The Importance Of A Fast Website Explained
A slow-loading website is a major red flag for many reasons. Not only is this a frustrating and negative experience for the user – and your potential customer – but Google also penalises this and, as a result, it can significantly reduce your organic search rankings.
How Is This Bad For Your Brand?
Your website is a digital representation of your business. A slow load speed on a webpage can lead to a lack of sales conversions and reduced traffic. Consumers would rather search for a new page than spend time waiting for your page to load. Research by Google found that 53% of mobile website users will leave if a webpage doesn’t load within three seconds.
Here are a few reasons why a slow-loading site can be detrimental to your online presence:
‘Bounce rate’ is when a visitor exits your page almost immediately due to a terrible page experience or that the content, product or services were not what they desired. This signals to Google that your website content is not what users are looking for. An e-commerce website should have a bounce rate of below 20%, and a services website should be below 60%.
- It is a negative reflection of your brand
If you were at a restaurant and the service was slow, would you be in a hurry to return to this business? The same concept applies to your online brand. A bad on-site experience immediately affects the user’s professional opinion of you. Users perceive a clunky or slow website as a reflection of how your business is run.
Google has announced it is introducing a User Experience (UX) update in May 2021. This means that if the user experience on your site, consisting of variables such as site speed, responsiveness and visual stability, is good, you will be rewarded, and your Google search rankings will improve.
- Reduced competitive advantage
Site speed is the new competitive advantage in the battleground of e-commerce. Suppose your competitors’ websites are loading faster than yours, the chances are your competitors are attracting more return visitors, more visibility, and more significant amounts of traffic from Google as it rewards faster loading sites – a one-second delay in load time has been linked to a 7% reduction in conversion rates.
Would you like a free consultation to see how you can optimise your website? Contact our team for assistance
5 Reasons Why Your Website Is Loading Slowly
There are many factors that contribute to a slow website loading speed. Without getting too complex and technical, here are the core issues to quickly improve your website:
1. A large volume of unoptimised images
This can be the main culprit of a site slowdown. High-resolution, large images can consume a lot of loading time. Simply put, the larger the image size, the larger the webpage size and the longer the loading time.
A great, free tool to use is Pixlr. This tool compresses and reduces the image size. Thus, the site speed is increased. Another method is to implement a loading feature allowing the images to load as the user scrolls further down the webpage.
2. Your site is not optimised for mobile
With over 80% of users on mobile, ensuring your website is mobile friendly is one of the most critical factors for your site. Ensure your website is designed to be responsive for every device and screen size. It’s important to test the different displays.
3. Using unnecessary plugins
If you are using a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, your website may be lagging due to unnecessary back-end installations slowing it down and overloading the memory. Delete and deactivate any plugins that are no longer in use; this may resolve the issue. It is also essential to use a CMS system that is not outdated.
4. Hosting too much content
Similar to large media files on your site, third party files may be affecting your site speed. Where possible, host your large video files on external sites such as YouTube or Vimeo. Rather than uploading files to your site builder, embed these to reduce the space required. This can also generate an additional source of traffic to your website – it’s win, win.
5. Browser cache issues
Caching is the process of storing your website’s information on a user’s device so that the information can load faster for other pages. This is particularly important to boost page load speed for returning users.
Issues can easily be detected by using Googles page insights. This will inform you if you have a missing browser cache, and on which files are already cached and which are not.
Are you satisfied with your website design and functionality? Contact our team for a free consultation with expert advice on digital grant assistance in your area: ROI +353 1 247 5294 or NI/GB +44 2871 228800. Alternatively, email [email protected]