Is the loading speed of your website potentially losing you customers? Here’s why it pays to keep your website fast and light for potential visitors.
When you click on a website link in search results, how long are you prepared to wait for the page to appear? Three seconds, five seconds, ten seconds? At some point, I’m sure you can’t be bothered waiting anymore and go back to the search results to click on another website. That website just lost a visitor – a potential customer!
You may not have considered it, but even if you think about your own internet browsing behaviour, people have a very low tolerance for websites that take a long time to load. Over the years, as internet speeds have increased from dial up, through broadband to NBN, our expectations have increased accordingly. Much like other aspects of our lives, when it comes to website loading speeds, we want instant gratification.
Data on online shopping websites indicate:
- 40% of customers abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load (Kissmetrics)
- Every one second increase in load time = 8% increase in bounce (or dropout) rate (Radware).
The difference in acceptable load times between desktop and mobile versions is negligible.
Visitors may be more tolerant when visiting your pest control website, compared to an e-commerce site, but not much.
Remember, if you are losing customers before they get to your website, they will never become actual customers.
Not only do customers demand fast page speed, but it is used as a ranking signal by Google in organic search results and impacts your ad quality score in paid ads.
With page speed having a big impact on your online performance and therefore sales, it’s certainly something that needs attention and is a key part of SEO activities.
There are a number of elements that can effect website and page load speeds, two obvious ones are photos and videos. Generally, visual media are a positive for user experience and can also be positive factors to improve organic rankings, as they general increase the time spent on page. However, if you have too many images or they are not optimised, they will slow down page load times and therefore have a negative effect on organic rankings.
So what to do?
- All photos should be the lowest resolution possible without affecting visual quality
- Use video material judiciously. Start with one per page and measure performance.
Whether you use an agency to help with your website SEO or do it yourself, you can easily check page speed using some of the free tools available, such as Google’s page speed tool or the free tool from Pingdom. Both will measure page speed and provide lots of diagnostics to show areas of potential improvement.
Try to make sure any key page on your website loads in less than three seconds, but to be honest, the faster the better.
When it comes to website performance and maximising sales, you have the need for speed.