Boost your website speed. It’s vital that your website is speedy! Find out what a slow website speed can cost you and what you can do about it.
This is part 3 of an 8-part website development series on making sure your website has a strong foundation for success.
The Importance Of Website Speed
Having a successful website has many components and a MAJOR component of that is how quickly the pages of your website load. The faster your pages load, the faster your website is.
Slow speed is a killer.
But before you start panicking: Remember that it’s all part of the process. You first build a great website, and then you start refining it, looking at factors such as load times. After all, there is no point having a lightning fast website that users hate!
No matter how beautiful your site is, your website’s load speed is critical to success.
So once you’ve designed a beautiful site, you need to optimize it for load speed.
3 Advantages To Building Faster Websites
These are three things you REALLY want for your website!
- Improved Conversions.
- Improved SEO.
- Improved Visitor Engagement.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Google right? They are the search engine that chooses what people see or don’t see, including YOUR website.
Fascinating Google Test Results
Do you know how many search results show when you type a term into Google?
I remember it was 10 for a long time, and then recently it jumped to 30 results. When you do a test now, it’s back to 10.
Did you notice that?
Then – Google VP Marissa Mayer – asked users if they’d like 10 or 30 results per page. Hands down, web users wanted 30 results per page.
But when Google rolled out the changes and tested for speed (they are obsessed with speed) and their jaws dropped.
Traffic had dropped by 20% on those pages with 30 results.
That’s why we’re back at 10 results not 30 results for Google searches.
Interesting isn’t it?
So, What Does Google Say About Website Performance?
This is the research that the BIGGEST online company is sharing with the industry.
Fast & optimized pages lead to higher visitor engagement, retention, & conversions.
The performance of your website is being measured by Google and one of the things that the LOVE is a fast page load time.
They’re in the business of showing their customers (people using Google) what they want to see. When they see that a visitor to your site stays on your website longer, visits more pages and makes purchases (or fills in a lead capture form), they take notice.
They will decide if they will show your website to users or hide it down the results where nobody will find it, so you should take them EXTREMELY SERIOUSLY!
Google takes website speed seriously – what are you doing to make sure your site is fast?
Google is also famous for saying “The web should be fast“.
What Does This Mean For You?
It means that having a fast website is important now BUT it will be more important in the future. So at some point you will need to address this.
If Google takes page speed seriously shouldn’t you?
Anyway, it’s a win-win, both Google and customers love faster websites.
How To Analyze The Impact Of Website Speed
Evaluating the performance of a website is not a new subject and there are many studies and they ALL seem to indicate one thing:
A Slow Website Negatively Impacts Both
- User Engagement
Now let’s take a look at a practical example from a large company and how website speed can affect them.
The Amazon Example
Earlier I highlighted Google’s experiment and some of their conclusions around the importance of building faster websites. Another well known study on the speed of a website versus sales was done by Amazon (one of the biggest online retailers).
Take ONE guess what their study showed us?
(It may be obvious)
“A 1% decrease in sales for every 0.1s decrease in response times.”
Said in simple English…
Every extra second your site takes to load will cause a 7% decrease in your conversion rate.
(You can read more about the experiment here).
How big is this difference for Amazon?
A decrease in page load of just one second could cost the company £1.6 billion in sales each year.
This shows the relationship between the speed of a website and sales, and just how vital website speed is to a company’s success. Even a well-established company like Amazon.
Have you ever wondered how is your website performing? It’s easy to find out – use this 20 Point Google Analytics Custom Report Checklist.
Is website speed important? a decrease in page load of just 1 sec could cost Amazon £1.6bn annually.
Everyone Needs a Fast Web Experience
A high website speed is critical to improving your online conversion rates and boosting sales.
Industry Research Shows
- Every extra second your site takes to load will cause a 7% decrease in your conversion rate.
- You lose 25% of your traffic if your website takes 4s to load.
HOW MUCH business are you losing?
It’s not hard to work out. Use this speed test tool to see how your website performs.
Sites should load in 2 to 3s depending on their content.
(A great tool to use: GTmetrix).
Once you know the speed of your site, work out how many “extra seconds” your site takes and do the maths.
One in four people abandons surfing to a website if its page takes longer than four seconds to load.
You are literally losing money every hour, even while you’re reading this!
Why Don’t Companies Address This?
Most companies never look at solving this because it’s a very difficult thing to solve.
When you look at your speed test, notice the VERY LONG list of RECOMMENDATIONS and how technical they are.
I don’t expect you to understand them, since most web designers don’t even know what they mean!
I just wanted to give you the tools to measure your website speed and alert you to the consequences of a slow website.
What Can You Do To Improve Website Speed?
One the biggest causes of slow websites is having unoptimized images.
Make sure you use resized, compressed images. Most smart phones take a 3 to 5 mb image.
Imagine loading 10 of these on page (10 x 5mb = 50mb).
That means that every time a visitor views that page, they are downloading 50mb of data to view the images!
You can see why that’s slow right?
Rather, make sure the images you upload are at a maximum of 200kb.
This is the one thing you can do to make sure your website load speed is improved.
At Lab41 we offer a website performance app that makes your website both more secure and faster.
Make sure you read this! Case Study: Improving Website Speed By 600%.
Read our next article in the website development first steps series: