While having a great-looking website is imperative for a robust online presence, there is a lot more that matters to the potential buyers. Everything boils down to the overall experience they get, right from the point when they land on the site. When it comes to user experience, loading speed is the key. Statistics indicate that half of the users wouldn’t even wait for two seconds for a site to pop up. If your site takes longer than that, they will quickly abandon and move over to a competing site. Even a fraction of a second makes a difference to the success of your website. Apart from the UX, there are a lot more reasons why your website’s speed deserves attention. Let us explain these in detail.
Reason #1: It is the first impression you make on the audience
First impressions are vital when it comes to the competitive landscape on the web. Your customers and visitors often end up making an instant judgment about your business right at the first point of interactions. A website that loads instantly makes a strong first impression because it wins on the UX front. Beyond just making the user happy, it also presents your website as a professional and reliable one.
Users associate speed with efficiency, confidence, and trust. Conversely, a slow website presents the site as unsafe, insecure, and untrustworthy. Moreover, you hardly have a chance to turn around the first impression because a majority of users wouldn’t even try to access your site again.
Reason #2: The online buyers expect speed
More than anything else, users expect high speed from websites because the internet sets a high bar. It is probably because online users are an impatient lot, and they have endless options to fall back on. If they aren’t happy with one site’s speed, they would quickly move to an alternative rather than wait. Only quick results would make them stay, and even a single chance of slow speed will repel them for good.
Whether the user accesses the site from a desktop, mobile phone or tablet, they want instant gratification. You can expect even lesser breathing room from the users who are on the move. They might wait a tad longer for high-authority sites and established brands, but startups and small businesses do not have that luxury. You have to make sure that your site is lightning fast, always!
Reason #3: User experience is crucial
User experience is perhaps the most crucial factor when it comes to setting your site apart from the competition. Essential, an impressive UX design is all about the simplicity and ease it offers to the user. They would be happy with your site’s UX if they get what they are looking for, and they get it fast. No wonder loading speed emerges as the top priority for website owners.
It is important to keep a close track of loading speed consistently, rather than consider it as a one-time job. Although it may sound like a lot of work, there are specialized tools you can rely on for quick and accurate results. You can check this post by Rafal Alitojc on GTmetrix to understand how this tool works. It is something you must absolutely invest in because you cannot afford the users bouncing back due to slow speed.
Reason #4: Slow sites end up killing conversions
The worst that can happen to a website is a drop in conversions because they keep the revenue going and fuel the business growth. If you crunch the numbers, you will find that even a few extra seconds to load makes your site lose thousands of visitors every month. Fewer visitors translate into a drop in the number of conversions, which means that you have a drop in revenues and profitability as well.
The danger isn’t confined to small brands only, even the bigger ones can fall prey to conversion drop with a minimal speed slowdown. It isn’t just speculation because brands have suffered before, and it will happen every time they lose on speed, no matter how popular they are. It comes as no surprise that webmasters go the extra mile to keep track of the site speed and resolve them at the earliest.
Reason #5: Speed impacts your Google ranking
Google ranking is something that matters a lot for website owners because it determines the visibility to the online audience. Your site will attract attention only if it is able to secure itself a place in the first page of search results. When it comes to ranking websites, Google follows a wish list and speed is one of the key metrics in the list. Apart from relevance and authority, it goes a long way in deciding where your site will be visible in the search results.
If your site is very slow, you can expect it to be nowhere near the top. While you cannot expect visitors to drop on a site that is nowhere visible, Google will also reduce the number of crawlers to your site. That means it wouldn’t notice any updates or pick up the latest posts on your website. All the good work will be lost, just because of the few extra seconds to load!
The long-term effect of slow speed
Slow loading speed is clearly a killer for any website because it can cause an instant drop in the number of visitors. Even the ones who land wouldn’t be happy with the compromised navigation experience, so you may even lose them for good. The impact extends to the long-term as it can eventually lead to a decline in your natural growth and word-of-mouth reputation.
Things can go against you as customers stop giving referrals to your service and even have negative statements about your brand, all because of a poor UX. As loss of credibility can hit your business badly, you cannot afford to overlook the speed and UX your site delivers. It makes sense to keep a close track and immediately resolve speed issues. The sooner you do it, the better!