A website is a good way to promote your business and communicate with potential customers. Having a website is great for business. No, scratch that. Having a good website is great for business.
Your website is your spokesperson on the internet. It should appeal to potential customers and provide a good user experience. If the website produces the opposite effect, it does more harm than good.
That’s why SEO practices like keyword research and link building have been all the rage in the past several years. More recently, however, webmasters started paying more attention to website speed. Even Google stresses the importance of fast speeds.
How fast should a website be, then? If you’re looking for a specific number, get your load times in the 2-3-second ballpark. Websites slower than this suffer significant disadvantages. We’ll name a couple.
The first thing is the user experience. People loathe waiting. If a website takes long to load, they will do everything to avoid it.
Website hosting experts scoured the internet for website speed data. Their findings confirm this. On average, websites lose 53% of visitors if loading takes longer than 3 seconds.
And if a visitor stays, they’re not necessarily happy about it. Visitors look at fewer web pages on a slow website. Websites with 2 seconds of load time get 8.9 page views per visitor. In contrast, websites that take 8 seconds to load only get 3.3.
With these two combined, each second added to the load times reduces page views by 11%. This means visitors see less information when your site is slow and they could miss out on a crucial piece of information because of slow speeds.
The second thing speed affects is the conversion rate. Your conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete the goal of the website. The goal can be anything from filling a form to purchasing a product.
As you can guess, dissatisfied users are less likely to convert. In fact, your number of conversions takes a 7% hit for each added second of loading. This alone can easily halve your profits.
Finally, Google knows of all this. Heck, Google was behind a lot of the research that links user satisfaction with website speed. The reason is that Google’s primary concern is delivering quality results.
The third big effect of speed is on search rankings. Long load times can mean worse rankings. This means even fewer visitors and fewer profits.
To give you an example, SmartFurniture.com reported a climb of two positions in search rankings by improving speed alone. By doing this they reportedly got 20% more search engine traffic and 14% more page views.
As you can tell, speed is a great predictor of website success. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work hard on your content; you definitely should. However, when optimized properly, speed can be a great asset to a well-designed website and the business behind it.
You can start by reading this infographic. It has info on website speed that every website owner should know.
You can also find the podcast on: