The Importance of Website Speed or Why Your Website Should Load Quickly
There are several important aspects of a good website; usability, look and feel, branding, etc. are all key. However, one aspect that often goes overlooked is website speed. If you’re looking at your website and thinking of ways to make it better, ask your web developer what they can do to make it faster. Having a website that loads quickly will pay off in many different ways.
Users Expect Fast Websites
The internet has changed. Over the last decade or so, people have used the web more and more as a part of their daily lives. It’s not unusual for people to perform hundreds of web searches each day. The web is such an important part of our lives that we expect it to be fast and reliable. Learn more on how to improve the user experience on your website here.
If a user opens your website and it doesn’t load quickly, they are very likely to think that there is a problem with your website or their browser. Then they will close the site and decide to do something else instead. If your site takes too long to load, a potential customer may leave your page and head to a competitor. In this instance, your slow website will have directly cost you a sale. Read more on the website speed importance below.
Slow websites also affect your website’s conversation rate. If your site is very slow, a visitor may visit fewer pages. This means that they could browse fewer product categories, for instance. This hurts your sales as they may not find what they want if they aren’t able to quickly view everything you have to offer.
A slow website can also cause people to reconsider revisiting your site at a later date. If someone has an unpleasant experience with a website, they are significantly less likely to return to the site later on. It’s much more likely that they will choose a competing site next time, and you will lose a customer, likely forever.
More and More Browsing is Happening on Mobile
Website speed problems are further compounded by the fact that more and more searches are happening on mobile. Google stated that more searches were happening on mobile than on desktop back in 2015, and the trend has continued. Mobile browsing now makes up more than 60% of all web browsing.
For many, using the web on a phone or tablet (as opposed to a desktop) may mean slower internet speeds. It can also mean that people are browsing on the go, such as on their lunch breaks at work or while waiting in line at the store. In either case, a slow site is much less likely to be tolerated. You might wait a minute for a site to load when you are sitting at home or work on a computer, but you will likely only wait a few seconds when browsing from your phone.
Site Speed and SEO
Due to the overall importance of website speed, Google started taking website speed into account when ranking sites. This change occurred in July 2018 and is part of growing trend by Google to highlight websites that load quickly. According to Google, the recent “Speed Update” to its search engine was instituted to “encourage developers to think broadly about how performance affects a user’s experience of their page and to consider a variety of user experience metrics.” In plain language, it means that slow sites could have trouble ranking highly. Learn more here.
If you don’t want to risk a poor Google ranking and customers giving up on your site, it’s crucial to work with a web developer who can improve the speed of your website. Contact us today to find out how we can help.