Site Speed: Be the Fastest to Get to Pole Position

Posted by rtd In: Learning No comments

As you probably know, the hugely popular Formula 1 2017 season started yesterday. With our very own British racing driver, Jolyon Palmer, stating that the new F1 cars are in a “different speed league”, it got us thinking (like the geeks that we are), about how much speed has now affected the Internet. So, we ask, how important is your website’s speed to you? If you think this is not an important factor, then ask yourself this – How important is speed in the Formula 1 races? Very, right?! Exactly, and the same applies in the online world now. It is said that you have about 7 seconds to grab your users’ attention, so it’s vital that your website’s load time is as speedy as possible, to give the best user experience. Site speed and loading time can have a huge impact on your business, and you need to make sure you stay ahead of the competition.


How it can be affected

Site speed affects every aspect important to your business. Most significantly, it contributes to the overall rise and fall in your conversion rate. Furthermore, if you have an eCommerce website, this can have a much bigger impact on the money that comes into your business. Do you really want to lose out on sales all because of a slow website?

The speed of your website can be affected by all sorts of things, such as the server, display ads, and even the theme of the site. All of these elements can slow it down and therefore result in it taking too long to load.


Benefits of a fast site

There are endless benefits to having a fast website. Site speed helps you race ahead of the competition, and in some cases, come up in first place. This is because having a quick website actually affects your ranking on Google – if it’s too slow, it won’t be showing up at the top. As a result of this, the businesses at the top of search engines are the ones that will receive an increase in conversions, meaning that they could end up overtaking you.  

In order to give yourself a head start, make sure your website is responsive! It’s likely that a huge portion of your audience are going to be mobile users, so a mobile-friendly website is something you really shouldn’t dismiss. This results in higher customer satisfaction and a lower bounce rate.


How to know if your site is up to speed

Knowing about your site speed can really be as simple as searching online and accessing it from a users point of view. This will allow you to judge, from opinion, whether or not you think it’s up to scratch.

Put yourself in the shoes of your consumers. Does it take more than a few seconds to load? If so, it’s likely they’d leave and turn to your competition instead. According to Kissmetrics, “40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load” and “a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions”.

Alternatively, there are tools online that enable you to test your site speed. This can provide information such as the overall performance of your website. For example, things like bounce rate, how long the average customer spends on the site, and what it is that’s causing issues.


User journey and experience

The main purpose of a website is to appeal to customers. You want the people visiting your site to have a good experience, and site speed can massively determine the outcome of this. Websites taking as little as one second to load can put consumers off instantly. As a result of this, your bounce rate may increase and users could even turn to your competitors instead. This is the last thing you want, so make the alterations that are going to eradicate these dangers and help you to maintain a good online presence.

Customer satisfaction is usually pretty high up on the list of things businesses strive to achieve through having a website. This also leads to further customer retention, which is great for any business. Research from Kissmetrics also shows that “47% of users expect a page to load in two seconds or less”. So, the main thing to understand is that faster site speed leads to happier users. Regardless of the complex and impressive functionalities it may have, the speed of the website is what matters most to users. With a fast site, you can be the first to pole position and have your customers racing back for more.