The Most Important Part of Inbound Web Design?
With the inclusion of rich media on websites and blogs, load times have become a concern. Large files, even if resized within the design program, can still cause pages to load slowly. The more rich media your site includes, the slower your site may be. Unfortunately, we live in a society of instant gratification, which means most people aren’t going to wait around while that fun video of your cat chasing a laser pointer loads.
If you want to keep those users coming back for more, you’ll have to get with the program and start testing your page load times with Page Speed and YSlow. If you don’t, you just might get left behind. Here are 4 reasons:
Google Will Punish You
Believe it or not, your website load time contributes to your quality score with Google. Because Google is committed to providing a pleasant browsing experience for all, they use several different criteria against which your site is measured. Slow load times are considered an annoyance, and for that reason, your site will be considered after similar sites that have faster load times.
That means that your site could have all the bells and whistles, including some pretty amazing content geared toward successful search engine results, and you’ll still show up further and further down the list of pages.
For every second of delay during your page load time, you’ll lose 7% of conversions.
The reason for this is simply impatience. If the front page doesn’t load quickly, your visitors won’t bother to click on CTAs. Now, imagine how many potential customers will never even convert into leads if your website takes four seconds to load. How many lost leads would you experience if your site took ten seconds to fully load?
Higher Bounce Rate
Maybe when considering how many reasons faster websites are the future of your business, the easy number to keep in mind would be 25. Why? Because 25% of your website visitors will abandon after four seconds. That doesn’t seem like a long time for loading, does it? Or, you could think of 40 good reasons your website needs to be faster, because that’s the percentage of users who will flee for greener pastures if your site takes more than ten seconds.
Losing that much potential revenue is an easy reason number one, but why else would you need to check up on your page’s load times?
With fewer conversions and a higher bounce rate, you lose potential customers. According to research from KISSmetrics, sites that earn $100,000 per day in revenue could lose $2.5 million per year. Maybe your site doesn’t bring in that much money just yet, and with slow load times, you can be sure it never will.
If your site does take several seconds to load, it’s not the end of the world. Start first with your platform. Some, such as HubSpot, boast blazing fast load times, while others might as well be stealing that lost revenue from you directly.
If you’re already using a platform that supports quick load times, then you’ll need to audit your images and other rich media. Make sure logos and other images that require very few colors are in GIF format. Photos do well with JPG. Anything that needs higher quality than that should be PNG. Also, scale the images before uploading. Resizing once the image has been uploaded will do nothing to help the load time.
Once you get your load times under control, sit back and watch in awe as your bounce rate drops like a rock and your conversions soar. After all, that’s the key goal with your website, right? And that’s why a faster website is the real future of your business.