You've built a website – congratulations! Now you can venture on the eternal quest to optimize it (speed it up).
Why is website speed important? The one-sentence summary is: No one wants to wait.
The less time people have to wait, the more time they have to browse your site and convert — whether that means filling out a lead generation form or checking out on your eCommerce store.
Slow Websites Hurt Your Bounce Rate, Page Views, & Revenue
Studies show that as page speed goes up so does the bounce rate. People either leave before your page finishes loading, or they’re so frustrated they don’t take any action when it does.
Whatever the reason, a high bounce rate is bad news.
Similarly, visitors read fewer pages, the slower a website is. If things are snappy, someone might read nine pages. But if pages take forever to load, that same person might only read three.
People just don’t want to wait.
The bounce rate and number of pages are only two elements affected by your website’s speed. Numerous case studies show that A/B testing to optimize a website’s speed almost always corresponds with increased sales and revenue.
In this case, the sped-up version of a website increased the company’s orders by a massive 16.5%.
When you’re working on optimization, here’s a rule of thumb: Each one-second delay decreases conversions by 7%.
If your site loads in four seconds and you reduce it to three seconds, you could see a 7% increase in conversions.
Improving Site Speed Helps Your SEO
The other big reason to increase your website’s speed is to improve your search engine optimization (SEO).
Search engines know people don’t want to wait. So, they rank fast websites more highly than slow websites. Google started using speed as a factor for page rank in 2010 — since their Core Web Vitals initiative began, it’s only become more relevant.
If you want a rule of thumb for load time, then shoot for less than three seconds.
If your website can go faster, then go faster! It will only help your site. But three seconds is a great initial goal if your load time is slower than that.
Three Benefits to Increasing Website Speed
These three benefits make a website speed boost easy to sell to your stakeholders:
- Lower bounce rate
- Increased conversions
- Better search engine ranking (SEO)
If you’re a web developer, you can tell your boss exactly how a faster website will make the company more money. If you work for a web development agency, you can offer the added value of website optimization as a service or part of your website build.
Speed is important which is why I'm going to talk about it a lot over the next few weeks.