It will not take long for visitors to your site to become frustrated if the website is slow to load. This could result in them giving up and heading to one of your competitors sites instead. However, this is not the only reason why the speed of your site should be a priority.
Google has been using page speed as a ranking factor since 2010 and this was expanded to mobile pages in 2018. If everything else on your page is well set up for SEO, then you do not want page speed to undo all of your other hard work.
If your SEO is managed by an agency, then they should be making sure that your website speeds are good. You should let them know that this is a priority for you, as there may be something they can do to make it even faster.
There are many reasons why it is important that your website speed is fast enough and the most important of these are discussed in more detail below.
1. It Provides A Better User Experience
You need your visitors to enjoy spending time on your site and so providing a better user experience is the main reason why you need a fast website. Browsing your website will be much easier when the pages load quickly and the visitor is not left waiting.
One of the main reasons that people will leave a website is that it takes too long to load. This can negatively affect how your site performs in search engines because you will have a higher bounce rate. Your bounce rate is something you can check using Google Analytics.
If your website loads quickly, then it is much easier for visitors to find the information that they are looking for. If this becomes a slow process, then there is no reason for them to stick around and they will go elsewhere.
To provide a good experience for your visitors, you need a fast website where they can find everything they are looking for quickly.
2. Your Conversion Rates Will Increase
If you want a customer to buy from you, then they need to have a good experience while they are on your e-commerce website. This is not going to happen if your website is slow. You have a much better chance of converting a visitor to a customer if you have a responsive website.
If the customer has chosen the product they want to purchase, but then has to wait a long time for the payment page to load, there is a chance they will leave before the purchase is completed.
All of the major websites where people make a lot of purchases such as Amazon and eBay are constantly updating their sites to make them as user-friendly as possible. Even though your business is likely to be considerably smaller, there is no reason why you can’t do the same.
The only way to make your business a real success is to have a consistent amount of customers buying from you. You won’t be able to achieve this with a slow website and so it is crucial you make sure that your site has a fast speed.
3. Your Bounce Rate Will Be Lower
A fast website will help you to reduce your bounce rate, because the chances are that visitors will not go and look anywhere else if they can find all the information that they need quickly.
It is estimated that as much as 40% of visitors will click away from a page if they have to wait more than three seconds for the page to load. This does not give you a lot of room for error if you want to retain visitors on your page.
There are tools you can use to measure the speed of different pages on your site. GT Metrix is an example of one of these tools and it also has a number of other useful features that you can take advantage of. If it does detect that any of your pages are running slowly, then it will make suggestions about how you can speed the page up. Some of these suggestions can require a lot of technical knowledge and so you may need to contact someone who specialises in SEO, like we do at Power SEO.
If you are looking at ways to speed up your site yourself, then it is a good idea to start with the pages that drive the most traffic. One of the first steps you should take is to look at the images on the page. They are one of the most common things that can slow a page down.
The best way to make sure that the images load quickly is to make the file size smaller. The dimensions of the images can also be changed in order to reduce their file size. This practice is sometimes referred to as ‘serving scaled images’. GT Metrix have a tool that will optimise your images for you.
If you have optimised your images and the page speed is not improving, then you may need to look at something else. Another common reason for your site being slow is that the server is taking to long to respond. This would be an issue that you would need to take up with your hosting provider.
4. Speed Will Affect Your Rankings
One of the things that was touched on earlier is that the speed of the site will have an impact on how you rank on Google. This is even more of a factor now that Google is using mobile first indexing. You will need to make sure that your mobile site is just as responsive as the desktop site.
When you are checking the speed of your desktop site, you should take the time to check your mobile site as well. If you are short of time you may be tempted to only check the homepage, but this is not a good idea. If you want to improve the overall speed of your site, then you will need to check every page individually.
Having a website that loads quickly on mobile devices as well as desktops is going to provide a good experience for your visitors. This should be enough to convince you that you need to speed up your site, but the fact that it can help you rank better can be an added bonus.
5. It Encourages Good Practice
Keeping on top of the speed of your site can encourage you to adopt good practice which will help keep all aspects of your site running smoothly. If you have not really thought about the speed of your website before, then this means the website has never been looked at in a way that could help to improve it.
If you are adding videos and images to your site, then the site will be a little slower with every bit of content that is added. If you get in the habit of checking the speed of the site on a regular basis, then you may discover other issues with your site that can be rectified before they cause too many problems.
The speed of the site is something that you should always be thinking about, and this can help you to get into the habit of looking over your site regularly to check for errors of any kind.
It also helps you think about whether any new pages that are added to your website are fully optimised for search engines as well as for speed. When you are looking at the speed of the page, you need to think about the experience that visitors would get, and whether it is something you would be happy with if you were a visitor. Would you be tempted to click away because it takes too long to load or can all the information you would need be found quickly?
Having a page that loads in under three seconds may not be easy to achieve, but it is certainly not impossible. It might take some work to get the page to this speed, and once you have achieved it, you will need to keep checking to make sure it does not slow down for any reason.
The Importance of Having a Fast Website
There is no getting away from the fact that having a fast and responsive website is something that you need to be aiming for. It should be part of all your digital marketing campaigns. If you have any concerns about the speed of your website, then please do not hesitate to contact us at Power SEO to find out how we can help you make your site more responsive and therefore more profitable.