The internet has made people a lot less patient. While it’s super convenient to order your groceries online in your pajamas and have them delivered within hours, people still take things for granted. Pages that take a few seconds to load are now on par with checkout lines that take ten minutes to get through. Stay modern and relevant while boosting conversions by optimizing your page speed.
Why Is Page Speed Important?
The question should be “why isn’t page speed important?” – that question would be a lot harder to answer. Page speed has a significant effect on your visitors, as well as the way Google perceives your site. You need to be as fast as possible in order to compete.
For Your Visitors
If your site is lagging, this is a huge problem. If people are coming for information, they may be able to find it elsewhere a lot quicker. If they’re coming to purchase something, they aren’t going to want to put their credit card information into a site that’s moving at a snail’s pace.
Google favors websites that cater to a long list of criteria, one of which is user convenience. Speed is an important part of that convenience. If your site is great (you can find out with SEOcrawler.io), but it takes an eternity to get from page to page, Google won’t look kindly upon that. You’ll get knocked further down the list.
How Slow Is Slow?
Slow isn’t all that slow. People begin to become disengaged if a page takes longer than 4/10ths of a second to respond. That’s not a very long time, but in the digital age, it feels too long for most people. Your pages need to load lightning fast in order to retain engagement and keep people browsing. Some people are willing to wait it out, but even the most patient people have their limits.
Speed Gets You Conversions
About half of people will completely give up on a website if the page doesn’t load within three total seconds. This is bad news if you sell things on your website – if your pages aren’t loading, people are likely to turn around and never walk back. Your page speed could be alienating people who could have otherwise become returning customers.
People really hold on to their negative impressions, especially if that bad impression also happens to be a first impression. More than 75% of visitors aren’t going to come back if they find that your website leaves much to be desired. This is why speed as an important part of optimization can either make or break you. You need new customers to turn into regular customers, and you can’t get them if people find that your website is too slow to complete your call to action.
Speeding Things Up
If your site is not as fast as you need it to be, you need to approach the process of speeding it up from two angles. Both mobile and desktop optimization are important – they’re the peanut butter and jelly of the user experience sandwich.
The majority of web traffic now comes from mobile devices, such as smartphones. In fact, there are people who have entirely foregone computers in favor of their smart devices. A website that works perfectly from the desktop likely won’t work the same way on a smartphone. The page size is too large, and people will need to zoom and scroll back and forth for every line of text.
The loading times are also much longer, because mobile capabilities differ from desktop capabilities. Some of the features on your desktop site may not even work for mobile users, so they’re essentially slowing down the loading time for no reason.
To top it all off, Google has an inherent bias against websites that aren’t optimized for mobile. They know these sites will be slower and contain useless features, and they also know that more than half of people searching Google are coming from a mobile device. Because of this, they’re more likely to bury you beneath your optimized competitors.
Mobile optimization alone will speed up your load times on smartphones, and any other optimization measures that you take will work for both the desktop and mobile view of your website.
Sometimes, your host is the problem. If you’re getting a lot more visits than you used to, your hosting plan might slow you down. Your site might even crash. Upgrading your hosting plan to one designed to handle more traffic can help speed up your loading times.
You’ll also want to be careful with ads. Ads are a handy way to monetize your content, but if your site is so ad-rich that your load times are weighed down, you’ll wind up losing money. Seeking alternate monetization options, such as sponsored posts, may offset the problem.
It’s also worth noting that each individual plugin you use requires its own time to load. You probably need a few plugins to keep your website running, so it’s best to choose multipurpose plugins that will render specific plugins obsolete. You’ll also need to be sure to fully remove any plugins that are no longer necessary.
Even things like bulky designs take longer to load. The simpler, the better. An optimized site design can reduce loading times while also making your site easier to use.
I’m Overwhelmed By All Of This!
We know how to do it for you. Give Tucson SEO Pros a call if you need to improve your loading times, but you aren’t even sure where to start. Leave it to the pros and focus on doing what you do best – interacting with your audience and providing killer customer service.