Did you know a website that is too slow results in a loss of 50% of your potential visitors? That’s 50% of your budget wasted! Website speed is one of the most important measures of a site, but is often overlooked when evaluating a website's overall performance.
As technology relentlessly evolves and advances, the emotional and impulsive need for speed continues to rise. Consumer behavior has forced the expectations of a site’s performance to dramatically change over time. From mobile-friendly websites to more immersive and interactive experiences with higher caliber graphics, all this has been made possible with the evolution of faster and more reliable internet services. These enhancements have led to a scenario where almost 50% web users expect web pages to load in less than 3 seconds - and just as many users abandon sites that take more than three seconds to load.
Three ways your website speed impacts performance and ROI
So why are most websites still slow to load? This is largely due to the fact that web services have become increasingly more complex and require an increasing number of web resources, think web images and web servers, to get the job done. The challenge is that people’s expectations around load times continue to increase, while website owners lack the understanding of how speed directly influences their bottom line. This new era represents the demand economy we live in and every website needs to ride the wave or get lost at sea.
So, what does this really mean?
Neglecting to prioritize speed in the development and maintenance of an online presence will waste the time, effort, and resources website owners put in and will negatively impact the site’s return on investment. Here are three ways website speed and performance can affect a company’s bottom line.
1. Load speed impacts user experience
Improving the speed of a website enhances the visitor experience. While most website owners are focused on engaging their visitors through visually stunning graphics and rich content, the majority of visitors will abandon a slow website. Research has shown that when it comes to user experience, the need for speed is critical. Fast response times that outperform a user’s attention span yield a positive experience and better bottom line return on your investment.
2. Delayed load times can cause a drop in marketing, sales, and conversion goals
When it comes to reducing bounce rates, improving conversions, or generating more sales, accelerating website loading times helps website owners reach their marketing goals. There is ample evidence that highlights how website speed and performance directly influence marketing, sales, and conversion metrics. A Google study found that over 50% of users will leave a website if the page load time takes longer than 3 seconds. Riding that same wave, just 100 milliseconds delay in load times can cause conversion rates to drop by 7%. A loss in conversions are a direct hit to your revenue stream, so delivering a good experience through desktop and mobile gives a better bottom line return on investment.
3. Website speed impacts how you rank in search
From a search ranking perspective, websites need to operate quickly and efficiently to be found in the oceans of the internet. Diving deeper, you’ll find that website speed has been part of Google’s PageRank algorithm since 2010 and directly impacts a site’s ranking. Google’s primary goal is to satisfy visitors needs and, therefore, assigns websites with a lower search rank when they fail to deliver value to their visitors.
In 2016, the page load speed on a mobile device has become a major factor in their algorithm and was extended to mobile search rankings. And, since mobile has become the device of choice for web surfing, it is just as important, if not more, to ensure the speed of your website’s mobile performance is top of mind.
The benefits of a high-performing website are clear. It’s time to make speed a priority and improve your bottom line. To get started, Google provides a tool to test your website speed:
Google PageSpeed tool - https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
It generates a score for both desktop and mobile and provides details on how you can improve website speed and performance.