Fast Loading Website Improves Conversion
A fast loading website should be a priority for all business owners as people are becoming increasing impatient when doing searches. I’d guess that many could not tell you how long it takes for their site to load or even thought it was important.
To be fair, they have a lot on their plate so it’s no surprise they aren’t laser-focused on the speed of their site. This is a harmful practice as it often leads to an underperforming website with the added potential of being penalized by search engines.
Is your site being penalized?
Google rewards fast loading sites by ranking them higher and has been doing so for many years. Website loading speed continues to be a major component in the two latest algorithm changes: mobile-first indexing and the Page Experience Update.
Longer loading = higher bounce rates
Google’s best practices suggest a site should load in 3 seconds (or less). Their research shows that the longer a page takes to load, the higher the chance that the user bounces. For example, when a page takes 5 seconds to load the probability of a bounce rises by 90%.
Other studies have been done and results show that almost 50% of people expect a site to load in less than 2 seconds. As usual, studies vary though the conclusion drawn from them is quite consistent. The longer the load time, the higher the chance that the user leaves.
Don’t give users a reason to leave
Imagine that your site loads fast and works great on their device. Users will have a positive experience which encourages them to stay longer. Studies show the longer a user stays, the higher the chance they’ll contact the business. Yes, it really is that simple.
Factors affecting download speed
Would you be surprised to learn the average smart phone is not the latest top-of-the-line model? In fact, the best-selling phones are cheaper models. Plus, not everyone spends the money to buy a new model every time one becomes available.
I mention these things because less expensive and certainly older phones have hardware that is usually slower than newer and/or upscale models. The type of device is just one of many things that influence download speeds:
- Connected to a slow network
- Poor mobile coverage at user’s location
- Bad connection or strength of signal
- Using a slow VPN
- Congested wi-fi-traffic in user’s area
- Too many active apps putting demands on data connection
What can you control?
As you can see, there’s many factors affecting speed and they vary from user to user. While you can’t control those listed above, there are others you CAN control.
For example, you can have your website built using multiple-sized photos. How does this help? A small photo is downloaded for people on phones and smaller screens whereas a larger photo is downloaded for those on larger screens, like a desktop monitor.
Code can be the issue
Many CMS (content management systems) have bloated code. What do I mean by this? Because they’re built for use by people who don’t have coding knowledge, they contain code (many in the form of plugins) that isn’t always necessary.
The extra code can be removed, and the site will still work but that’s not something most people are qualified to do. (If they could do that, they probably wouldn’t need a CMS in the first place.) Hence, the extra code stays and slows down the loading time.
Not all servers are created equal
Many business owners do not give much thought to their hosting service and/or the servers the company uses. I suspect most think all servers are the same but that’s not true. Servers come in a wide range of performance capabilities that directly affect download speed.
For example, some hosting companies have multiple websites sharing resources on a server not built for handling the demand for more than one website. Remember, you get what you pay for, and this certainly applies to hosting too.
Get a faster site
Sleepy Dog recognizes the importance of a fast-loading site and the role it plays in providing a positive experience to users. To this end, we build responsive websites with a priority towards speed.
It should be a goal for all business owners to create a more positive experience as it increases engagement and sales. If you’re worried your site is being penalized for being too slow, contact Sleepy Dog to hear how we can build you a fast loading website.