We’ve all been here: sitting at the dentist’s office or waiting in line at the DMV, browsing the web to pass the time. In moments like this, there’s nothing worse than waiting on slow websites or watching that little load icon spin around and around, wasting your valuable time. If you’re like 53 percent of internet users, you’ll abandon a website search if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load fully.
On top of missing out on clicks and losing consumers to other sources, slow web page loading time affects content engagement and contributes to negative user experiences with your landing pages. Thankfully, it’s entirely possible to speed up web page loading time with the right tools and a few simple changes to your site.
Why Site Speed Matters for Your Business
In addition to consequences on the consumer side, poor website loading time can have negative implications for brands and marketers, too. If a given website is not well-designed, many aspects of its build and coding can contribute to slowdowns with rippling effects.
The speed and convenience with which visitors can reach and navigate your website are strong determinants of whether or not they spend time on it or will visit again. If a site is slow to load, and each additional landing page or large image takes more time to display correctly, you’ll lose tons of clicks in those few seconds due to poor usability.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the practice of assessing and then improving your website with the overarching goal of driving more website conversions. Whether your current CRO goal focuses on registrations, subscriptions, or following a purchasing funnel, slow website or web page loading times can affect those conversions. One report shows that even a millisecond website load time delay can lead to a 7 percent decrease in conversions.
Google algorithms consider many website attributes before displaying search results, including load speed. Websites with faster load times are more likely to be ranked higher than those that load slowly.
Site Speed Versus Content
Content elements like large graphics, videos, and complicated fonts are significant contributors to sluggish site speeds. But before you jump the gun and start simplifying your landing pages by removing large content, remember that eye-catching elements are much of what keeps visitors on a site in the first place. Without compelling content, your website will be overlooked—no matter how fast it loads. Finding the balance between site speed and quality content is crucial to maximizing conversions.
Google PageSpeed Insights is a tool designed to help developers gauge page speed. The higher a site scores from 1 through 100, the faster it is. “Normal” sites score between 50-89. We recommend pulling a developer report from PageSpeed Insights or other similar tools to help establish an average site speed, as well as identify pain points and opportunities to increase your speed.
4 Ways to Optimize Your Website For Speed
Whether you use WordPress, Squarespace, GoDaddy, or another hosting option, there are some common aspects of every website that can be optimized to help improve load time.
Check Font and Image Sizes
Every graphic designer knows that images and eye-catching fonts are crucial elements of successful website design. However, large files are major contributors to poor site speed. Use tools that can help compress file size without sacrificing image quality to help decrease load time.
The more people logged onto the same Wi-Fi server, the slower their service. Similarly, the more people are on a website at the same time, the slower servers will load the page. Saving or “caching” your website on the closest network will enable it to load faster. Cache can often be enabled within a site’s control panel settings.
Take Advantage of CDN’s
A collection of web servers designed to deliver content from multiple locations efficiently, content delivery networks (CDN) kick in depending on the location of the user and the number of other users in that same network. What this means is that the closest server with open, fast availability takes the signal. Comparing CDN networks and finding the smartest choice can help decrease your load time.
Use Fewer Plug-Ins
Website plug-ins help add specific features to websites, like product recommendations or live chat. While useful for marketing and customer service purposes, plug-ins also slow load time. Using performance measurement tools can help show which plug-ins are minimizing site performance. Once you know how your plug-ins affect site load time, it’s simple to eliminate those that either aren’t needed or are out of date.
Get Your Fastest Site With Snap
The majority of business owners lack the design and development experience needed to create a functional, fast site. That’s where a digital marketing agency specializing in website design comes in—contact Snap today. We can’t wait to work with you to increase your loading speed and streamline your site.