Today, waiting on a web page to load is as painful as listening to that 90s dial-up internet sound only for someone to call your landline and disrupt the connection. The rapid evolution of technology over the past few decades has exacerbated our need for instant gratification. Forget waiting 8 hours for your dinner to cook in a crockpot. Just pop it in an Instant Pot for 20 minutes. Thanks to this “I want it now” mentality, website speeds have become more important than ever. As a business, here’s why you should be concerned:
1. Search Engine Rank
While you may think you’ve cracked the code to Google’s notorious algorithm, we can assure you that you haven’t. It will take more than a few strategically placed keywords and hyperlinks to ensure your business is being found and more importantly being found first by the right audience. The best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy your business can implement is to focus on user experience and that includes website speed.
Speed isn’t a new factor when it comes to the ranking on desktop searches. However as part of its new mobile-first focus, Google recently announced that beginning this July page speed would also be a ranking factor for mobile searches.
What does this mean? Slow load times from any type of device can have an adverse affect on how high your business is ranked.
So exactly how fast does your website need to be? The benchmark for 2018 is under 3 seconds.
2. Customer Conversion
Load speed isn’t the only metric businesses should be concerned about. Bounce rate and conversion rate are also key performance indicators for your website. The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave the website immediately after arriving, whereas the conversion rate refers to the percentage of visitors who complete your desired call to action (i.e. purchase, subscribe, download).
Despite the fact that more than half of overall web traffic comes from mobile devices, mobile conversion rates remain lower than desktop. The reason? Websites typically load faster and are often easier to navigate from a desktop.
According to Google, the average time it takes to fully load the average mobile landing page is 15 seconds (down from 22 seconds last year). However, research also indicates 53% of people will leave a mobile page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
Right out of the gate, your business is losing 53% of its potential customers. Sure they may find their way back to you through another channel, but they’re more likely to hit the back button on their browser and move on to the next search listing.
The bottom line, faster is better. A one-second delay in webpage time equals a 7% reduction in conversions, 11% fewer page views, and 16% reduction in customer satisfaction.
3. Generating Revenue
We know what you’re thinking. This information about website speeds and search engine rankings is great, but how do they impact your company’s profit?
Speed is directly related to revenue.
Retail giant Amazon learned that every extra second it takes a page to load costs the company an estimated $1.6 billion dollars in sales each year. Your business probably isn’t losing billions, but 7% in lost revenue is certainly nothing to turn a blind eye to.
Like the internet itself, internet marketing is ever-changing. In order for your business to be successful and stand out from the competition, it’s important that you change with it. It’s no longer enough just to have a website or to make sure that it’s mobile-friendly. What matters is how both versions of that website are performing.
The most common factors that affect website speed are:
- Page size
- Number of resources (This includes the number of files the browser has to download just to render your page, plus the html file, the images, css, scripts, and other files)
- Slow servers or connections
- Content from other sites (third-party ads, widgets, etc.)
Want to know how your business’ website speed measures up and how you can improve it? Contact us now for a free consultation.