When it comes to advertising and selling online, speed matters. The speed of your website is a key metric that impacts your user’s experience, site visibility on Google search engines, and ultimately, your company’s bottom line.
The top of the all-time rankings for the fastest men’s 100-metre times looks like this:
- Usian Bolt – 9.58 seconds
- Usain Bolt – 9.63 seconds
- Usain Bolt – 9.69 seconds
- Tyson Gay – 9.69 seconds
- Yohan Blake – 9.69 seconds
Rounding out the top 100 times is – you guessed it – Usain Bolt, with a time of 9.85 seconds. A difference of .27 milliseconds is enough to separate the fastest recorded 100m dash of all time vs. the 100th fastest time.
Every second (and millisecond) matters, and this runner’s philosophy can be applied to the speed of your website. Having website loading times that lag a couple of seconds behind your competitors is enough to leave you in the dust, rather than racing for a podium finish on Google search results pages.
By improving website speed and loading times, your website can be the Usain Bolt of the industry.
Just a Second
Page loading times have always been a key metric for user experience, though it’s often overlooked when we add new site aesthetics or nifty functionalities. Users tend to care less about all the extra knick-knacks and patty-whacks, using speed to determine whether to wait for or abandon a page.
If that doesn’t get you moving to improve your site’s speed, Google has begun weighing site speed more heavily when it comes to your website’s ranking on search results pages. Like the 100m dash list, slower speeds are found at the bottom.
According to Neil Patel:
- 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
- 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
- 85% of internet users expect a mobile site to load as fast or faster than on their desktop.
Never forget the core of user experience and UX design: Give visitors what they want, and give it to them fast.
What Lowers Loading Speed Times
There are several website factors that can affect your site’s speed:
- Large Images: Big, high resolution images can severely hamper your website’s loading speed due to a lack of compression. Opt for PNG or SVG formats for transparent images, and JPEG for photos.
- Server Hosting: Your site will need to be hosted on the right server, determined by the size of your site. Don’t let shoddy hosting affect all the hard work you put into the front end of your website with lower bandwidth.
- Too Many Ads: Saturating pages on your site with ads will not only slow down your site, but probably annoy your users, too.
- Themes: Those flashy themes with all the bells and whistles can slow your site down with unneeded features.
- Poorly-Coded Plug-ins and Widgets: While rare, some social buttons and comment spaces can impact loading speed times. If you run a WordPress, keep an eye on how all your plug-ins are impacting your page speed.
How Website Speed Affects Conversion Rates
According to Neil Patel, a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
Now, remember when we said 40% of people abandon a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load? Let’s crunch the numbers to see just how much that can affect your bottom line.
If you have 100,000 people visit your site every month, and your site slows to a load time of 4 seconds, that’s a potential loss of 40,000 customers. 40,000!
Slow load speeds drive people away, thereby driving sales away. And if you don’t believe our hypothetical, online giants Amazon did some testing of their own:
- Amazon did tests that showed they would lose $1.6 billion every year if they slowed down by just one second.
And that’s for a well-known commodity like Amazon. If consumers won’t wait an extra second for Amazon, are they going to wait for your website to load?
Tools to Test & Improve Your Website’s Speed
There are a number of online tools you can use to measure your site’s speed and find areas of improvement:
This is Google’s go-to tool for website loading speeds, grading your site on a 0 – 100 scale. The best feature available on Page Speed Insights besides speed score is the recommendations from Google on how to improve your website’s speed.
With mobile traffic surging past desktop, you’d be amiss if your mobile site speed isn’t on par with your desktop version.
Just drop your site URL into the field, and Google will test your site based on standard 3G speeds. You’ll get an average load speed time, and even a percentage of your estimated visitor loss during loading times. Below that, you can download a free report if you’d like further insights.
Under each factor is a drop down option, detailing how you can remedy your site’s inefficiencies to improve site to Usain Bolt speeds.
Eden Advertising specializes in high-performance, high-speed websites that focus on lead generation and converting new visitors into loyal customers. We combine today’s best web design principles with leading web platforms and hosting servers to create high ranking sites that are fast, engaging, and most importantly to you, conversion-optimized so that you can generate leads, grow sales and increase profitability.
Every second counts – contact us today!