• Website speed affects customer satisfaction and conversion rates, indirectly affecting search ranking.
• Slow website speed includes server lag, inefficient code, and large images.
• Analyzing your website’s core web vitals is the best way to determine its speed.
• Improving website speed involves optimizing images, minifying & combining files, and optimizing for mobile devices.
In today’s fast-paced world, people expect instant gratification. This extends from getting their morning coffee to finding the information they need online. If your website isn’t loading quickly, you’re likely losing visitors—and potential customers. People looking for information need it immediately, and if they can’t find it on your site, they’ll likely look elsewhere. Here’s a look at how website speed affects your business and what you can do to address the issue.
How Website Speed Affects Your Business
There are several ways in which website speed can affect your business. First, there’s a direct impact on customer satisfaction. Studies suggest that if a website takes longer than three seconds to load, 40% of visitors will not wait around and will immediately leave. And those who do stick around are likely to be less engaged with the content—meaning they’re less likely to convert into paying customers.
In addition to the direct impact on customers, website speed also affects your business indirectly. For instance, Google uses page speed as a ranking factor in its search algorithm. This means that if your website is slow, it’s likely to rank lower in search results— making it harder for potential customers to find you.
Why is Your Website Speed Slow and How to Analyze
The most common reason for a slow website is server lag. If your hosting provider cannot handle the amount of traffic coming to your site, it can cause delays in loading time. Other potential causes of slow speed include inefficient code, too many images on a page, and outdated browser plugins.
Additionally, if your website isn’t optimized for different devices and browsers, it will take longer to load on certain platforms, leading to a poor user experience. So, how do you ensure your website is loading quickly? The best way to start is by analyzing the speed of your website.
Analyzing Your Website
To determine the speed of your website, there are a few core web vitals to look at. Two metrics determines your page loading time: your First Contentful Paint (FCP), meaning the moment when your webpage begins to load, and the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), which defines how long it takes for a page to become fully loaded. You’ll also want to measure your Total Blocking Time (TBT), the time between when a page begins loading and when it is interactive, and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), which is the number of unexpected layout shifts that occur while loading a page.
These core web vitals help you understand how long your website takes to load. If your core web vitals are within acceptable ranges, your website should be loading quickly. Otherwise, it’s time to look at ways to improve your website’s speed.
Improving Your Website Speed
Improving website speed gives you multiple benefits. It increases user satisfaction, helps you rank better in search results, and makes it easier for customers to find your business. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to improve your website’s speed.
When uploading images to your website, ensure they’re in an appropriate format (JPG for photos, PNG for graphics) and compressed, so they don’t slow down loading times. Consider using a content delivery network (CDN) to store your images and serve them from the closest geographic location. This is a workaround for slower loading times due to the physical distance between the server and the user.
Minify & Combine Files
Optimize for Mobile Devices
It’s important to ensure your website is optimized for mobile devices. Mobile users make up approximately half of all web traffic, so if your website isn’t designed to accommodate them, you’re likely missing out on potential customers. To reduce loading times and improve the user experience on mobile devices, consider utilizing a responsive design that adjusts automatically to different screen sizes.
Website speed is important for two reasons: it directly impacts customer satisfaction. It indirectly impacts your business through things like search ranking and conversion rates. If your website is slow, there are things you can do about it. By taking these steps, you can improve your website’s speed and keep visitors happy.