Graphic showing speedometer and website

Does website speed affect conversions?

Last year, we looked at to what consumers think when they first land you or website. But, what if users were not even getting that far because your website takes too long to load?

For any business, it’s an absolute necessity to accomplish the required tasks in a fast-paced manner. It is one of the main reasons why website owners are always in search of practical solutions to optimise the speed of their business website. Whether you use the internet for business, leisure, academic research, or put forth your opinion, users have become accustomed to expect to upload or retrieve the data on a web page within a matter of seconds.

How long does it take for customers to load your website?

Research conducted by Akamai Technologies, a global leader in digital services, indicates that a slow website is one of the main reasons for a higher bounce rate, which could ultimately result in losing a potential customer. An easy way to summarise what bounce rate is when a user lands on your site and doesn’t navigate to any other pages, then they leave. 

Bounce rate is a measurement of users who leave, rather than stay and take a look around your website.

The research also revealed that the bounce rate increases by 100% for every 2 seconds in which the webpage is loading. Apart from these facts, a slow webpage can also give rise to multiple other issues, such as:

  • Putting the company’s reputation at stake
  • Adversely affecting search engine rankings
  • Low customer satisfaction
  • Drive users to competitor websites

These issues might leave your business with unsustainable growth. While there are lots of different ways to improve page speed, some of the most common include: 

  • Improving your server specification
  • Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Optimising images and use the WebP format
  • Reducing the number of scripts and requests the website makes
  • Implementing file caching
  • Lowering the amount of unwanted traffic & spam
  • Optimising the database

5 Benefits of Optimising Website Speed

1) Better conversion rate

Several studies have shown the impact of website speed on the conversion rate. These studies have revealed that the conversion rate and website speed share a tightly knitted relationship.

Thereby, the faster your webpage loads, the more likely it is to keep the customer engaged with your business. Any delays that occur between opening the webpage and proceeding to the ‘call-to-action’, such as adding an item to the basket, filling out a form, or signing up to a newsletter could result in losing a potential customer. 

2) Improved user experience

For any online business, the growth largely depends upon the user experience. Your website’s speed not only helps in fulfilling the required business goal, but it also ensures that the visitor returns. One of the most important goals of eCommerce websites is to motivate the visitor to return, even if the business has been unsuccessful in turning the user into a customer. The more often the user returns, the higher the chance of a sale.

Have you ever wondered why social media marketing plays such an important role for businesses? Why do these online businesses spend a fortune on updating and interacting with their fanbase? The basic idea is to keep the community engaged until it turns into a paying customer. 

It’s impossible to achieve this target without focusing on the user experience. By achieving a fast loading time and implementing clean and responsive web design, this goal becomes much more accomplishable.  

3) Better search engine rankings

Google, the most visited website and the most popular search engine in the world, has to make sure that people can find the most relevant results for their search queries – in the least time possible. You may not have noticed, but usually, results listed at the top are among the ones with the fastest page response time.

This indicates that website speed is one of the most important factors of Search Engine Optimisation. If you’re already building tonnes of quality backlinks to your website but seeing little to no improvement in rankings, then the website loading speed could potentially be where you’re lagging behind.

4) A higher number of indexed pages on search engines

Not only can your website speed affect search engine rankings, but it can also make it difficult for the web pages to be indexed. Google and other search engines have developed bots, known as crawlers, that go through every page on the internet. These crawlers index every page that qualifies for specific criteria and, one such requirement is your websites page loading speed.

If your webpage speed is too slow, there’s a high chance that it won’t even get indexed on the search engines. If you’re able to optimise your page speed to its maximum potential, your webpage will not only get indexed quickly but may also rank instantly for low competition keywords.

5) Keeping up with your company’s reputation

Lastly, the growth of your company is not just based upon the services you offer, but also its reputation. These days, your brand’s value is determined according to the reputation it has built over the years in business. As you may have heard this famous quote;

“It takes years to build a reputation and seconds to destroy it.” 

This scenario also applies to online businesses. If you’re treating your online business as a real asset, then you need to put in the effort to cover all aspects of optimising your website successfully. Having a slow website will not only affect your overall sales and reputation, but it may also help your competitors to use this opportunity for scaling up their business. You’ll out of the game in no time, while your competitors dominate the niche.

These 5 points showcased the importance of having a good website speed. Many online business owners don’t understand the seriousness of this matter and thus, unintentionally hurt their business in the long run. The sooner you realise, the better it is for your company. If you’d like a hand with improving your website performance or are just interested in what we could do to help, feel free to get in touch with us.

Aaron is our lead web developer, managing our website projects and maintenance packages.