Have you ever given up on visiting a website because it loaded too slowly? You’re not alone – more than 40 percent of people abandon a website after waiting just three seconds for a page to load.
For business owners, this can be bad news for two main reasons.
1. People Are Impatient
Prospective customers won’t wait around for what you have to offer if they can find it on a faster website, which will most likely be one of your competitors.
Imagine you want to try a new Italian place for dinner, but when you visit the restaurant’s website the menu takes forever to load. You’re likely to go back to the search results and find another restaurant where the menu loads faster and you’ll be able to satisfy your hunger sooner.
If you lose one customer to a slow-loading website, you can be sure that this is happening to many other prospective customers. But how significant can these losses be?
Researchers have found that with each 1-second delay on an ecommerce website, businesses saw a 7 percent reduction in conversions.
So, if your ecommerce website earns $10,000 a day, you could be losing $700 a day and more than $250,000 a year! That’s a pretty significant loss just because your website took too long to load.
2. Google Penalizes Slow Websites with Lower Page Ranks
Google says that it takes website speed into consideration when determining websites’ page ranks, or where the website shows up in search results.
Remember, search engines are designed for one purpose: to help people find what they’re looking for. Websites that load slowly make frustrated visitors who have to spend more time searching for an answer.
If people encounter obstacles like slow site speed when trying to get the information they’re looking for, the search engine takes note of it. Using these previous encounters, Google makes an educated guess that prospective customers won’t be happy either and acts accordingly.
So How Do I Speed Up My Website?
Lucky for you, there’s plenty of ways to speed up your website, make your visitors happier and, ultimately, increase your conversions.
Tools for Website Speed Improvement
If your website was built using WordPress, there are also a number of different plugins that help improve your website speed.
For instance, the plugin EWWW Image Optimizer can reduce the size of the images on your website without sacrificing image quality. Using this plugin, you can optimize the images on your website in bulk or individually. This helps your website load faster for users while still remaining visually appealing.
Some additional, more advanced WordPress plugins are W3 Total Cache and Akismet. For more information about those plugins, check out this Quicksprout blog (they’re numbers 6 and 7 on the list).
If your website is not built through WordPress, or if you just want an overall analysis of your website speed, try the free website GTMetrix. All you have to do is enter your website address and GTMetrix will create a detailed report about your website’s speed, which you can download as a PDF.
Here’s an example of what the report summary looks like:
As you can see, GTMetrix gives the website an overall letter rating, average page load time for new visitors, and the top 5 priority issues.
The report also includes a full waterfall diagram, which shows the order in which items on your page load and how long it takes each item to load. This can help you specifically identify what parts of your website are taking the longest to load.
If you have a web team, you can simply forward the full report to them to make the suggested changes and your site should be loading faster in no time.
Remember: just because your website loads fast for you, that doesn’t mean it will load fast for everyone else. In the end, a slow website could cost you business. But if you follow the tips we’ve provided, you should have no problem losing customers to a slow website.