Page speed is becoming an increasingly important factor that ought to be taken into consideration during the process of any website build, no matter how big or small the website may be.
Page speed is the length of time it takes for a specific web page to fully load and it can be affected by a vast number of matters, such as hosting, website design or the coding, to name a few. But you have already managed to get the user onto your website, so this doesn’t really matter, right? …WRONG!
Websites with a faster page speed have significantly higher chances of completed conversions, for two reasons. The first reason being users are more likely to abandon a slow website, and the second reason is Google and other search engines will also reprimand and penalise slow websites.
Google and other search engines such as Bing are now starting to make your websites page speed a ranking factor, as they understand the importance this has on quality user experience. They analyse your website and compare it against your competitors on a particular segments. If yours is the fastest, you will be rewarded. If your competitors continually prove themselves to have a much faster website, it will gradually begin to afflict many aspects of your SEO campaign.
Whilst page speed is important for Google rankings and SEO, we believe user experience is of much higher importance. You need to provide your website visitors with most pleasant user experience possible and in doing so you naturally increase your chances of a conversion and customer retention.
In a number of surveys carried out by Akamai and Gomez.com, they discovered that 79% of web shoppers who have trouble with a websites performance will not return to complete another purchase and 44% would then tell a friend if they had issues with a website.
Much to our shock, we also discovered from findings in the survey that almost 50% of web users expect a website to fully load in just TWO seconds and would abandon a site that hadn’t loaded in only THREE seconds!!
Don’t give your users the chance to leave before they can see how great you are!
In the busy world we live in now, if people want something, they want it now and you could be flushing lots of potential sales or conversions down the drain just for the sake of one second. Not only are you losing conversions from users currently on your website, word of mouth is a powerful tool so that loss could well be magnified to their friends, family and colleagues.
So, how do you check your page load speed?
There are many web testing tools out there for you to try. However, SEM Consultants believe we get the most accurate and true to life site speed results from Google PageSpeed Tools.
- PageSpeed Insights, a subsector of PageSpeed Tools, is a free Google tool that analyses your page speeds and provides you with a fully listed breakdown of the factors it believes are affecting your website and causing diminished page speeds.
- Pingdom Website Speed Test similarly analyses the load speeds of your site and offers helpful information on what could be the root causes for your slow speeds.
- Web Page Test has a slightly different feature that allows you to select a location where you would like to test your website and also the specific browser which you would like to load your site. This is great for website optimisation in different locations and on various devices.
What factors could be hindering your page loading speed?
The true list of factors that can affect the loading speed of your website is extensive. Therefore, we have listed a few of the most common influences we stumble across when working to improve our client’s website speeds.
- YOUR HOSTING: When it comes to, hosting you really get what your pay for. Although you might find a bargain deal, bad hosting really can wreak havoc on your website speeds.
- LARGE IMAGES: Although large images might look nice on your website, they will undoubtedly have a knock on affect to your site speed which will be detrimental in the long run. The same can be said for averagely sized imaged that haven’t been compressed.
- YOUR THEME: Having a ready-made theme might save you or your developer a lot of time, however they contain a lot of coding and are commonly slow to load. It IS possible to have a website with aesthetically pleasing design and still fast loading speeds!
- TOO MANY ADS: A website with TOO many ads will result in slow webpage speeds, but they will also become an annoyance and nuisance to the user. Don’t go overboard!
- EXTERNAL MEDIA: External embedded media is seriously damaging to how fast your website loads, but at SEM we are also fully aware how valuable external media can be! To keep loading times to a minimum, make sure to host external videos on your server.
Websites with fast loading speeds provide a high-quality user experience and a good user experience leads to higher conversions. It’s that simple.
SEM Consultants have a talented team of web experts that know the precise ways to shoot your website up to speed, literally. So get in touch today on 0121 552 6500 to see how we can help you. Be quick!