do all these statistics mean to your business?
It’s simple: you are losing money with every second of delay on your website’s page speed, and if you can improve your page speed soon you have the opportunity to capture a broader market.
It Only Takes a Second to Win or Lose Your Customers
It is essential to note that page speed is not only the search engines’ ranking factor; there are two hundred of them, but page speed is one of the top priorities. If Google places a lot of weight on page speed, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do so for your website. After all, your website speaks about your brand online, and the impression it makes to your audience can have a profound impact on your business’ image.
Having a fast website creates an opportunity to show your audience that your brand means business: it is professional, credible, and trustworthy. Meanwhile, having a slow-loading website can sabotage all your best efforts to win customers, make more sales, and improve your bottom line.
If you want to stay, thrive, and succeed in your business, you need to make every second count.
Let’s optimize your site’s page speed to keep the search engines and visitors happy. Talk to us today!