The Importance of Website Speed: Test Your Site Now
With nearly every business on Earth having its own website and extensive online presence, the importance of website speed is becoming increasingly obvious. Websites that load faster get more traffic, plain and simple. Obviously, when the user experience is much more streamlined, efficient, and pleasant, it’s a major step towards “delighting the customer/user,” one of the holy grails of digital marketing.
According to an infographic compiled by Kissmetrics, based on research on loading times by Akamai and Gomez.com:
- Nearly half of the Internet users expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
- Those users tend to abandon a site if it’s not fully loaded in 3 seconds or less.
- 79% of people shopping on the internet won’t return to a site if they’ve experienced problems previously.
- 44% of digital customers will tell their friends if they have a negative or unpleasant experience on a website.
The bottom line is, a few-second delay on your website or app could cost you dearly, in terms of future customers and sales, so test your website now!
Tools and Resources For Determining Your Website’s Speed
Website speed has been an important metric for determining SEO ranking since 2010 when page load time was incorporated into Google’s search algorithm. According to an official statement from Google – “Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings. We use a variety of sources to determine the speed of a site relative to other sites.”
Unfortunately, based on numerous websites we’ve reviewed in recent months, we’re still seeing plenty of websites that are continuously neglecting website speed, so it’s extremely important your site speed is tested and fully optimized per Google’s best practices.
To see what Google sees, there are several useful tools and resources for determining your website’s speed. Use online tools such as Page Speed Online, GTmetrix, browser extensions like Firefox’s Page Speed, WordPress plugins like Google Pagespeed, and, of course, Google Webmaster Tools, which is invaluable, powerful resources that every website owner and developer should have in their arsenal.
Page Speed Score
Straight from the behemoth, Page Speed Online is a free online resource for determining website speed by Google. Nobody knows more about website ranking than the largest search engine on Earth, making Google’s tools an excellent first place to start in determining how your website speed is impacting your Google rankings.
Page Speed Online offers several possible fixes to improve your website by notifying you of potential coding issues. Many of the recommended fixes tend to be fairly technical, so you might want to have a web developer at hand to translate.
So, you might be wondering, how does Google precisely measure the speed of your website? They use a metric labeled as Page Speed score, with a score between, 0 – 100. Ultimately, the less technical issues a website has, the higher it scores.
Test your site right now, go here and enter your URL to view your Google page speed score.
Optimizing Your Website Speed For Mobile Users (And Why It Matters)
Do you think desktop users are impatient? Consider your average mobile user, who is often trying to grab a quick glimpse at a site while standing in line, riding the bus, or some other tedious, mundane task where they’d rather be doing something else (like reading about web development, for instance.)
Wondering why website speed matters for mobile users, in particular? Mobile users fall behind desktop users in several important metrics, most notably, time spent on site, bounce rate, and pages per visit. Considering that over 30% of all online shopping happens via a mobile device, annually, and is only expected to rise, this is a huge opportunity, as well as a common mistake that many web developers make.
As recently as July 2016, the average load time for mobile users was 6.9 seconds, according to Dynatrace’s Keynote Mobile Commerce Performance Index. Considering the average user gives up after 3 seconds, with 79% reporting they’re unlikely to do business through a website with unsatisfactory user experience, as we’ve already mentioned, this is a major PR nightmare, as well as a potential blocker for profits and repeat business.
Here’s a tool we also recommended that will allow you to test your website speed for mobile devices – Test Your Site
Still not convinced website speed is important? Here’s a quote that’s extensively used, a study completed by the Aberdeen Group found that “A 1-second delay in page load time equals 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in total sales conversions.” This particular research study dates back to 2008, so if anything, user expectations of fast loading websites are on the rise.
Want to know how our Northern Virginia web design team can help your website load faster? Get in touch with us today and our team will help you improve your website speed!
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