Why Is Website Speed Optimization Taken So Seriously?
If you are an online entrepreneur that depends on the Internet for generating revenue, website speed is a concept which you have undoubtedly encountered at some point. For those who might be living under a rock, website speed refers to the swiftness with which the web page of any online portal opens up on being summoned. For example, suppose you are searching for a recipe and type in the address of a specific website, the time taken by the page to open up and render the information accessible to you would be its website speed.
Now that you have understood the concept, the next step entails comprehending why it is taken so seriously by online entrepreneurs. A novice might wonder what the fuss is all about, especially given the negative connotation of speed in other spheres of life. Contrary to tasks like driving and cooking, speed is imperative in the context of websites; the reasons are as follows:
Crucial For Retaining Visitors
Instant gratification is the byword that drives this era, and in the case of websites, it is gauged in terms of website speed, or in other words, how quickly your web page loads. To this effect, the following are some shocking revelations that go on to emphasize how vital website speed is-
- If your page consumes more than 3 seconds to load fully, the chances are high that you would lose as many as 40% of your visitors.
- Almost half – namely 47% – of the Internet users who visit your website prefer that your web page should load within 2 seconds, or even less time if possible.
- Even a single second’s delay in loading could put off a large fraction of users, amounting to a loss of 7% viewers.
- In case of an e-commerce site, delay of 1 second in the loading of a web page could translate into a loss of revenue to the tune of a couple of millions.
Impacts Website’s Ranking on Leading Search Engines
Among all the search engines used globally, few enjoy more prominence than others, and Google is one such example. So, for your website to receive visitors from all over the globe, a high ranking on this search engine is a must, and a pre-requisite for this is high website speed. Google PageSpeed Insight flags a website whose ‘Server Response Time’ is more than 200 millisecond or 0.2 seconds. This, in turn, would cause your website to slip down the ranks, which in turn would have an adverse impact on its visibility.
Impacts Your Website’s Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is another parameter that search engines use while assigning a rank to your website, and it also happens to be a direct consequence of website speed. It is a metric that indicates the number of visitors who might have visited your web page but left within a few seconds without clicking on anything.
Usually, online visitors tend to desert a web page without taking an interest in whatever it might be offering if it takes too long to load. Thus, the bounce rate spikes up, leading Google to interpret user experience on your website as being poor, and downgrading your website’s rank. Considering that Internet visitors neither have the time nor the patience to wait for the page to take more than a few seconds to display, bounce rate is bound to be higher if your website speed is slow.
For an e-commerce website, conversion is of utmost importance since it determines the revenue earned at the end of a specific duration, which is the ultimate objective. In website parlance, a conversion occurs when an online visitor, after spent some time on the website, clicks on the ‘call to action’ button to make a purchase or initiate the next course of action. Given its importance, every website depends on conversion for survival and one way of ensuring this requires you to speed up your website load time.
After all, how can you expect a visitor to convert into a client if your page takes a long time to load and drives him/her away to a competitor’s website which loads a lot faster? Speed up your website load time to retain old customers, attract new clients and thereby improve conversion rate.
‘Viral’ is what determines the popularity of online content, and much of it occurs through verbal communication. Whatever your website speed might be, the chances are that it passes around in a matter of a few days and very soon you would have unknowingly cultivated a reputation on the Internet. While a good website speed would have earned you a positive reputation, the vice versa is equally valid and can even cause long-term damage to your image.
Is your website compatible with Google PageSpeed Insights? Don’t waste another second and check it out right away!!