How Speed Affects Websites and What to Do About It
We all want our websites to dazzle the visitors, captivate them to get us tons of conversions.
No wonder, website owners go to great lengths and pour incredible resources into designing and promoting their websites.
This is a good strategy.
You get users to your website with proper promotional activities and if they’re interested in the content, they keep coming back for more. As long as you have engaging content, this strategy should work.
But, even if you have all these steps set to precision, you still might fail to convert those visitors to customers. There are quite a few reasons for that. One of the most important ones that most marketers tend to ignore is the loading speed of their websites.
Let’s take a look at the numbers!
At the start of 2019, the average load times for desktop and mobile websites were 9.3 and 15.3 seconds, respectively.
The load time recommended by experts is three seconds or lower. That’s over three times slower for desktop websites and five times slower for mobile ones.
Bottom line: An average website load much slower than it ought to be. Many marketers are missing out big time on using loading speeds for better rankings and conversions.
Three seconds might seem unrealistic, but it is really the maximum load time you can allow. We’ll explain why.
Effects of Slow Speeds:
Google For SEO and SEM likes fast loading websites
SEO spendings across industries have been consistently increasing over the last few years and optimizing your website for better loading speed is one of the top priority for every esteemed seo agency.
It has been years since Google announced speed would be a ranking factor. Since 2018, speed determines the ranking of mobile pages as well.
Google’s search algorithms since 2018 have been using mobile-first indexing. Therefore, if your mobile pages take the average 15.3 seconds to load, or even longer (as mentioned above), it is that much more difficult to get a decent ranking.
Website speed can also affect paid traffic. That is, website speed affects your quality score, which in turn affects how much you pay for Google ads and ad placement. If your website is slow, you shouldn’t be surprised if your PPC campaigns become less effective.
And we’ve yet to cover the effect load times have on the users themselves.
Effects Of a Slow Loading Website on User
As you can imagine:
Users aren’t generally excited about slow sites.
Here are some stats that support the above assumption:
- If a website takes over 3 seconds to load, 53% of users don’t go beyond the first page.
- An increase in load times from 1 to 5 seconds leads to a 90% higher bounce rate.
- 1 second of delay results in an 11% reduction in page views.
As you can see, users don’t want to stay on a slow website. Only 3 seconds are enough to drive most of them away. If the load time is 9.3 seconds, or even 15.3, hardly anyone even waits to see the first page.
To stop this from happening to you, we’ll give you a few quick fixes for website speed troubles.
How To Speed Up Your Slow Loading Website (A Few Simple Hacks You Everyone Can Use)
Get Good Hosting
It all starts with hosting. Your website can only be as fast as its server allows it to be.
While most hosting providers have fast hosting on their offers, not all of them deliver. There are quite a few frauds who jam their shared servers full of clients without caring if the servers can support all those websites.
It is obvious if server resources are spread too thin, website performance suffers. If your website is fully optimized but still slow to load, the issue might be with the host. At this point, there’s little you can do except finding a different hosting provider and migrating your website.
Ideally, you should have a good hosting provider from the start. Carefully review all top hosting options and choose the one that’s fast, secure, and reliable. Don’t be afraid to browse the internet for some user reviews if you need help in choosing.
Optimize or Remove Anything Unnecessary
Another common pitfall is having a website that’s too bulky. Page weight directly correlates to page load times. In other words, websites with larger pages and more page elements tend to be slower. You should strive to strip down your website of anything unnecessary.
There are ways to reduce the weight of web pages without losing out on functionality.
For one, you can do some image optimization. There are many online tools like TinyPNG that let you compress images before uploading them.
You can also implement GZIP. It doesn’t actually change the page size, but it compresses the code before sending it to the client, thereby improving load times.
You’ll have to edit something eventually. While browsers might have no problems reading the minified code, it’s not as easy for humans.
While you’re at it:
Also, restrict your use of web fonts. Fonts are fun and useful, but using too many can seriously affect load times. By all means, use one or two if you think it adds to the appearance of your website, but don’t go beyond that.
Use a CDN
A content delivery network can be a useful service for those with larger audiences. In such cases, a significant portion of traffic might be coming from different locations, perhaps even different continents. Delivering 100% of your content from the origin server might take too long, even if the server can handle the workload.
A CDN is a network of servers in different locations. You can use it to deliver a portion of the content from a server that’s closer to the client.
The proxy servers can take over a part of the traffic if the origin server doesn’t have enough resources to handle it. Both help get pages to the client more efficiently and in less time.
Now you know exactly how website speed affects your website’s success.
Even more importantly:
You know which techniques to employ to speed up load times. You can get out there and make your website stand out like never before.
If you’d like more info about website speed, check out the graphics resource below.