Your web presence is non-negotiable — if you want to attract business, people need to find you online. But if your website is slow and clunky, potential customers will click away before they can engage. Worse yet, they might never come back.
When you take a look at how much revenue you could lose through a slow site, you can quickly see why there is a need for speed.
How Fast is Fast?
Web analytics tell us how fast is fast enough. The research shows that half of visitors expect your page to load in under two seconds.
Around 40 percent of visitors will give up after three seconds, and 14 percent of people who don’t like your load time will shop elsewhere. Over half of them won’t stay loyal to your brand.
Other numbers show that 80 percent of people will not come back to your site following a slow load time, and half of those people will share their poor experience with friends, family, and others.
Clearly, the faster the better, and you need to load in at least two seconds. It’s worth understanding exactly why speed is important, though — it impacts more than just immediate customer satisfaction.
A slow site doesn’t just mean that people will leave your page in frustration. It can also mean that they will never find it in the first place.
Search engines like Google consider web page loading time in their rankings. Search engines want to return results that meet people’s needs, and a slow site is not going to be satisfactory. If your site is slow to load you will be penalized, which means that your page will have less chance of showing up in top page rankings, even when your content is high quality.
Given how much people use mobile devices and mobile apps, on which page loading speed can impact the consumer experience even more severely than on desktop computers, it’s clear that how quickly your pages load will continue to be an important consideration for SEO professionals.
The Impact on Loyalty and Reputation
If people can’t access your information or services, they are not likely to remember your brand kindly, if at all. A bad user experience sticks with people. And there is so much competition on the internet, accessible with a few keystrokes, that people tend to look elsewhere very quickly when they are dissatisfied.
There will be people who do persist with your slow website, but this is not to be considered a victory. This could be bad for business. People like to leave reviews when a business performs better than expected or worse than expected. A painfully slow site will motivate reviewers to vent their bad feelings.
In a time when everyone and everyone sees online reviews and social media comments, negative reviews can make an impact quickly. Once your brand is associated with poor quality, it can be hard to shake this image.
The Cost of Slow Sites
For a lot of companies, the dollars and cents are one of the most important considerations. Brand reputation and customer loyalty can be harder to track; true. Revenue loss, however, can be much more measurable.
If your conversion rate drops, your revenue drops. A single second delay can reduce your conversions. According to some estimates, almost $500 billion in e-commerce revenue disappears thanks to slow loading.
Dealing with upset customers and lost purchases can turn customer service into a business nightmare. Fixing customers’ problems and apologizing for their poor experiences costs money. Your support department, and IT department, will shoulder additional stress and you will have to pay the bill.
Speeding Up Your Site
First, don’t assume that your site is OK. Just because it is working doesn’t mean that it is working well. Monitoring your site and understanding the analytics is important to understanding how fast your site is.
If you recognize that your site has a speed problem, speed up your site to rescue lost revenue. Optimizing can be as simple as reducing image and file sizes. Basic steps like removing unneeded resources will speed up your site and cut down on poor user experiences.
A faster site is a good business move even if your page already loads fairly quickly. Even a speed increase of one second can boost page views, conversions, and sales. Keep customers loyal and telling others about your great website without reservations. Don’t give them a reason to recommend a competitor.
The cost and effort of optimizing your site are well worth it when you consider how much revenue you could lose to lag. A sluggish website damages your brand. As speed becomes more important, the damage becomes worse. Investing in a fast site is investing in user experience and business success.