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How Website Speed Affects Your Business   no comments

May 15, 2018 @ 9:57am Web hosting

Website Speed Affects Business

If you’ve ever waited for a slow website to load, you know how frustrating it is. It only takes a few seconds – if that – for you to start getting impatient and considering going to another site.

Visitors to your site feel the exact same way. People have grown increasingly accustomed to instant results, and most web users expect web pages to show up on their screen right after clicking or tapping. A slow website can directly, and negatively, impact your sales and ability to draw in new clients.

However, it’s not just sales that take a hit when your website is crawling. Slow load times can result in reduced search engine rankings and depressed conversion rates. Additionally, a slow website is often the sign of a design problem, which may mean that you’re using more bandwidth to do less.

 

The Five Second Rule

According to a recent study, one-third of online shoppers will leave your site if it takes more than five seconds to load. Along with the fact that five seconds is a very short amount of time to work with, the study found that people are getting more impatient; a previous study showed that you had six seconds before people left.

If that weren’t bad enough, a study done by Google that specifically looked at mobile users found that these individuals are even more impatient. More than half of those involved in the study will leave a mobile website if it doesn’t load in three seconds.

What this means is that your website design needs to focus on speed instead of design elements. To ensure that people will go to your website – and stay – your site needs to be fast and streamlined.

 

Load Time Affects Sales

If you’ve got your website loading under five seconds, you may get visitors to stick around, but it won’t necessarily net you a sale. The study that found many people will leave after five seconds also determined that a 2.4 second load time led to the highest conversion rates. This is backed up by data collected by Kissmetrics, which showed that a one second delay in website response time can lead to a seven percent conversion rate drop.

The collected data also showed that people who made purchases from a site but were unhappy with the site’s performance were less likely to buy from the site again. In other words, the bare minimum to get someone to stay may be five seconds, but if you want to make a sale, and keep making sales, your site may need to load even faster.

 

Google Is Impatient Too

Load times don’t just affect whether or not a potential customer stays on your website. They may also play a part in determining if someone ever arrives at your site. This is because Google looks at user experience when calculating search engine rankings.

There are a number of factors that go into user experience, but load time is a significant one. Search engine ranking is very competitive since it determines where your site shows up in search results and if it shows up on the first page. With less than 80 percent of people clicking to the second page of search results, it’s essential that you’re doing everything you can to be on page one.

Google offers a website to check your site’s performance, and according to the search engine, a score of 85 or higher out of 100 means that your site is doing well. Anything below that likely spells trouble when it comes to your search engine rankings.

It’s also important to note that Google has started to give websites that are mobile friendly higher rankings when people do a search from a mobile device. If you have a desktop site that loads quickly but don’t create an equivalent mobile site, you could see a drop in your mobile search rankings.

 

Slow Load Times Could Mean Back End Problems

There are a variety of reasons that your website may be running slowly or simply not loading as quickly as visitors would like. Many common reasons relate to design, such as running too many scripts or filling up the page with large media files.

These problems can be resolved easily by streamlining a website and cutting down on files and scripts that bog the loading process down. Doing this may help to improve the performance of your web server as well. If the media files on your site that are taking up enormous amounts of bandwidth are compressed or if you reduce the number that load on your site, you could see a lot of resources freed up.

 

It May Be Time To Upgrade

However, slow load times, especially if you have optimized your website, may indicate that there’s a larger problem with your server or the network you’re running on. If you are hosting on a Shared Server, it could be that you need more power and system resources. To resolve this, it is recommended that you upgrade to a VPS/Cloud Server or Dedicated Server solution. If your business is utilizing a Colocation solution but still experiencing bandwidth and network issues, it may be time to change your Data Center and/or Cloud provider.

While attractive and innovative website designs may be appealing, if you’re in the business of selling, your focus should be on a website that loads quickly and is easy to navigate. Shaving just a second off of the load time of your site and pages within it could mean a dramatic difference in conversion rates and sales, and it could also improve your search engine rankings.

 

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Written by David Maurer on May 15th, 2018

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