Did you know that your website speed impacts how much money your business makes? Site speed matters not only when it comes to website traffic, but also to your bottom line. If site speed is slow, users won’t visit, and if users don’t visit, you’re dead in the water.
Think about the last time you visited a website and it took too long to load – most likely you simply ran out of patience and moved on. It’s exactly the same for your website’s users, and these users are your potential leads and conversions.
User drop-off = sales drop-off.
To top it off, Google is not kind to slow sites as they get penalised by the algorithm, so your brand will no longer be competitive.
Milliseconds make millions (especially on mobile)
Improving a website’s load time by just 0.1s can boost conversion rates by up to 10%. That’s according to a recent Google/Deloitte study, called Milliseconds Make Millions – and that’s a big difference for a fraction of a second.
Website speed directly affects user experience, and it’s even more evident on e-commerce sites – the same study found that 70% of consumers say page speed affects whether or not they’ll buy from an online retailer.
According to Google, when it comes to page loading speed, you’ve only got until 2.5s before things get dicey from a user perspective. Industry benchmarks for mobile speed are:
The numbers get scarier if you dig a little deeper: 1s to 3s lag increases the likelihood of users leaving your website by 32%, and up to 5s a massive 90% of users will drop off.
Along with being mobile friendly, companies need to up their game when it comes to site speed, as future business depends on it. And don’t assume that the devs or IT team are on top of it, either – test it yourself (it’s free and only takes a few minutes). Simply type in your website’s address here to get a quick overview of how your site stacks up on mobile (and you can even see how fast your competitors’ sites are).
If you’re keen to see more of the nuts and bolts of your website’s speed do a GTMetrix test, which will give a page speed score (it should be in the 90s), along with other technical details.
Slow site speed is easy to fix
We won’t get into ‘first contentful paints’ or ‘time to first byte’ because we know that it’ll induce more boredom than waiting for a Windows update to finish/standing in a queue at Home Affairs. Just know that a website needs to be lightning fast and mobile-first.
If you have a slow website there are a number of easy fixes, like optimising and compressing image sizes, reducing database bloating, and lazy loading (where images are loaded only as your visitor scrolls down the page).
We’ll be honest: we’re often shocked when we do a site speed test on a large corporate’s website, and we see that it’s slow. Site speed should be a top priority for any business – so no matter the size of your business, make sure that your digital, dev, and marketing people know this, and that it’s measured as an important performance KPI.
After all, even small increases in site speed will bump up ROI. Keep in mind that not only do slow loading pages have lower conversion rates, but they also affect how users perceive brands.
Seriously, there’s no easier way to boost your bottom line – yet, in our experience, many companies don’t take advantage of this.
Firewater’s top three website speed considerations
- Set up a speed budget. Not as in a money budget; we mean a ‘what’s an acceptable time for our website to load?’ budget. Say your website’s home page currently takes 4s to load. With a speed budget you’ll decide that anything greater than 2.45s is not ok – and everyone needs to be on board with the budget, from marketers to senior management. To keep to the budget, some things might have to be sacrificed (like a certain type of design, for example). See how Pfizer did it here with their mobile site.
- If your website is slow there could be other factors to blame. It could be the server or the connection, but it could also just be your website. A slow website needs investigating, but it’s more common than you think. Whatever the cause, get someone who knows what they’re doing to fix it – a fast website will pay off.
- Use the WP Rocket plug-in. Chances are high that your brand’s website is on WordPress. A quick (but comprehensive) fix for improving site speed is to use a paid-for plug-in called WP Rocket. We use it for our clients as it’s easy for us to install, test, and update. WP Rocket basically super-charges compression on your website, from page caching to minifying styles. Again, we don’t want to get too technical, but it takes any existing WordPress site and optimises it for speed. It’s like pimping your ride. While it’s easy to install, it’s best to have someone who knows how to configure the settings instead of going the DIY route. The plug-in normally costs $49 for one website and one year of updates, but we’ll offer 50% off the annual WP Rocket subscription, plus free installation and configuration. Contact us by 31 October 2020 to take up this deal.
If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that year planners are overrated and that time is precious. So, it makes sense that people aren’t going to waste their time on a slow site. If you’re trying to rank against your competitors site speed is low-hanging fruit, you just need to make sure the basics are covered. So many businesses – large and small – still haven’t digitally transformed, and site speed plays a big role in that: you have to do something about it.
Site speed matters, but it’s not a silver bullet: a fast website can’t fix a badly designed website or terrible copy. But it is something that can have a substantial impact – on the user and your bottom line.
Think your website might be slow? Contact us; we can speed it up. Use Wordpress? Claim your 50% off the annual WP Rocket plug-in subscription, plus free installation and configuration. Offer ends 31 October 2020.