Why Site Speed Matters In 2020

Keep your website performing at it’s best.

Competition for conversion is fierce in 2020, more and more consumers are heading online, and businesses are often left questioning what made them lose a sale to a rival. 

It may have been price, location, raving reviews, or plain old brand loyalty that swayed them, but the speed of a website might not have been something that was previously considered. 
 
When choosing a potential product/service, consumers are influenced by everything about a site, not just what product are been offered to them. It could even be an unconscious behaviour on their part, but poor site speed, branding, content, or a confusing customer journey is enough to put anyone off. 
 
More specifically, improving the load time of your site matters for a variety of reasons, let’s go through them now. 

Higher Conversion Rates

Like many things in life, but not all… faster is better. Sites that load in under 1 second have an average conversion rate of over 31%, dropping to still a very reputable 20% for sites that load in under 2 seconds. 
 
It’s in your interest, as a business, to improve your site speed because that millisecond can be the difference between a customer choosing you over a competitor. Aim to get that visitor through the sales funnel in double time and you will be rewarded. 

User Demand

Remember the days when we were impressed by an album downloading from the iTunes Store in under a quarter of an hour? Yeah, those days are gone and organisations who aren’t meeting the demands of consumers will ultimately be left behind. 
 
Digital consumers are expecting more from online platforms every day. They’re getting pickier because there is genuinely more to pick from and they want things done now, like right now. 
 
The rise of 5G will only move this forward in the coming months, so it’s time for businesses to step up their site game. 

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is when a visitor clicks on a website, but leaves without taking action, for example: filling out a form, or adding a product to their basket. 

 
It’s no secret that visitors tend to leave sites that don’t load quickly enough. Data from Google suggests that sites taking longer than 3 seconds to load was enough to make more than half of mobile users try somewhere else. So, it really does pay to invest in decreasing your site speed. 

SEO

Having a site that loads quickly is a textbook improvement in terms of SEO. The time taken from a crawler requesting a webpage to the first byte is one of the thousands of factors that influence where your site ranks in the search engine results pages. 

If you’re in the business of improving your search engine optimisation which, let’s be honest, every business should be, you’re likely to fare better with a site that responds to crawlers fast. 

How can you improve your site speed?

Start by testing your website. 
 
There are hundreds of tools online that provide free speed tests and give you recommendations on how to decrease your page load times. But, because we live to give, here are a few improvements that you can make to solve the most common issues for a slow website: 

  1. Compress images. Do not try and change the size of an image after uploading it to your website and always compress the file, not to mention optimising each image for SEO. Click here for more tips on SEO.
  2. Compress files. Usually, the more innovative and complex your website, the longer page load speeds become. Compressing your CSS and JavaScript can have a huge effect on your page speed by reducing the size of larger files.
  3. Browser caching. Typically, the first time your visitor enters your site, their browser will begin caching multiple types of information. This is done to enable the browser to load the page quicker upon subsequent visits. You can change your site to only allow a browser store cache for a certain length of time. Increase this to approximately one year and pages will typically load quicker for returning visitors. This tends to work best when there are no major changes to your website. 

Round-up

We’ve covered quite a bit here today, but don’t despair if you feel like you can’t get your head around how to improve your site speed. Our dedicated team of developers and designers are here to create beautifully responsive and fast sites for you. 

 
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