There has been extensive research on the importance of user experience and user interface. Most of the ideas of website interaction design are aimed at enhancing and easing the user experience.
A website that performs better than the others is because of its ability to deliver the content most efficiently and quickly. Time is an important aspect of this digital age. With so many other things to distract the human mind, it becomes difficult to retain the attention of target customers for more than a few seconds.
The competition is intense as hundreds of similar businesses are trying to grab the attention of the customers. In such a scenario the load speed of your site might be much more important than you anticipate. If your website loads quickly, even on slow internet connections, you stand a better chance to retain the customer’s attention but if due to any reason your website takes more than a few seconds to load, you risk losing the visitor to a competitor website.
Load Speed: Why is it so important?
The first impression is the last impression, right? Well, your website load speed is the first impression you make on a potential customer. It represents how quickly a website responds to a web request. Faster responses mean happy users and happy users mean longer stay on the website, and a longer stay on the website means better chances of engaging with the brand.
The attention span of an average user is less than 5 seconds, and your website has only that much time to load. A slow-loading website creates a feeling of anger and frustration amongst the users, and they tend to close the tab or move onto the next site.
In one of the surveys conducted by the Mache metrics speed blog, the first-second delay resulted in a 4.9% drop in the number of articles a person read. Not only on the web traffic but the delay in loading also has an enormous effect on the sales and revenue potential of your site. Each second and each millisecond plays a huge role in determining the revenue generated. Improving your page load time by just a few milliseconds can have a huge impact.
There have been a few examples of the effect of load time, for instance, Mozilla Firefox got 60 million more downloads as compared to any other web browser because it increased its page’s speed load time by 2.2 seconds. It is important to understand the psyche of an average user, who is constantly at the receiving end of various stimuli. Therefore, as the attention span and the patience level of the users is so limited, it is important to retain that attention.
The monetary loss is not just the only repercussion of a slow loading site, but there are several others, including your brand’s reputation. According to recent research, 66% of people thought that website performance is a direct indicator of the efficiency of a company. Longer load times lead to a negative brand impression on the customers and leaves a lasting impact on its reputation. It is because of the immense amount of options that users have access to, that they just do not have the time to wait. They can invariably move from one site to another. User satisfaction is the top priority for most websites and the first step towards reaching it so increase your load speed.
Website Load speed can be improved by undertaking small measures such as finding the root cause of the delay. Usually, the website template is a big reason for this lag in load speed. By working on these small yet essential factors, you can create a huge difference in the loading speed of your site which invariably affects your brand’s reputation, credibility, and its profits.
How does Load speed impact SEO?
- It was 2010 when Google announced that page speed would be a ranking factor for since then website load speed has been a huge factor for SEO.
- Loading times influence crawling. The bigger your site is, the easier it will be optimization. Slow loading means that engines can crawl fewer pages using their given crawl budget and this is not good for your indexation. Try to clean up the unused chunks and invest in a good hosting plan. It affects your crawl budget as well.
- People closing your tab or hitting the back button is not good for your bounce rates. Faster loading sites have a low bounce rate. It also helps in engaging meaningfully with your audience and add on to your business reputation.
- Try to understand your users and their usage environment. Every user has a different environment and has different internet connections. At Google user experience comes first and it does not rank sites with bad user experience. Google has recently updated its page speed insight. Analyze these statistics and understand your users and their requirements. Be up-to-date with these trends and incorporate improvements accordingly. You can test your site on various platforms to get actual statistics.
What can you do to increase the load speed?
There are many tools and ideas that you can use to improve your page website load speed, such as: –
- Reduce redirects – Redirects tend to make your viewers impatient because they have to wait more than the usual time.
- Clear the clutter – Minimize the use of java scripts, CSS and HTML. Remove unnecessary spaces, commas or code commenting and formatting to increase your load speed. Google recommends using CSSNANO and Uglify US.
- Leverage browser caching – This means that the users do not have to wait when they return to your site. The page shouldn’t load again and take all the time. Use tools like Slow to help you with this task.
- Optimize images – You need to make sure that your images are properly optimized. They should be of the right size and in the right format.
With the rising number of internet users, a robust online presence has become a critical factor in determining the success of a business. There is massive competition, and you need to stand out. Your target should be to have the fastest loading site in your niche. Google has announced loading speed as an SEO ranking factor, and this means that it has become an integral part of the user experience.
Listed above are some of the useful insights that help you understand that how having a slow loading speed affects your brand’s reputation, crawl budget, revenues and your overall user experience. You need you to work on these little yet crucial factors to improve your page speed and strive to improve your user experience. SEO is one of the most important strategies of digital marketing campaigns, and with the faster loading speed, your SEO becomes more effective and delivers better results in a quick time.