Page loading is one of the most important parts of the website’s user experience. Still, regular internet users don’t think about slow loading a lot, at least until they open a page that brings them back to the dial-up age. Even then that’s not such a big deal because the visitor can simply close the page and find a rival website with similar content. From consumers’ point of view, slow loading doesn’t sound like such a big issue, right?
On the other hand, if you are an online entrepreneur slow loading can drastically damage your business operation. It will drove away your customers and send them to the web pages of your competitors. Websites with loading issues are also ranked much lower on Google Search. So, the slow loading pages attract fewer visitors and produce fewer sales in the long run. The issue is critical for companies that run their whole business operation online.
So how fast your website loading should be?
Sean Work, a Minister of Propaganda in KissMetrics has created an interesting infographic that explains the correlation between company’s sales and its page loading time. On this page, he’s also shared statistics that can be used for calculating an optimum website speed.
Loading should be as fast as possible, but the limit bellow your website shouldn’t go is 2 seconds. Of course, this depends on the type of the website and the contents it hosts. Still, more than 47% of visitors expect that the website will open in 2 seconds or less. The third second is critical because KissMetrics’ analytics data shows that more than 40% of users will abandon the website that needs more than 3 seconds to load. From that point on, every second increases website abandonment for another 7%. This means that websites that need more than 10 seconds to load will be almost invisible to both internet users and search engines.
Loading speeds on mobile phones
For mobile users, the website speed is even more critical than for the desktop ones. They expect to get the same experience, with slower processors and broadband. From this equation, we can easily realize that only the fastest websites can attract mobile users. We should also take into the account the popularity of the mobile internet and the fact that in 2014 the mobile users outnumbered the desktop ones. All this data shows us that page speed is one of the most vital factors for creating an effective web presentation.
Until now we’ve only talked about internet browsing trends, but if you are wondering how slow loading speed can affect your business operation, we’ve created a list of some of the problems it can bring:
- Bad user experience – In the web design world, the user experience is one of the most critical success parameters. Visitors don’t want to deal with websites that offer anything less than perfection in this segment.
- Reduced conversion – This also means fewer sales. The reduced conversion rate will slow down your cash flow and leave you with much smaller investment budget.
- Failed SEO strategy – Page loading speed is one of the most important ranking parameters for most search engines. Crafting a good SEO strategy is a tough and expensive work, and it can easily be spoiled by slow loading.
How can I improve my website’s loading speed?
You should start by checking your website speed, with Google Developer’s PageSpeed Insights tool. There you’ll also get lots of advice for improving your website’s code and optimizing it for faster loading.
Still, some websites need to come with an elaborate code. Their admins should try to approach the page speed issue from another angle. For example, buying a reliable hosting package can drastically improve your website’s loading time.
In the last couple of years, Google and internet users in general focus more on user experience than on the website’s content. This is the direct consequence of the increased competitiveness on the digital market, and in the future, only the websites that offer the best possible UX, to both mobile and desktop users will be visible to their targeted audience. Conducting regular UX research regarding your website is very important, that way you can always stay on top of all the changes that need to be made in order to improve on your website’s UX.