“The world is led by those who were prepared when the time came.” – Donald Miller
Are you prepared? Is your website prepared? Is your website optimized for mobile-first delivery and speed? How’s your website speed?
Well, the time has come. Let’s make sure your website is prepared.
First let’s get on the same page with our web page loading times. Web page load time/speed is how long it take for your website or individual page to fully load on the screen. That means it’s loaded and viewable with everything present and accounted for, including text, images, and videos.
Next, let’s set a few broad parameters for page load times. According to Portent, 0-4 second-load times are the best for conversion rates, and the first 5 seconds of page’s load time have the highest impact on conversion rates. Each of those seconds a user has to wait between 0 and 5 equate to a 4.42% average drop in conversion rate.
Clearly, the faster your page loads, the better.
If your goal is lead your users through a conversion process to become customers/advocates/donors/volunteers, etc., then your website needs to be up to the task. Your pages must load completely, and quickly. Look at some shocking 2018 statistics from Think With Google:
As page load times go from:
- 1 second to 3 seconds, bounce rate increases 32%
- 1 second to 5 seconds, bounce rate increases by 90%
- 1 second to 6 seconds, bounce rate increases by 106%
- 1 second to 10 seconds, bounce rate increases 123%
That’s a lot of conversions lost if it takes your website pages more than one second (literally) to load. Imagine how much faster those speeds would be if this survey were conducted in 2022’s 5G connected world?
Consumers’ expectations from mobile are even greater. In the retail sector, a study by Deloitte pointed to increased page views, conversion rates, and order value from just 0.1- second increase in load speed. That means in the blink of an eye (literally) you can make significant conversion gains.
- Page views per session increased 5.2%
- Conversion rates increased 8.4%Average order value increased 9.2%
As a saavy digital marketer, you know that page load time is a primary ranking factor for Google. No big secret there, but it’s important to understand a little bit more about what is happening “under the hood” as it relates to page load times and SEO.
Start by monitoring your bounce rates and page load times. You can read all about “best practices” (including this blog post) but at the end of the day, you need to meet your customers’ unique needs and understand their tolerances for speed may be a bit different than “best practices.”
Know your own analytics. If you start to see higher bounce rates at a certain page load speed, than you’ve found the outer tolerance for page load speeds. Always try to be better than your “worst” time, but at least now you know what to aim for.
High bounce rates and short session times negatively impact your SEO rankings. Excellent user experiences is at the heart of all Google strategies, which is why they will reward websites that meet user’s expectations quickly.
So what should I do to speed up my site?
Optimizing your website and continually monitoring your analytics will help you stay on top of page load speeds. Ensuring your website is optimized for today’s mobile-first environment is critical as mobile users have even higher page-speed expectations.
A few suggestions to discuss with your website builder and designer include:
- Minimize large image files. Work to compress large image files.
- Apply minification to your CSS files to remove excessive characters, spacing, and comments. This is one of the best ways to speed up your site’s load times.
- Check in with your web host to ensure you’re getting the most of their server. ACS Creative’s clients enjoy outstanding results from our hosted websites. Call us today for a quote on web hosting.
- E-commerce sites should be simple for the purchaser and not slow them down. Offer a variety of ways to pay and don’t ask for forms full of unnecessary information.
The experienced web design/build team at ACS Creative builds websites that deliver. One simple call today will have your website up-to-speed tomorrow.