Why Site Speed Matters to Your Business


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Having a fast-loading website should be a top priority for any business, for two main reasons. One is the positive impact it can have on user engagement with your website, and, conversely, the negative impact a slow loading site can have. The second reason is the effect page load times can have on your website’s position in search engines like Google.

Today we will take a look at the impact of site speed on your business, and some of the causes of a slow-loading website, as well as what you can do to minimize page load times and reap the rewards of a fast loading website.

User Engagement

The statistics on user engagement and site speed are more dramatic than you might expect.

You already know that website visitors don’t like slow-loading pages. However, the statistics on user engagement and site speed are more dramatic than you might expect.

During testing of the way they display search results, Google found that a half-second increase in the time it took the search engine to display results caused a 20% drop in traffic among test participants.

For e-commerce websites and online stores, the impact of slow page loads can be even more severe. Amazon reportedly found that a 100-millisecond delay in the time it takes their pages to load could lead to a 1% drop in revenue.

The websites for household names such as Google and Amazon also receive some amount of goodwill from their visitors: people are using them because they value the service on offer. Your site may not have those advantages.

This means that if your site isn’t loading as quickly as it could be, you are running the risk of turning away potential customers and clients, before they’ve even had a chance to get to know your business.

Impact on Search Engine Rankings

Google now uses site speed data to help determine where to list your website in its search engine results.

The second reason why you should care about site speed is that Google now uses site speed data to help determine where to list your website in its search engine results.

So not only does a slow-loading website risk turning away visitors, poor page load times may also prevent potential visitors from finding their way to your site in the first place.

Doing all you can to optimize your site to improve its position in Google’s rankings can be an effective way to increase visitors, and therefore customers and end users. While many of Google’s metrics for evaluating sites (such as relevance, quality, and authority) can seem subjective, site speed is a tangible variable where improvements can be measured.

What Might Be Slowing Down Your Website

Poor Hosting

The company your website is hosted with, and the hosting package you choose, can have a major impact on performance.

The company your website is hosted with, and the hosting package you choose, can have a major impact on performance.

Before you choose a web host, you need to be aware of its reputation for performance. You also need to understand the different types of web hosting available, and which is the best option for your website.

Bad Site Design

Many otherwise well-built WordPress themes are among the slowest sites out there.

Another factor can be poor website design. A badly built website can negatively impact page load times. Many otherwise well-built WordPress themes, in particular, are among the slowest sites out there because of the huge volume of code they execute and database requests they make on each page load. The number and type of plugins that are active on your WordPress site can also take a substantial toll.

Overlarge Files

Large image and other media files can also increase the time it takes for a web page to load. Our post on commonsense image sizing in WordPress is highly recommended reading.

Some Helpful Tools

Thankfully there are some online tools that can help you assess loading times, identify problems, and even get advice on fixes. The following tools are highly recommended:

Conclusion

Site speed has a proven effect on how long visitors will spend on your site, which in turn affects how effective your site is at converting visitors into customers. Furthermore, search engines such as Google take site speed into consideration when they evaluate your site for placement in search engine rankings. For both reasons, improving site speed is the right move for your business.

How to do it? The super-general answer is to ensure your web site is well-designed, avoid overlarge media files, and host with a suitable web host on the right type of hosting package.

Thanks for reading!