Is the Speed of Your Business Website Really That Important?

In the current day and age, all businesses need a website in order to gain more customers online. However, once the website has been set up, there’s more work to be done, and this ultimately boils down to ensuring you achieve positive customer engagement. 

Over the years, attention spans have become shorter, and users are looking for information quick and fast. If your website is unable to deliver what a user is looking for, they’ll click off. This is why the speed of your website is essential for customers to get the very best experience available to them.

A fast website is a necessity rather than a novelty for modern internet users, so if you have ambitious plans of growing your company online, you shouldn’t overlook how important this factor is for your business success.
Here are some of the main reasons why your website should be fast:

1. It’s the first thing users notice about a website

Upon clicking on a new website, one of the first things that users notice is speed. If the site fails to load in a reasonable time frame, it’s likely they will simply click off and not return. You need to make a good first impression as the speed often determines the user’s overall experience and whether they will even return in the future.

If a user can’t get what they’re looking for in a matter of seconds, they’ll refuse to browse through your website at leisure as it’s merely too ‘inconvenient’ for their needs.

The human attention span is reported to be even shorter than the memory of a goldfish (just 8 seconds, in comparison to a goldfish’s 9 seconds), so if a website takes more than 10 seconds to load, you’re fighting a losing battle.

You should be considering each user who visits your site as a returning customer that you need to keep a hold of, so aim to leave an excellent first impression by establishing a sense of trust and professionalism.

2. Humans like to feel in control

Psychology has proven that people feel more much relaxed and happy if they feel in control of any given situation. In the technological-focused world we now live in, people are even more desperate to feel in control as a result of the constant technological developments that are ultimately shaping our lives. There is now that age-old question that continually arises – do we control technology or is technology controlling us?

So, with this in mind, users feel more content knowing they can easily navigate around a website and get access to the information they desire quickly, based on the loading speed. If they feel as though they’re losing control and are unable to complete tasks as they wish to, it may impact whether they choose to return to your website again.

A user may have a specific goal in mind once they have found a website that’s within their niche, so ensure they have the very best experience by enabled them to browse at their own leisure with efficiency to feel in control.

3. Slow websites are viewed upon in a negative light by large-scale businesses

If your business relies on collaborations and partnerships with other companies, then you need to consider how your website is viewed by those in higher-level industry positions.
According to data, large enterprises have seriously negative viewpoints on slow websites and have set expectations of website pages loading in no more than 2 seconds. If a webpage takes even one second longer, they’ll be far less likely to recommend your service based on their initial perceptions of your company.

4. Affects user engagement
While you may have incorporated the very best graphics, content, and color schemes to attract your target audience, the speed of your website is the central aspect of what essentially keeps the user engaged.

Aberdeen Group carried out an online study which found that 57% of users choose to leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load, while 32% leave a site if it loads in over 5 seconds.

5. Higher ranking on Google

Back in July 2018, Google announced that the speed of a website would impact its search engine ranking known as the ‘speed update.’ Therefore, if your website is unresponsive, it’s time you thought about asking a professional website designer to help out. A speedy website will boost your chances of being spotted on Google, so you have the same opportunities as competitive companies.

6. Better conversion rate

You will have already ticked off one breakthrough when customers find and click onto your website, but the next major step is to get the customer to take action which is otherwise known as a ‘conversion.’

Conversions and business profits go hand-in-hand, so you need to be looking into how to generate customer conversions, which start off with your website loading speed.

Some examples of conversions including completing purchases, clicking on an advertisement, signing up to a newsletter, or filling out a contact form.

If your website is proving slow to load, it’s unlikely the user will have the time or patience to carry out a conversion. Take note that your website speed will ultimately determine how customers connect with your landing pages, which may then go on to affect your business profits.

7. Optimization for mobile

With the invention of the smartphone, more people are choosing to steer away from laptops and PCs when browsing websites in leisure time. Instead, many now access them via mobile devices for convenience while on-the-go.

Approximately 30 – 40% of traffic on your website will come from a mobile device, which is just over a third of all visitors. This is due primarily to the fact that individuals spend their free time browsing through websites on their daily commutes, standing in queues or simply as a way of passing the time, meaning they have a small window of opportunity to look for entertainment before going about their business again. This is one of the reasons why you need to make your website mobile-friendly.

