How long does your website take to load?
If the answer is longer than two seconds, your website speed is too slow.
That’s right: Two seconds.
That’s how much time nearly half of all Internet users expect it to take for websites to load, according to research conducted by Akamai and Gomez.com. Actually, the research shows that it should take two seconds or less.
If these users have to wait three seconds, which is about the amount of time it takes Usain Bolt to run 100 feet, they are gone.
And it gets worse for “slow-loading” websites. According to the research, nearly 80 percent of people shopping online say they will not return to a website if it takes too long to load–and 44 percent of those people say they would tell their friends about the “problem.”
This means that a slow-loading site isn’t just costing you sales from current visitors, but it’s also costing you sales from prospective customers as well.
This begs the question: Is your website speed fast enough?
How fast is your website?
If you don’t know how fast (or slowly) your site loads, you need to find out. Luckily, there are many [fast-loading] tools available online. Here’s a look at a few of them:
- PageSpeed Insights from Google Developers. All you have to do is enter your website URL and you’ll get a list of things you should fix and should consider fixing. You’ll also get an overall user experience rating, which is helpful in guiding your decision-making process.
- Google Analytics for WordPress. If you use WordPress, (more and more organizations do use WordPress), this is a great tool for gathering information about where your visitors come from, what they do on your site, and your overall website speed.
- Google Webmaster Tools. If you want to see how your website speed is performing on a month-to-month basis, log into your Google account and use the Webmaster Tools. This will give you an idea of how your site operates over time. Understanding trends can help you identify the reasons why your site isn’t loading as quickly as it should–and then make changes to speed it up.
Tips for increasing your website speed
At the end of the day, it’s up to you and your web developers to use the information gathered using the tools listed above to make sure your website loads in two seconds or less. The good news is that there are some relatively easy things your team can do, including:
- Using GZIP compression, which allows you to reduce your website’s file size by as much as 70 percent–without degrading the quality of your images, videos, or the overall look and feel of the site.
- Optimizing images for your website, which will allow your site to load much more quickly.
- Enable caching, which allows repeat visitors to get the information they need without waiting for the page to load–again.
Feel the need for speed
The difference between a website that loads in two seconds (or less) versus three seconds might not sound like much. But, as the research demonstrates, it can mean the difference between a website that visitors value and one that they will never visit again.
Even if your site is “fast,” there’s a chance it can be faster. And faster sites result in happier visitors–and more of them, too. So feel the need for speed. Test your website. Then take the necessary steps to optimize its performance.
If you’re looking for some help in assessing your website, take our Inbound Marketing Assessment. This quick survey is meant to identify the components of your marketing strategy that are performing, and could improve. It takes a deep dive into your website assessing the performance of key conversion factors, one of them being website speed. It’s a quick and easy survey, just click the button below to get started on your way to improving website performance.