Website speed has a critical impact on your website’s performance. For example, did you know that 1 in 4 visitors would abandon a website that takes more than 4 seconds to load?
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors that enter a website and then leave without continuing to view more pages. Website speed dramatically affects your website’s bounce rate! For example, pages that load within two seconds have an average bounce rate of 9%, while pages that load in five seconds see their bounce rates skyrocket to 38%. This means lost customers.
First impressions count and a quickly loading website will naturally seem much more professional and reliable. Whereas a slow website, could seem unsafe, insecure, and untrustworthy, as well as quickly annoying site visitors. You can therefore reduce your bounce rate and increase your visitor session times by optimising your website load time.
How website speed affects SEO
For the best SEO (search engine optimisation) success, content and relevance still reign supreme. However, Google has confirmed that website load time is also a ranking signal. This is not surprising, as search engine’s main aim is get relevant information to users as quickly as possible. So speeding up your pages is critical to rising up the SERPs (search engine results pages). This is very important for any online business.
What actually affects website speed?
A number of factors affect the load time of a website, these include:
Your website is hosted on a server, of which there are different types. Shared, VPS and dedicated servers are the most common options. Shared servers are often the cheapest option, where your hosting is ‘shared’ with other websites. As your website grows, you may run out of storage space for your growing number of files, or your traffic volume could exceed the capacity of the shared server. This will slow down the load-time of your website! An easy solution is to upgrade server from a shared to a VPS or dedicated server. A CDN (content delivery network) can also be utilised to speed up site load-time. A CDN will cache content geographically closer which enables internet content to be delivered more quickly.
Images, Videos and Files
Large image, video and file sizes on your website can dramatically increase the website load time. Ultimately reducing the performance of your website. Therefore it is important to ensure your content is web optimised and sized correctly.
A browser’s version can affect average page load times. Older browsers may not be able to handle newer code and assets. Unfortunately you have no control over your website visitor’s browser version, so you need to ensure your site is tested and optisimed for older browsers as well as the latest versions.
In conclusion, speed is very important to a website’s success! Even the slightest improvements in page load time will help you reduce bounce rates, increase session times, and climb the search engine rankings. Not to mention provide a better user experience, and lasting positive impression, keeping visitors coming back and increasing conversion.
If you want to find out more about optimising your website for the best performance, get in touch to see how we can help.