People always want information and they want it now. No one is going to wait minutes for a website to load if there are other choices that would give them what they want way faster. In this day and age, visitors would only wait 2–5 seconds for a site to load. If your website takes much slower than that, you’ll definitely lose a lot of potential readers or, worse, customers. That is basically the reason why many say your website speed and performance can cost your business.
Slow Site Speed Means Slow Business, Why?
A slow site (one that loads a lot more than 5 seconds) could mean low ranking in terms of search engine optimization (SEO), paid search, and social advertising and poor user experience and conversion. What do all these mean? We tackled each metric below.
Lower Search Engine Optimization Ranking
Google and other search engines typically base a website’s SEO ranking on several criteria but you’ll certainly find page speed among the top 10. In fact, since Google implemented the Mobile First index in 2018, it began penalizing sites that don’t load fast on mobile devices.
And, of course, we all know that penalized websites don’t rank high in terms of SEO. They won’t appear as top search results, therefore, for the terms you may be targeting no matter how well-written your content or how well-executed your web design is.
Not-so-Good Paid Search Rate
If your business relies on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you need to improve your quality score since that determines how much you’ll need to pay to place ads (cost per click [CPC]). Google Ads scores sites based on how relevant their landing pages are to specific search terms (their search engine results page [SERP] positions). Part of that score would depend on user experience, which is definitely affected by how fast the page loads.
If you have low site speed and, therefore, quality score, you won’t show up in the top 2 SERP positions. And if you’re gunning for a top keyword, you’re not likely to show up in a top spot. Worse, if your quality score is really low, your ads won’t show up at all.
Less-Than-Ideal Social Ad Ranking
Like Google Ads, Facebook also favors high site speed when ranking companies related to ads. No social network, after all, wants to show potential customers unwanted results. Facebook’s algorithm, in particular, was changed in 2017 to prioritize user experience, making site speed and mobile site performance a must for advertisers.
Poor User Experience and Low Conversion
Slow page speed is probably one of the biggest reasons why people bounce off of sites. A bounce translates to a person who doesn’t view more than one page on your site before leaving. Nobody sticks around to wait for a site to load, which is why slow sites typically have very high bounce rates, which, in turn, is bad for business. It’s also worth noting that SEO ranking considers bounce rates too.
It gets worse, though, because visitors don’t convert when they bounce. Apart from a long checkout process, this is a major turnoff for likely product or service buyers. The slower your site is, the more likely people will drop off. The longer they wait, the more chances they get to change their mind, which leaves you with very low conversion.
How then can you speed up your site to get the most out of it?
What Does It Take to Speed Up Your Website?
The three ways discussed below are some of the steps you can take to avoid the problems that low site speed brings.
Use a Content Delivery Network Solution
A content delivery network (CDN) solution speeds up your site loading time by hosting files across a network of servers in various locations worldwide instead of from a single point such as your office. That way, your site content is served to visitors by servers that are geographically closest to them. The closer a server is, the faster the page it hosts gets served. The solution also spreads bandwidth across an entire network (your host’s), reducing the load on individual servers.
Test and Optimize Your Site Speed
You can choose from several speed testing tools like Pingdom or Page Speed Insights to accurately measure how much faster your site becomes each time you make an improvement. You can also use them to learn which components are causing the biggest delays.
Simplify Your Site Design
Know which file types load faster, too, so you don’t drag the entire site down. When choosing between JPEG and PNG images, for instance, choose JPEGs as these use higher compression levels, making them ideal when sharp, crisp lines don’t matter much.
We gave you at least four reasons why site speed and performance matters and they’re not a laughing matter. Without meeting them, you’re bound to lose tons of business opportunities. But all’s not lost because you don’t have to suffer the consequences of slow site speed if you heed our advice.