Website Speed: Why It’s Important

How fast does your website load? How fast does it operate? If you are not aware of the impact of website speed on your website’s performance, you are likely losing potential customers. Loading time is a major reason why people abandon a page, so you need to address this problem to improve your profitability online.

Slow Websites Lose Customers

KissMetrics recently posted a study about the average user page abandonment compared to website loading speed. At just 4 seconds of loading time, a full quarter of website users would leave the site. At 10 seconds, over 40 percent of users would abandon the site. This shows the importance of website speed in keeping customers on your page.

The numbers were similar on mobile sites. While mobile users were willing to wait a little longer for their sites to load, 30 percent of those surveyed indicate they would leave the site if it took between 6 and 10 seconds to load. Another 16 percent would leave after 1 to 5 seconds.

Interestingly, while customers report they are willing to wait a bit for a site to load, a LinkedIn article on the topic by Keith Marlow of Aykira Internet Solutions found that during peak traffic times, 75 percent of online customers would jump to a competitor’s site instead of waiting a few seconds for their first choice to load. Also, websites that took just 3 seconds to load had a 50 percent higher bounce rate and 22 percent fewer page views than those that look just 1 second.

So how does that translate into monetary gains? If your ecommerce site makes $100,000 per day, KissMetrics warns that even just one second of page delay could cost up to $2.5 million in lost sales annually. That’s no small amount of money, and shows the extreme importance of website speed.

Slow Websites Hurt Mobile Traffic Most

Smartphones are severely limited in how quickly they can download information. Unfortunately, if a website is too slow, it’s just not going to load well. If you are targeting mobile traffic and mobile income, and you should be if you are serious about profits, then you need to ensure that your site is going to load properly on mobile devices.

Unhappy Customers Replicate

Happy customers replicate, but so do unhappy customers, and perhaps at a faster speed. The KissMetrics study found that 44 percent of online shoppers will tell their friends if they have a bad experience online. A one-second delay or 3 seconds of waiting decreases customer satisfaction by about 16 percent, and those unhappy customers are going to tell on you.

Website Speed Affects SEO

Not only does website speed affect bounce rate and customer satisfaction, but MOZ warns that it affects SEO as well. Google has officially stated that website speed is one of the factors it considers when ranking websites, so a slow page speed could cost your search engine rank. If a site is slow, the search engine will crawl fewer pages, and this also impacts indexation. In other words, a slow website is simply too costly for your overall website rank.

So how important is website speed? If you are going to succeed online, you need a website that loads in a reasonable amount of time, both to reduce your bounce rate and to increase your SEO ranking. Website speed needs to be a priority as you work towards improving your overall online marketing success.

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