Website speed has been an important topic in web usability since 1994. It is the result of the emotional and impulsive need of people for speed.  Since then, the web has experienced great changes including the shift to mobile-friendly websites, the growing relevance of graphics and the appearance of immersive and interactive sites. Also, the internet has evolved to provide a faster and more reliable service, widening broadband, especially for mobile devices.

Nevertheless,  most websites are still to slow to load;   mainly because web services have become more complex. By the other side, people expectations have increased concerning loading times. Visitors will leave if a website takes more than 3 seconds to load, and almost 50% of consumers expect web pages to load in less than 2 seconds.  In addition, the growing relevance of mobile devices have increased users expectations, so 85% will expect a mobile site to load as fast or faster than on their desktop.

How is website speed affecting my site ranking?

Website speed is on the Google PageRank algorithm, since 2010. But from 2016, the speed at which mobile pages load has been a major factor in their mobile search rankings.  These changes also take into consideration loading times from the user perspective.  So, the user´s location and internet speed will affect the results.

Under this scenario, most sites will be penalized;  considering that an average of loading time on mobile is 22 seconds.

Discover the benefits to Speed up your Website with this Infographics

Benefits to speed up your website

1.   Improve User Experience

The main reason to speed up a website is to improve visitors experience.  Even without Google concerns about speed, many users will abandon a website with a poor performance.  Most website owners make a great effort to engage visitors through their content and graphics, but the real first impression is their website loading time. Since 1994, research has demonstrated how in terms of usability speed is a major need.  Users need a fast response in order to freely navigate and explore the content and their attention would collapse at loading times beyond the 10 seconds.

Google has reported that a 1-second delay in load time will decrease visitors satisfaction by 16% and 79% of those visitors would not buy if they are not satisfied with website performance.  

E-commerce owners also loss the confidence of visitors when having slow and bloated websites. Slow websites are related to lack of efficiency and fail to gain visitor´s trust to share personal and billing information.  In addition, customers would remember loading times as being 35% longer than they actually are.  So, having speed as a priority and reducing website loading times as much as possible, will have an enormous effect on their revenues and general conversion.

2.   Achieve marketing goals

Optimizing your site to accelerate the loading time will help you to reach your marketing goals.  No matter if you are looking to improve conversion, reduce bounce rate, sales or just improving the service for your customers.  There is a lot of evidence showing the effect of a fast website on all these metrics, especially for the effect on revenues.  

Conversion and Revenues

Going back to visitors experience and confidence, some studies have shown that in England 67% online shoppers will abandon a purchase on a  slow website and also that Improving 1 second a website loading time will increase the conversion rate between 10% and 20%.    In addition, the Online Retail Performance Report made by Akamai in 2017 shows how 50% of consumers browse for products and services on their smartphones and also that a 100-millisecond delay could hurt conversions by 7%.  So,  e-commerce success is highly dependent on delivering a good experience, especially on mobile devices.

Another study made by the Aberdeen Group shows how a 1-second delay leads to a 7% loss in conversions.  That means, that if your website earns around $10.000 each day, you will loss $250.000 each year. In general, terms, since 1997 was demonstrated that optimal conversion is reached at 2 seconds

“Optimal conversion is reached at 2 seconds”

Nielsen, 1997

Traffic

Web owners first digital strategy is to attract visitors to their websites.  No matter if they pay or position their pages organically; website loading time would also affect the number of views.   Google studies have shown that a delay of just half a second caused a 20% loss in traffic, and a second delay turns on 11% fewer page views.  

Facebook Reach

It is important for Facebook to display stories that link to fast websites.  So, since 2017 it displays such websites first on the newsfeed.   Stories that are slow to load cause frustration on Facebook users, so, they will locate them on the bottom of the reading list.   Speeding up your website will then improve your Facebook Reach and engagement.

3.  SEO Positioning

In order to be found in the universe of the internet,  websites have to accomplish good scores according to the Google PageRank algorithm. Website loading time is included, but also some user experience metrics such as bounce rate and page views.  Google main goal is to satisfy visitors needs, so it penalizes with a lower rank the sites that fail to offer value to their visitors.  

For example, a website loading in 10 seconds increase the bounce rate probability by 123%.  By the other side optimizing a website to load in 2 seconds reduces bounce rate from 32,3% to 9,61%. Under the same loading time (2 seconds), users visit an average of 5,6 pages more; which means a higher likelihood of adding items to the cart for e-commerce sites.  Finally, increased website speed means an increase in the number of pages Google can crawl and index. The more pages that are indexed, the higher the chance that you will have that individual page rank

How to increase your website speed?

Being clear why speed matters, optimizing your site should be a priority and can be done in different ways.   You could start taking a website speed test with a tool like Google Page Speed Tool.  The speed score and results are detailed for mobile and desktop and you also get a diagnostic and opportunities for optimizations that can speed up your website load. The opportunities are related to the following tasks:

  • Defer offscreen images
  • Efficiently encode images
  • Eliminate render-blocking resources
  • Defer unused CSS
  • Minify JavaScript
  • Check plugins and optimize code
  • Serve images in next-gen formats
  • Check the analytics code running on your site
  • Check scripts and fonts
  • Use caching optimization systems
  • Perform an SEO audit.

Even if you find many plugins and services to perform individually all these optimizations,  you can boost your speed in a more simple way. Dartspeed is a Cloud service with the ability to perform automatically more than 20 optimizations accelerating your website to the 3 seconds or less.  

Interested? TEST YOUR WEBSITE SPEED, TAKE YOUR TRIAL AND ENJOY THE SPEED.

References

https://tidycustoms.net/blog/website-load-time

https://www.section.io/blog/website-speed-seo-benefits/

https://neilpatel.com/blog/loading-time/

https://www.digitalreachagency.com/blog/the-benefits-of-page-speed-optimization/

https://medium.com/@vikigreen/impact-of-slow-page-load-time-on-website-performance-40d5c9ce568a

https://moz.com/blog/how-website-speed-actually-impacts-search-ranking

https://www.section.io/blog/speed-means-sales/

https://blog.radware.com/applicationdelivery/wpo/2014/04/web-page-speed-affect-conversions-infographic/

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/279844

https://www.nngroup.com/articles/the-need-for-speed/