Even the incredibly patient people cannot stand waiting endlessly for web pages to load. Studies show that at least 60% of the website visitors will leave your site if it takes more than 2 seconds to load and 73% of the mobile internet users will browse away. Can the speed of your website really have that much of an impact on your business? The answer is yes, and the reason is that, a 1 second delay could potentially cost you a 7% reduction in conversions.
This is exactly why you need to take this into consideration during the web app development phase itself rather than optimizing later.
There are two distinct reasons why website speed is important:
- It improves user experience
- Helps in the search engine rankings of your website
As mentioned earlier, if the website is sluggish, or does not load fast, user experience on your website is totally lost. Website visitors are either looking for something very specific or casually browsing to see if something catches their attention. Well, in both cases, if the website takes too long to provide the necessary information, they will simply browse away. A website that loads quickly is good for your business as it creates a satisfying user experience with your website and in turn increases your conversions too. An average internet user does not have the time or patience for pages that takes too long to load.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engines too favor web pages that load quickly. Page speed is a very important ranking factor in Google’s algorithm for both desktop as well as mobile devices. The faster your website, the better the user experience and search engines will definitely see your website worthy of a higher ranking. So, it is highly essential that you optimize your website so that it loads fast.
During web app development, pay attention to the following things to improve the site speed:
- Use GZIP compression, to reduce the file size without degrading the quality of the files. You can use Photoshop etc. to decrease the size of the images without degrading it.
- Java Scripts and Style Sheets should load separately and externally instead of cramming up in the same code
- Many content management systems such as WordPress have plug-ins that can cache the latest versions of the web pages instead of dynamically generating it from the server each time.
- Reduce the number of redirects as they cause additional HTTP requests that increase the wait times.
- Check your server response times too. You can check the amount of traffic your website receives and the amount of resources each page receives and identify any performance bottlenecks such as low memory, slow database queries etc. and fix them.
To sum it up, website speed is one of the most important yet overlooked factors for conversion and SEO. Website speed is a big deal for both users as well as for search engines. For search engines it is one of the major ranking factors and for users, it determines whether they stay on your website or browse away. The more satisfied your customers are, the more traffic you will receive. Ultimately, your business will see a positive impact in terms of conversions and overall success!
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