Website speed is often the last thing on people’s minds when they are designing the perfect website for their business. While page design, layout, content, and imagery play large roles in a website’s success, optimal website speed actually takes precedent. In a world where our search engines often bring up our desired results in less than a second, people today are not willing to wait for slow websites to load—even if the website has attractive design, layout, and content.
Believe it or not, optimal website speed is the solid foundation that makes everything else in a website work. Engaging copy and content becomes functionless if visitors will not stay long enough to read it. Let’s look at the four core areas that website speeds directly affect.
In the world of the web, first impressions are lasting. This critical first look hinges on the time it takes for your page to load. Someone’s first encounter with your brand is incredibly important because it determines if it will be their only encounter. If your website loads slowly, they will likely move on to competition and not come back.
This may seem fickle, but there is no reason for these customers to stick around when they have so many other choices to explore. Despite quality web design, graphics, or content, slow load speeds can immediately alter a visitor’s perception of the website’s quality and their decision to use its services. When pages load quickly, users are not distracted by inconvenience. As a result, they can form their opinion based on all the hard work that went into the website’s design, layout, copy, and offerings.
While it is incredibly important for businesses to attract new traffic, it’s also incredibly important for businesses to retain first-time viewers and repeat customers. New traffic doesn’t always mean better traffic—maintaining the traffic you already have by providing excellent user experience is the key to thriving long-term. Consistently slow page speeds and poor response times deter users from coming back and halt the beginnings of customer loyalty. Retaining loyal customers and regular users of your website is a critical first step to growing your business.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is much more than certain keywords. High search engine rankings are critical for your business to be found organically online, and slow website speed will push any business to the bottom of the list. Websites with better load speeds are prioritized in search engines, particularly websites with excellent mobile performance. Search engines are meant to pull up the best websites that will quickly satisfy the user. If a website is slow and not compatible with mobile devices, the search engine will not suggest it, which is dismal for growing businesses that rely on organic discovery. Mobile speed in particular has now been prioritized by search engines since people are less likely to make searches from their desktop.
Traffic and Conversion Rates
It goes without saying that the more people who are able to easily view your website, the more likely they will explore multiple pages, discover and remember your brand, and become a customer. Of course, high traffic doesn’t always mean quality traffic, but it undoubtedly increases the business’s potential for their return-on-investment. Unhindered by slow speeds, more users can complete the business’s desired action, whether it be reading a blog post, filling in a survey, providing an email for a newsletter, or purchasing a product. As a result, traffic and conversion rates often go hand-in-hand. When there is higher traffic, there is more opportunity for businesses to convert these leads into sales.
Regularly testing your website’s speed is necessary maintenance just like getting an oil change for your car—it ensures your entire website can function and run as best as it can. Don’t let slow website speeds hinder your business’s growth and success.
How’s Your Website Performing? Find Out Where Your Website Stands Today
Regularly evaluating your website will keep your business on track to meeting your objectives. Sun Sign Designs offers a free audit of your website’s loading performance and provides the solutions needed to further improve it. Discover how your website is performing and learn ways to optimize it now.