Why Site Speed Matters

One of the most frustrating things you can encounter online is a page that takes an excruciatingly long time to load. While different people have different preferences on the websites they frequent, everyone will agree that site speed is a huge factor in making visitors stay or abandon a website.

Kissmetrics further proves this with the following stats:

  • 40% of visitors leave when a website loads longer than 3 seconds.
  • 47% of internet users expect to access a website in 2 seconds max.
  • 79% of online shoppers are less inclined to buy from a website with slow loading time.
  • 44% of online shoppers will tell a friend about an unsatisfactory experience.
  • 52% of online shoppers reveal that a quick-loading page is key to their patronage.

The data accumulated from this research is customer-centric. Arguably, you can make it up to your customers by offering free shipping or a discount on future purchases when customers have a substandard shopping experience due to slow loading time. But that is just a temporary relief from a critical issue that will affect your business in the long haul. What’s more, site speed matters not only to customers but also to Google.

Site Speed and Google: How Loading Time Affects Your Ranking

Google does not always reveal the intricacies of its algorithm. But in 2010, the giant search engine revealed that site speed is one factor they take seriously when it comes to ranking websites. This announcement came with Google’s aid to help webmasters or online business owners ramp up their site speed.

The company released a set of free tools to help people improve their website loading time. Some of these are the following:

Page Speed – this add-on assesses the speed performance of web pages while providing improvement suggestions. This tool also makes it possible to measure the speed score of a web page when accessed on both desktop and mobile platforms. Page Speed helps owners accelerate loading time by suggesting fixes on specific elements that slows down a website.

Webmaster Tools – the Site Performance from this tool helps owners evaluate the speed of their website from a visitor’s viewpoint.

YSlow – this aptly named tool from Yahoo! grades a web page, provides suggestions on how owners can improve their site speed, and offers tools for performance investigation.

Google Analytics also comes with Site Speed which provides a comprehensive report on page loading time, domain lookup, redirection, server response, server connection, and page download through the Behavior Section.

Site Speed and User Experience: How Loading Time Affects Your Conversions

Google has also made a pronouncement that user experience is one of the company’s top priorities. Because it is trusted by billions of internet users, it constantly aims to provide the best, most relevant results in a matter of seconds.

This is backed by trusted online marketing strategists who claim that user experience is crucial if a business aims to carve a name in the industry. When your website is slow, your user experience rating is first to plummet.

Aberdeen Group attests to this by revealing that a page load delay of even just 1 second can spiral into an 11% of page view drop, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and a 7% decline in conversion.

There are many ways to reel in customers to your website. You can recruit talented writers to take care of your blog content or hire an office assistant with excellent administrative skills for a flawless business operation. But if the performance of your website fluctuates due to site speed, the investments you made on other business aspects will just suffer.

Is your site speed slowing down the success of your business?

Catherine vanVonno is the President and Executive Director of 20Four7VA, a global Virtual Assistant (VA) Service Provider. She holds a doctorate degree in Applied Statistics, Research Design and Program Evaluation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and has over 10 years experience in facilitating evidence-based strategic planning, product development, brand management, legislative communications, and medical policy. She is married and has four children. You can follow him through the buttons below.

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