Website speed optimisation has become a growing standard in the web development field. With increased values placed on user experience (UX), SEO benefits, higher demand, and less patience, having your website optimised for speed is now more important than ever. We have all, at some point, had a bad website experience where the page speed was not good enough and it left us waiting or worse, abandoning the website altogether. With insufficient speed scores on your website and web pages, your business is likely to lose a customer to your competition.
Therefore, speed optimisation needs to be invested in and developed on every website for these 5 focal reasons:
- User Experience
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Demand & Patience
1. User experience
Your website’s UX design plays a crucial role in your business and lies at the centred of your growth. How your website converts, how your users engage and learn, and how your company operates online are all dictated by your customer’s user experience. UX design is a well-known concept in the web design field and researching and designers spend hours and hours on each website perfecting the UX design.
Website speed plays an important role in your user’s experience for both mobile and desktop and without it, no UX design can ever be satisfied. No matter how good your navigation is, or your content or anything else that your webpages offer, if the speed is slow, everything else will be undermined. With fast-loading websites, your user experience will be off to a great start, just having your customers and potential customers able to move from page to page without any loading issues.
2. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
The three letters that lie at the core of every web designer, developer, and marketer. SEO is one of the most important factors for a website, it can make or break a business and it can save you a lot of money on advertising costs. Page loading speed and SEO go hand-in-hand, simply, the quicker your website loads on both mobile and desktop, the better your SEO page scores will be.
Google places a lot of emphasis on fast loading websites and has even baked in a relatively new section in the Google Search Console (GSG) called “Core Web Vitals”. This section analyses your website’s performance for speed and marks if it is either ‘good’, ‘needs improvement, or ‘poor’.
By optimising your website’s page load times, you will benefit from positive SEO scores and, using Google’s lighthouse test, Google’s PageSpeed Insights test or even checking the GSG, you can see how your website meets up to the desired speed standards. In 2018, Google showed an important infographic that depicts benchmarks for page speed on mobile devices (see below).
Fast loading websites = more conversions. Yes, it seems a bit straightforward, but, essentially, that is how it works. The ultimate goal for most websites is to increase conversions, whether that may be products sold, forms filled out, or whatever your website details. Having a speed optimised website can help increase your conversions simply by providing a quicker UX and getting your user to the endpoint faster.
Speed optimisation can also increase your traffic, which can increase your conversions, due to your competitors having slow websites and you providing a faster experience, you will be more likely to earn their business.
Companies such as Walmart and Amazon have seen an incredible amount of success just by increasing their page speed scores. For example, Walmart increased their page load time by only 1 second and saw an increase of 2% in conversions. This is a huge amount of additional profit for a large company such as Walmart. Additionally, Amazon increased its revenue by 1% for every 100ms of improvement, due to their revenue, Amazon can lose $1.6 billion if their page speeds slow down for only 1 second.
Stay competitive. By having a fast website, you will make sure that your business is competitive when users are searching for your particular product or service. Website speed performance can help you gain traffic, essentially ‘steal’ potential customers from your competitors and help you convert more.
If we look at this from another perspective, if your website is slow, you will likely frustrate the user and, according to Google, your bounce rate will be extremely high (the bounce rate is the rate at which users leave your website without browsing it first). Therefore, that user you just lost still wants to find what they are looking for, but if they cannot access your website because it is too slow, they will end up on a competitor. Now, if your website is fast, especially, if your pages load faster than your competitors, you will be that endpoint that users go to, instead of your competition.
5. Demand & Patience
Customer’s patience and demands follow the same suit across all industries, whether it is in restaurants, takeaways, shopping, or more, users want a fast solution, a seamless and easy experience. Your website is no different. User expectations have significant grown for websites, to the extent that now if your website does not load within 3 seconds (or 2 seconds for an e-commerce website) then you may be at risk of losing 40% of customers, likely to abandon a website that loads in over 3 seconds.
In the early 2000s, the average website had a page load expectation of 30 seconds, fast-forward 20 years later and now they are expected to load within 3 seconds. This dramatic change has only increased user expectations for fast-loading websites. Therefore, if you do not meet user expectations, then you could very easily lose a potential customer.
Website Speed & Page Load Statistics
- Around 70% of people say that the speed of a page affects their willingness to buy from an online retailer. (Unbounce)
- A two-second delay in page speed can increase bounce rates by 103%. (Akamai)
- Improving your load time by 0.1s can boost conversion rates by 8%. (Deloitte)
- Walmart saw a 1% increase in revenue for every 100ms improvement in load time. (Walmart)
- The average time it takes for a desktop webpage to load is 10.3 seconds. (Backlink)