Your slow website can harm your business and here’s how!
No one likes a slow-loading website in the digital age. As an increasing number of people are purchasing products and services online, the performance of your website can make or break your business.
The digital age is one that involves a great amount of competition. Visitors are quick to jump to another website if yours doesn’t deliver the optimal experience. If your page takes too long to load, 43% of customers will go to a competitor’s site next.
Unfortunately, most websites often deprioritize web performance optimization because of budget constraints, and the added complexity it brings into the development process. However, it is important that you understand how a sluggish website can slow down your business growth; these five following points will help you identify why you need to prioritize optimizing your website.
How a slow website affects your business
1. An axe falls on sales volumes
A slow website tests the patience of the visitor. The longer the page takes to load, the higher are the chances of a drop in sales. Studies show that 74% of users will leave a website if it takes more than 5 seconds to load.
There are lots of examples where loading speeds have been amplified to regain the bottom line. Consider the website builder, Mobify. A few years ago, they managed to increase their sales by more than $380,000 once they managed to shave off 100 milliseconds in page loading speed. They also increased their conversion rates by 1.55% by bringing down the page loading speeds and earned a further $530,000.
In the long run, sales will seriously suffer if your website is slow to load. Moreover, most people nowadays use their mobile devices to access the Internet. Delays in page loading usually deter a visitor from that particular website; studies conducted by various observer group shows that a slow loading website is the foremost reason why 51% of US customers abandon an online purchase.
2. A decline in SERP rankings
There are several reasons why some websites reach the first page of Google rankings, and some do not. While Google hasn’t revealed how their search and ranking algorithm works, we know that one of the factors that propels a website is its loading speed. Google has made it clear that they “want to make the Internet a faster place.” They hope to do so by ensuring only the fastest websites occupy the first search results page.
On that note, you cannot choose to have a slow-loading website. No one will ever visit your website if it is not somewhere among the top 3 pages of Google, Bing or Yahoo search results. And as the common banter goes, the best place to hide a corpse is on the 2nd page of a Google SERP.
3. A negative impact on online traffic
Many will ask how slow is too slow. 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. Neil Patel, an expert on everything website-related, also suggests that 6 to 10 seconds is the maximum a visitor will wait.
Most of today’s well-optimized websites carry an average page loading time of approximately 3 seconds. It is considered as the acceptable level, as anything as much as 0.25 second slower can affect customer retention.
4. Impact on your bottom line
Your website will lose a lot of money if it takes time to load. Nowhere is this truer than the E-commerce section. Most websites who operate in this domain use plugins like WooCommerce to ensure their pages load faster. Considering that the major E-commerce companies have millions of orders pouring in, a slow website will see a dip in sales, revenue, and ultimately, profits.
Your website’s Google AdWords Quality score also depends on the page loading speed, the landing page in particular. Once you start losing out on profits, investing in design and deployment is pointless. The Mozilla-owned Firefox web browser had been lagging other major browsers and losing money because there was an apparent lag in loading speed. After cutting down by 2.2 seconds, Firefox downloads rose by 15.4% in a year. This was a marked departure from previous years. The point to note is how just 2.2 seconds of better website loading time can bring in so much business.
5. A drop in user satisfaction
If one were to distil what the previous points said, it would be clear that the element of user satisfaction would take a nosedive. Still, most website owners do not see how page loading speeds have anything to do with customer satisfaction. It is highly likely that customer retention will take a big hit if your website takes too much time to load.
With the number of mobile Internet users expected to touch 2.87 billion worldwide by 2020, page loading speeds have to be increased with every passing year. Besides, research suggests that our occipital lobes take around 100 milliseconds or so to store visual memory. Any page that takes more than just a second to load is considered too slow for us to register.
Improving your website performance
It is possible to increase your website’s engagement and user retention noticeably simply by tweaking its loading and wait times. Several studies show how a faster website directly affects an organization’s conversion rate, increasing its revenue and market presence with it.
Google’s case studies show that sites like COOK increased their conversion rate by 7% when they reduced average page load time by only 850 milliseconds. COOK also successfully decreased their bounce rate by 7% with the same improvement. Even Google’s own DoubleClick showed 35% lower bounce rate, 70% longer sessions, and a 25% increase in advert viewability when its loading time was kept within 5 seconds.
Now that you know the importance of page loading speeds for the growth of your business, your next step should be finding out the reasons why your website is slower than usual. Several aspects that contribute to this factor; host server, large pages, bulky embedded resources, slow database, and even malware infection can affect your page’s loading speed. Luckily, there are several ways how you can fix them.
- Start optimizing your site’s database
- Use compressed images
- Use a WordPress security plugin to protect the website from malware
- Consider switching to a better host to improve your site’s average load time by a significant margin
Do not let the competition escape with the prize. Buckle up, improve the speed of your website, and you will see a positive change without fail. Start today!