Why Performance Matters
Search engines use 'page load' as a ranking factor when they decide where to place your website in the search engine results. Ensuring your website delivers a quick and responsive experience to the user is important in encouraging the search engines to rank your website more prominently. More traffic - as a result of better exposure in the results - coupled with a faster experience for the user can also result in higher conversion rates of your website goals.
Studies have shown that if your website takes longer than just three seconds to load, up to 40% of users will leave the page and look for an alternative. This rate of abandonment is even higher for mobile users, where if your site takes longer than three seconds to load, up to 53% of users are likely to abandon the page.
Web giant Amazon conducted a study of their own a few years ago showing that if their own website took just one second longer to load it would ultimately cost their company $1.6 billion in sales every year. Whilst Amazon's size is largely unparalled, the principle still applies to websites of all sizes and the research indicates just how costly an extra few seconds can be to your conversion rate.
Google have announced that they will soon be factoring in the loading speed of mobile websites from July 2018. This means that if your website has a slow loading time on mobile devices, you could be pushed down the search engine results and you may lose out on traffic.
If you use Facebook to share content that links to your website you may also be at risk of a penalty if your website is slow to load. Last year Facebook incorporated page speed into their news feed algorithm for mobile devices, which means that they may in fact hide a post if it contains a link to a slow loading page. However, Facebook’s algorithm is reported to consider the user's network connection when deciding whether to show the associated post to the user.
If you believe your website is slow, or specific pages seem to take a long time to load there are many ways to optimise it to improve the performance and speed, ranging from compressing images, streamlining the code, checking the hosting environment, analysing the impact of 3rd party plugins and much more. If you’d like to find out how to speed up your website, contact us today.