How site loading speed can affect your conversions
Building a new website for your business often centres around design, navigation and content. However, site loading speed is a critical factor that cannot be overlooked. An important part of the website’s SEO and crucial to your conversions, the impact of loading speed can be significant.
Damage to your bounce rate is inevitable if your visitors are waiting for too long. It may come as a surprise to some business owners, but the best chance of keeping your visitor lies in the first 1-3 seconds.
After that, there is a huge increase in the probability of bounce. What is most alarming, is that by the time you reach 10 seconds, that probability has risen to more than 120%
With your competitors waiting right behind you for the site visit, you need to make sure that you can stay ahead. Google uses site loading speed as a significant ranking factor, so improving it can make a real difference. Most industry professionals know that the benchmark you should be aiming for is under 3-seconds for both desktop and mobile. But first, you need to find out where your site is in terms of site loading speed.
First check your site loading speed score
You may suspect already that site speed is an issue if you’ve looked at it from a user perspective. If images are taking a while to render or you’re waiting for pages to load with some impatience, then you’ll already know that the chances of your visitors hanging around are slim.
However, it isn’t always that obvious. To get a true picture of your site speed, get Google to do it for you with the free Google Page Speed Insights tool.
Simply visit the page and add your website URL then click ‘Analyze’ to trigger the tool. After a few minutes, you will get a site load speed score – with 100 being the perfect score and 1 lowest (or slowest).
Professional website developers take site loading speed factors into account when we build websites. Even then, it is difficult to get a perfect score of 100. The speed insights tool does give a list of the issues that are slowing down your site along with your score. This can point you in the right direction to improving your speed and in turn your conversions.
How to improve the page loading speed
The detailed report included with your speed score can give you the means to track down exactly what is slowing you down. This could include one or more of many factors:
- Oversized elements
- Non-optimised images
- Poorly written code
- Host protocols
- Third-party website themes
- Badly managed redirects
- And much more.
Although Google offers suggestions to fix your speed issues, it isn’t always straightforward. Often there will be underlying technical or compatibility issues that you will need help with. Contact your host provider to ask for help, but be aware that in some cases, shared hosting may need an upgrade. This is because some websites are resource or user-heavy and your plan may not offer you enough.
If theme errors are causing your pages to run slow, then you can contact the theme support team to see if you have overlooked an update or technical patch.
If your images are too large, resize them and upload them to your website again. You will need to make sure you minimise the file sizes and optimise them using file compression, which makes more difference than altering the physical size alone. Then you are less likely to compromise the image quality when it appears on your site.
Can J&L help you?
The ways to optimise your website for site loading speed are best handled during the build process. Making sure the site is optimised and ready for traffic is a big part of the launch phase and if you can sort out your issues then, you’ll put yourself on a better footing.
If you’re concerned about your site loading speed or need support with your plans for a new, optimised website or talk to us and let us guide you through some of the complexities. Visit our website development page to find out more.