We live in a fast-paced, consumer-driven world. The businesses that come out on top are the ones who can deliver the highest quality, the fastest. In some cases, consumers will even take lower quality in exchange for the convenience of “having it now”.
When it comes to your website, how fast is your page speed? Do your pages load quickly or are they leaving your customers hanging?
Here’s what you need to know about page speed:
2 Seconds is Almost Too Long
You have approximately 2 seconds to capture a website visitor’s attention. In fact, 47% of consumers expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less. If it doesn’t, they’ll just leave. They’ll bounce back to the search results and probably click on one of your competitors. If their page speed is faster than yours, you may lose out on that business entirely.
If you’re an ecommerce site, page speed directly affects your bottom line. Pages that take too long to load mean lost sales and revenue. For an ecommerce site making $100,000 a day, a 1 second delay in page speed can result in $2.5 million lost annually!
It’s Slightly Different than Site Speed
Page speed is often defined in two ways: page load time or time to first byte. Page load time defines how long it takes a specific page on your website to fully load, or display, the content. Time to first byte refers to how long it takes the browser you’re using to receive the first byte from the website’s server. Site speed, however, is an aggregate – the average page speed across a sample of page views on a site. Regardless of how you measure it, you want to make sure the pages on your site load as quickly as possible.
Page Speed Affects SEO
When it comes to SEO best practices, keeping your page speed low is a must.
How Search Engines Operate
Search engines are businesses too. They care about showing the most relevant results for a user’s query. This means that when a user clicks off the results to a website, search engines don’t want to see them come back until they’re querying something else.
If a user is “pogo-sticking”, or bouncing back and forth from websites to search results, it indicates they did not find what they were looking for. Therefore, the search engine did not provide the most relevant results. Doing this will cause search engines to lose market share over time. User experience, relevancy, and value matter to any website that makes it into the list.
Long Load Times Create Poor User Experience
Once a user is on your website, you want to make sure they stay there until they contact you, fill out a form, or buy a product, etc. If your site loads slowly, then they won’t stick around. You could provide the most valuable content, highest quality products, or the exact solution they need – but they’ll never see it if your page takes too long to load.
If users aren’t sticking around, your website may come off as irrelevant. Your engagement metrics are low, users aren’t converting on your site, and they’re bouncing back to the results. Search engine algorithms will take this into account and they’ll stop showing your website in the results. Why would they? If enough users aren’t staying on your site, it must you’re not providing them the answer they were seeking. Therefore, your website is deemed irrelevant for that query and usually related queries as well.
Poor Page Speed Negatively Affects Crawl Budget
Every website has an “allocated crawl budget” with search engines. Each search engine has its own bot, also called a crawler or a spider. Google defines crawl budget as “the number of URLs Googlebot can and wants to crawl” for each website. Your website pages must be crawled by search engine bots in order to be indexed (i.e.: show up in the search results).
Long load times and poor page speeds may result in your website reaching its crawl budget before all of your pages are crawled. This can cause new pages to be indexed more slowly and changes or updates to be noticed less often. Most importantly, it affects your website’s performance and visibility in the search engines. Every page on your website meant to be seen publicly by users is an opportunity to be in the right place at the right time when your customers are searching. If your pages aren’t there, or have outdated information, you’re missing out on those opportunities.
These are just a few of the big ways poor page speed affects your business. If your site is moving slowly, contact MIND for help. Our team of professionals can help speed things up and ensure your pages load fast!