There are many reasons why having a website with a quick loading time is important. In this article I will highlight how increasing the speed of your website can help your business rank higher on search and help to improve conversions as well as providing tips on how to measure and improve your website’s performance.
What is a fast load time for a website?
A study released by Kissmetrics discovered that fast loading websites have higher customer satisfaction and retention rates. For example:
- 47% of online shoppers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less
- 40% of visitors will abandon a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load
Imagine losing 40% of your traffic before the page even loads!
How does pagespeed affect SEO?
Having a website that loads quickly is actually a ranking factor for Google. This means if your website is slow it may not rank as well as faster loading websites. By improving the performance of your website’s loading time you will also be improving your chances of getting ranked higher by Google.
If your website is taking too long to load then there is a chance that users will leave your website. If large numbers of visitors ‘bounce’ from your website then this will have a negative impact on your organic rank because the bounce rate of pages on a website is a ranking factor.
The obvious knock-on consequence of having a high bounce rate due to frustration of loading times is that you will be less likely to convert because there are fewer people on your website. A longer term knock-on consequence will be that you will get less traffic if ranking in a lower position.
Measure how fast a website loads
If you are curious about how quickly your webpages are loading you can use Google’s free Page Speed Insights tool:
Benefits of a fast and responsive mobile friendly website
A recent survey by Smart Insights indicates that in 2014 the number of people using smartphones to browse the internet overtook traditional desktop browsers and this figure increased in 2015 also. Ensuring that your website is responsive will go a long way to ensuring that your visitors are engaged. It’s also worth noting that a mobile responsive website is also a ranking factor for mobile searches.
Tips for Improving pagespeed
Re-size your images and optimise for web
One of the most common issues for site speed is that images are not optimised properly. Reducing the file size of your images can help with the performance of a web page dramatically. For example having an image with a file size of 1mb when you only need to use 100kb. A simple reduction like this would be the equivalent of using 10 images at the same total size of the previous single 1mb image.
If you are not tech savvy I’d recommend using an optimising image tool such as Kraken. A great feature of this tool is that you only need to upload an image once and it will optimize it for different devices such as mobile and tablet etc.
Having a caching tool on your website will have a big impact on loading times as it will prepare other pages before they are clicked on, which will reduce download times significantly.
If you have any questions about improving the speed of your own website, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line on 028 9068 3790 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.