Page speed is often overlooked in website development. When a site is completed, it’s difficult to want to go back and see the things you can compress or adjust in order to speed your site up. Ideally, these things are considered during the design process, but sometimes, other factors, such as optimization and design take priority.
Take a look at how Walmart suffers with a 3 second lag. Take a look at that sharp drop from 1 second to 3+ seconds! Getting customers to your site is the first obstacle and it’s a shame to have them leave quickly or not convert because of your slow page load speed. This is especially true for e-commerce and similar sites where users are ready and willing to complete a transaction versus searching for information in a text-heavy site.
On the other hand, Firefox improved their average page load time and experienced an increase in downloads by 15.4%, which translates to 10 million additional downloads per year! Now this is an ideal to strive for.
Click here to view the whole infographic and get the whole scoop on the damage a slow website can do.
On a topical level, the thought of a handful of seconds doesn’t seem too concerning. But it should make you think twice when you see the actual effects of it on conversion. Initially, there are a few things you should check for if you’re suffering a drop in conversions:
– Ease of website usability
– Page layout
– Organized site structure
– Simple contact information and contact forms with fewer fields
– Content that matches headings and titles
– Page speed
Google provides Site Speed suggestions at the page level, which can be seen in Analytics. This is a good starting point for cleaning up messy code, compressing large images etc. You can pick and choose from easy fixes to problems that require more time and digging into.
The growing popularity of responsive websites leads to another dilemma. While they are more SEO friendly than having desktop, tablet and mobile versions of your website, the coding is more complex. This can unexpectedly increase a site’s page load time and decrease conversions. This is something to prepare for and with proper planning, you can have a responsive website that’s both fast and SEO friendly. If you have any questions or are looking for more information, don’t forget to view our portfolio here.