Everyone knows the frustration of waiting on a website that just won’t load. Sitting there, staring at the screen, tapping your foot as you wait and wait and wait. It’s one of the most frustrating parts of the internet.
In fact, many people experience the tedious wait on a website once or twice and then refuse to wait again. At least half of people refuse to wait for even a couple seconds for their website to load; if it doesn’t load instantly, they click out of there and try a different site.
You see, the speed of your website is important. It’s literally a make or break component, either bringing you traffic, sales, and conversions, or leaving your website lonely and irrelevant.
While you may know that search engines rank slow-loading websites poorly, you may not be aware that slow-loading websites have a very negative impact on your visitors. A slow-loading website can actually reduce your visitors, turn leads from warm to cold, and set you on a path towards a very low ranking. At the same time, a fast loading site has the power to increase your sales by incredible amounts and help you gain a high SEO ranking.
If you’re going to have a website, (which, you are if you’re attempting to run a business these days), then you need that website to load rapidly. By not ensuring that your load time is efficient, you’re actually doing more harm than if you didn’t have a website at all!
Why does load time matter?
Website visitors don’t want to wait around for a website to load. Even if they need the information on the website, they’ll quit pretty quickly if the site is taking a while to load.
People know that they can find similar information and similar businesses, products, or services, somewhere else. Thus, instead of sitting around and waiting for one specific website to load, they’ll X-out and search for a different one. With just a simple slow-loading website, you can miss out on a ton of visitors and conversions every single day.
Ensuring that your website has as fast a load time as possible is essential for a number of reasons, including:
” Multiple studies have demonstrated that site speed affects conversion rate (or, the rate at which users complete a desired action). Not only do more users stay on fast-loading sites, they also convert at higher rates compared to slower sites. ”
First impressions matter
Your website is a way for people all around the world to discover your business and decide whether or not to become your customer. However, more than anything else, it’s people’s first impression of your website that will either make them stick around and learn more or cause them to head out and check elsewhere.
The very first impression that your audience will have of your website, and often of your business, is your load time. Once they click on the link to your website, they’re waiting to enter your world. If that entrance takes a while and they’re stuck waiting to see what your site has to offer, they’re not going to have a great first impression. In fact, for half of your visitors, that poor first impression is enough to send them packing.
Focus on the first impression that you give to your visitors by focusing on your website load time. That way, when people click on your website link, they’ll instantly be taken to your website and ready to browse. Their first impression will be a positive one.
” It takes 0.05 seconds for users to form an opinion about your website. ”
Great user experience
The user experience that your website creates is another way to either please your visitors or annoy them. Essentially, the user experience is all about creating a pleasant experience for your visitors. This means ensuring that they are happy with their visit to your site.
One of the top ways to create a great user experience is to make sure your site is optimized to load quickly. This means your images are the right size, your site has a cache, you have few redirects, and more. By focusing on these aspects of your website, you are helping your website load faster, which will create a user experience that your visitors will approve of.
Remember, if your website takes longer than a couple of seconds to load, half of your visitors are going to leave. That means that you’re missing out on the potential for half of your prospects to convert.
No matter how you look at it, if your website doesn’t load quickly, you’re losing sales. Those people who leave your website due to slow load time are not going to convert. In fact, once they leave your website, there’s a good chance they’ll never think of your business again.
On the same token, when you have a website that loads quickly, your traffic will stick around. That means that you’re doubling the number of prospects checking out your website, and some of those prospects will convert. By having a fast load time, your sales will definitely increase.
Higher SEO ranking
By now you know how important a high search engine ranking is. Most of the decisions you make for your website are most likely so that you can optimize it in order to gain a top ranking.
Search engines such as Google take your website’s load time into consideration when determining its ranking. If your website takes forever to load, it’s not going to rank very high. However, by optimizing your site’s speed, you’re helping it to receive a higher ranking.
Focus on website speed
If you want your visitors to stick around your website and become your customers, you need to make sure that your site is optimized for speed. While it’s not as obvious as content and design, load time is an essential part of creating an effective website.
Take the time to learn about the various components of load time, including what helps it and what hinders it. If you’re working with a web design company, make sure to connect with them on load time to ensure they place an emphasis on it.
Remember, you can increase your sales and search engine ranking by focusing on having an efficient load time.