In today’s online world, speed is a necessity. Gone are the days when users are willing to move at the pace of their internet connection with no ill will – especially when it comes to websites loading.
Therefore, when it comes to online business development, the longer you make a visitor wait, the higher the chance they’ll be gone before you have the opportunity to show off what your website has to offer. Especially in high-competition industries, once they’re gone, they’ll most likely come across a competitor’s website that has the necessary load speed to keep the visitor there.
According to a study done by the Aberdeen Group, 57 percent of online consumers abandon a site after waiting just three seconds for a page to load. Three seconds is nothing in everyday life, but it is an eternity online.
And just two seconds makes a difference as well – the same study found that a site that has a page load time of three seconds will see 22 percent fewer page views a 50 percent higher bounce rate than a site that takes just one second to load. So not only are website visitors impatient, they are making visit decisions in mere seconds.
The report goes on to succinctly sum up the relationship today’s users have with website speed:
“Modern-day users have very low tolerance for poor performance, and measure every site and app they use against top-tier vendors such as Google and Facebook”
Slow load speed not only pushes visitors away from your site, but for those that stay, it has a bearing on the overall site experience. Slow load speeds, whether fair or not, come with a connotation of unprofessionalism and lackluster abilities for the associated organization. Users who come to your site will often draw a line between the performance of your website and your potential performance to them as a customer.
Not only will they have a negative experience on a slow site, they’ll visit less pages, too. This is a result of several factors, the most obvious being that potential customers have a finite amount of time to research companies, so the more time that is wasted with page loading, the less time is available for experiencing your website.
But even before visitors get to your site and are faced with loading speed, they need to find your site, often via search engines like Google. With recent algorithm updates that went live in mid-2018, page load speed has become a ranking factor in Google search results. Simply put, the lower the speeds, the lower the google ranking.
While these mainly impact the websites delivering the slowest experience for visitors, all pages can be affected by the speed at which their pages load. Not only will slow speeds negatively impact your ranking through the algorithms, but slower speeds will mean search engines can crawl fewer pages of your site, lowering your indexation and moving you down on the results pages.
Additionally, this seems to be the direction in which Google will continue to expand its influence, updating its algorithm to more widely impact sites that don’t deliver top-level performance in page load speed.
Website speed matters. It matters a lot. It matters with visitors, potential customers, and search engines. If increasing or keeping your website speed at its maximum performance isn’t at the top of your online priority list, then you’re going to find out that speed matters in another way – the speed at which your site will fail at its job.