Smartphones have a much less powerful processor and memory than the standard PC, so you’ll need to look into how you can create a mobile-friendly website that loads in just a few seconds.

8. More sustainable

If you’re someone who’s looking to do their bit for the environment, did you know that a fast website could determine how much power both yourself and your customers actually use? Quicker loading pages take much less power on the network, server, and the user’s device as the amount of data required is reduced.

As a business owner, it’s also in your best interests to find the cheapest business electricity prices UK. Electricity is one of the main costs for businesses, so if you’re always spending time analyzing your website and making the necessary changes to make it user-friendly, then it’s likely you’ll need to take note of how much you’re spending on your energy bills. Get the most competitive electricity prices for your website by comparing prices online and switch to a green energy alternative.

What are some of the reasons for a slow website?

Now we have determined the importance of a fast-loading website, what are the key reasons why your website performance is suffering, and how can you fix it?

While you may believe that you’re able to re-design your website yourself, it would be best to hire a professional website designer, as they will have the skills and experience needed to tailor your site for the best interests of your customers. They will also be able to determine the leading causes of why your website’s slow speed and how these factors can be eliminated for a much smoother and faster user experience.

If you’d like to find out more about why your website may be slow, here are some of the main reasons that may need to be fixed:

1. Unoptimized images

Images are one of the most common factors that slow down your website. While high-quality images keep the user visually stimulated, they take up a large proportion of bandwidth and affect the loading speed.

It’s important to keep images on your websites to inspire user engagement, so there are several things you can do to resolve the issue.

You can scale the image down to size and check the format. For example, JPEG is much smaller in size than the likes of PNG and GIF. Images should also be no more than 1MB. These top tips will increase your chances of a faster website and prevent you from paying out on unnecessary bandwidth excess.

2. Flash content

If you’ve never heard of flash content, it’s likely to be because it’s now deemed to be an outdated form of media. However, it’s still a tool that’s widely used by businesses. Many website designers would argue that an alternative should be considered.

Flash is a tool that allows animation to be added on to the website, but it’s a common reason why many websites suffer from poor loading speed. Flash is a heavy file and causes landing pages to load slower than they should be, which is why newer businesses are choosing to steer clear.

In order for your website speed and performance to improve, it would be an idea to remove flash altogether; but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice entertaining your users without the infusion of visual aids. You could opt for an alternative such as HTML as these files are much smaller and allow your landing pages to load quicker.

3. Make use of caching

Caching stores website multimedia temporarily to reduce server lag. It’s been proven to make websites much faster, which then goes on to achieve a higher ranking on search engines and, of course, better user engagement.

In very simple terms, caching is the process of storing copies of the web pages you’ve recently visited which speeds up the data retrieval process. If you’re unsure on how to integrate this technique onto your website, a professional website developer will be able to apply HTTP caching onto your website for you.

4. Too many ads

If you’ve built up a successful business and your website is receiving a significant amount of traffic, you may be taking the opportunity to make an extra side income from the addition of advertisements on your landing pages.
While this may be great for your business profits that stems from the number of clicks received on ads, it does nothing in terms of securing a faithful customer base. Once a user visits a website and clicks on the ad, they’re likely to experience the reduced loading speed of your site and refuse to interact further.

Media advertisements in the form of pop-ups and auto-downloads go on to produce loads of  HTTP requests, which can make your website slow down dramatically or even crash altogether. If this is the case, it may be time to start fresh.

If you’re not prepared to cut out adverts from your website due to the revenue it produces, consider how to integrate ads without compromising on website speed. This way, you can combine the best interests of your customers without the sacrifice of making an extra profit.

Can you measure your website speed?

The good news is that you can determine how well your site performs by running a number of tests. However, one of the most successful ways of improving your website speed is by asking users about their personal experience and even gaining feedback from your employees. Sometimes the best form of advice is the personal feedback you receive from others, so you’re aware of what your customers are looking for.

We hope this guide has given you some key aspects to think about on the importance of website speed for your business and how you can resolve the issues with the assistance of a professional website developer to receive a higher conversion rate.

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