Content may be king, but a slow website could mean no one is sticking around to see it. No eyeballs mean no one is reading your lovely prose which results in no customers.
Website builders and SEO folks toss around terms like “website speed” or “page speed”. If you are a website visitor, it is the time it takes for you to see the page. If you are a Google bot, it’s looking at the time to the first byte of data. Since we are human beings, either term works but what we obviously care about is the time it takes to load a page.
The Need for Speed!
So okay, you are wondering, why should I care about this? Well I’m so glad you asked. Let me count the ways why you are going to really get on board with having a speedy website.
- Getting customers. The stats vary, but you have anywhere from 2-3 seconds before people will give up and start leaving. Leave as in not waiting around for a page to load on their desktop computer, phone or tablet. If you are selling any kind of product or service, this is horrible. Conclusion – faster sites mean more eyeballs, which results in more sales. Mind blowing.
- Google index ranking. This is one of Google’s ranking measurements. If you have slow pages on your website, it negatively impacts your ranking (how you are listed). Example, Google lost 20% of their traffic when testing with 30 listing results, which was only an increase of half a second (dated 2011).
“Google has indicated site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. Moz.com“
- Each Second Counts. According to WP Engine, a one-second delay leads to 11% fewer page views, 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in conversions.
“…one in four users will leave a website if it takes longer than four seconds to load… in addition, studies show 88 percent of online customers are less likely to return…” WP Engine
However, I think WP Engine’s stats are now dated. The latest conversion expert talk I attended quoted 25% loss of users if the website takes longer than four seconds. I’ve seen SEO experts saying you need to be under 2 seconds.
What Is Your Website Speed?
There are lots of tests, but this is probably the easiest to use if you are not a technical geek.
How did you do? Check the survey and see how you and others did.
Not sure how to read your test results? Comment below with your URL and I’ll interpret the data for you.
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Nancy Seeger, the owner of Arts Assistance, believes website design is part of the marketing toolkit that attracts your audience. Their roster of clients includes a Grammy artist, coaches, small businesses and non-profits. Get web design insider tips to more easily manage your website and attract your audience.