Website speed analysis?

Does it really matter if your website takes a while to load? Surely your customers are happy to wait, as they have gone to the trouble of searching your site after all! In this blog, I am going to look at the facts that indicate that website speed is very important in influencing bounce rates, click conversions and ultimately your business success.

Speed tests

I recently ran a speed test to confirm that my website was running well. I was very pleased to see that my desktop speed is currently 97. Mobile speed is lower at 80, and my job this afternoon is to see what I might be able to do to improve that. Given that this is going to use up some of my working day, what is the point? Why bother? More to the point, is it worth keeping an eye on this?

Bounce Rate.

The image on the right was supplied by crazyegg.com and is a very clear illustration of why it is so important to maintain good website loading speed. The “bounce rate” refers to how many potential customers would move on from your page as the loading speed increases. The holy grail is anything under 2 seconds ideally. The closer to 1 second the better. As you can see, by the time your website has reached 5 seconds to load 90% of customers have moved on.

As the article by crazyegg,com tells us “, 47% of consumers expect websites to load in two seconds or less — and 40% will abandon a page that takes three or more seconds.”

Loading speed also affects SEO

Google announced on its WebmasterBlog, that “starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches.

A fast site is a good user experience (UX), and a satisfying UX leads to higher conversions – Hobo

Why are people so impatient?

I think this urgency stems from the world we live in today. Downloadable movies, round the clock television, fast food on speed dial and instant contact with friends and family via Facebook, Whats app and text. We wait for very little these days.

This week, my husband and I were laughing about the differences in our childhood growing up in the 80’s compared to the life our two children have.

80's walkman

We lived with cassette players and videos, where you had to wait patiently for them to rewind. Children’s TV was limited to just after Pebble Mill at One and between 3 pm and 5 pm in the afternoon. After Blue Peter and Newsround, it was all done – At that point we were told, “Go and play!” You couldn’t download a film, you went to the cinema, hired it on video or waited impatiently and hopefully for Christmas and the Radio Times listing.

My children have round the clock TV available, movies to download and absolutely everything is at their fingertips or at a push of a button. They would be astounded by an old fashioned phone. How could they possibly wait for all those 11 numbers to be dialled? We live in a society of “instant gratification”.

While I have issues with this in general and do feel that it is important to teach our children about the reward to be found in “delayed gratification”; I also know that it is pointless to battle human nature in regard to website load speeds. People are going to turn away from you if your website is too slow and in doing so, one of your key marketing tools is useless.

How do you speed up your website?

Hobo SEO services quote Google, ” 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load. That’s a big problem.”

As this matters so much, what steps can you take to speed up the loading time of your website? Here are three key ones:

  1. Optimise your images. Images can use a lot of data and thereby slow down your page. I love a plugin called Smush, which quickly optimises your images for you.
  2. Use a caching plugin. Isitwp explains – A caching plugin generates static HTML pages of your website and saves it on your server. Each time a user tries to access your website, your caching plugin serves up the lighter HTML page instead of processing the comparatively heavier WordPress PHP scripts. This allows the caching plugin to tremendously improve your page loading time.
  3. Minify CSS and Javascript. This can also be done by installing a caching plugin.
McGrath Web Design Logo

Website speed is clearly an important factor in web design. Here at McGrath Web Design, the initial design phase takes all these elements into account. Your site is secure, fully responsive and every step is taken to ensure that the website speed is up to the mark.

Get in touch and let’s improve your website speed, SEO ranking and make give customers a happier online experience!

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