Posted at February 4, 2016 at 5:39 am by Stacey Talieres
Well, to Amazon, it matters to the tune of $1.6 billion.
That’s how much they’d lose if their website slowed down by just one second. Make no mistake, the speed of your website has a direct impact on your business.
Scary isn’t it?
Website speed is major obsession of mine. I believe that load speed is the foundation of any good website, therefore making it the foundation of any good business.
If your site is slow, it’s holding you back.
1. Sales and conversions
Let’s start with the headline figures. Website speed can severely affect your conversion rate. Along with your total sales and revenue.
I started with the example of Amazon, and their potential loss of $1.6 billion per year. Why is this figure so huge?
It comes down to one simple fact:
– 40% of people will abandon a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
When a website takes over three seconds to load, it’s proven that most people will often abandon it. Which is a direct loss of potential customers along with missed opportunity of sales.
If your website gets 2,000 visitors a month, you could lose 800 of them if your site slows down. You can imagine how much that will impact your conversion rate!
We must also consider that Amazon is an established and recognized name. People will generally hold out for a site they’re familiar with. If you’re a small company vying for new customers, you can’t afford to slow down.
2. User experience
Think about how long you typically wait for a website to load. If it takes a while, you start to get frustrated or bored. In other words, you’re having a poor user experience!
Slow sites irritate visitor’s right from the start, and that can impact the rest of their time on your site. It will impact their decision to buy from you now and in the future.
79% of online shoppers say they won’t return to a slow or poor-performing website.
I always say that website load speed is your first chance to provide a fantastic user experience.
It’s all about first impressions, and you only get one shot at it. When a website pops up instantly, you just created your first positive user experience. Right away, your visitor is happy.
Creating a memorable user experience has a simple formula. You give your visitors what they’re looking for, and you do it as fast as possible!
Anything that slows users down, or distracts them leads to a poor user experience. A little-known secret is that UX design is all about removing barriers. So essentially it is important to take away anything that slows your visitors down.
Search engine optimization is a tricky business. No-one truly knows how Google’s algorithm works except the Google nerds in Palo Alto.
But one thing we know for sure is that Google down votes slow loading times. In fact, Google is on a mission to “make the whole web fast”.
For a company that focuses on speed and efficiency, do you think they would rank a slow website highly? They don’t, because it’s not what they stand for. People entrust in Google, and ultimately it is their duty to recognize and promote the best websites across all categories with speed being a defining component.
In fairness, speed is not the largest ranking factor (compared to relevancy and site authority). But, it is still a factor, which Google has openly explained.
They don’t worry about a split second here or there, but they will black-mark uber-slow sites.
According to Google, they reduce the amount of crawlers it sends to your site if your server takes longer than two seconds to respond. (FYI, server speed is slightly different to your overall load speed.)
So, if you do have a slow server, Google might not find your latest blog or newest updates.
And that’s a problem for your SEO strategy.
A fast website won’t fix all your SEO problems, but it will make sure your website is crawled and indexed regularly. It will keep your SEO strategy on target, and will ultimately help you move up to the coveted first page of search results.
4. A slow site slams your bounce rate
Stacey recently wrote about how to reduce your bounce rate on the blog. And she aptly pointed out that load speed plays a huge part.
Quite simply, your bounce rate is how many visitors leave your site without clicking on a single link. They left without reading much content or viewing a product.
It typically means they didn’t find what they were looking for, and abandoned your site. Your bounce rate is a key indicator of user experience, i.e. a low bounce rate means your users are generally happy, and exploring your site. A high bounce rate means they’re leaving quickly.
A high bounce rate now also affects your SEO, as well as potential sales and conversions.
We’ve already explained how a slow site could cause 40% of people to click away. That’s a 40% bounce rate before you’ve even started!
5. We expect your site to be fast
I’ve shown you a few heavy statistics already, but the one that hits hardest is this:
– 47% of people expect your site to load within two seconds.
Those are super high expectations! And you don’t get a break when it comes to load speed on a mobile device either. Nearly 90% think a mobile site should load just as fast as a desktop site.
There’s no way around it, you’ve got to meet these expectations. In fact, you’ve got to exceed expectations!
Like I said previously, we’ll often times wait around a little longer for big established sites. But for a small business, it’s all about how quickly you can impress.
You’re now wondering how your website shapes up, aren’t you?
Start by finding out how fast your server responds. Hint: you’re looking for a ‘Google-approved’ 200ms or faster response time. Your server speed is the core foundation of your website, and it’s the first place to start.
Thanks for reading, we’re here to answer any further questions you have on website load speed.