One of the most important factors when it comes to your website is that it sports a fast loading time. While the appearance of a website is obviously important, page loading times are just as crucial to attracting and retaining customers. After all, it doesn’t matter how visually appealing your website is if a customer simply closes the page because it’s been loading for 5 seconds – and chooses a competitor!
This is borne out by statistics. A Forbes article found that, for each additional second it took a webpage to load, it suffered a 7% loss of conversions, and 11% fewer total views.
So in this post, we’ll be taking a look at some of the basics about why loading time is so important during web development and custom application development – both for SEO and for converting customers. Let’s begin!
Understanding The Two Basic Components Of Page Loading Time
There are two basic parts of page loading time that should be understood, in order to ensure that you can optimize your loading times, compete for higher SEO rankings, and convert more paying customers.
- Server response time – This element of page loading time consists of how fast the server that the site is hosted on is able to deliver the page to the user’s browser. This can be impacted by the server configuration as well as the code that it’s running to deliver the page.
- Browser rendering time – This represents how quickly the web browser can understand and execute the information given to it by the network and the server – essentially, how long it takes render the page so that the user can interact with it.
It’s important to conduct page loading tests on all of your web pages – and to assess their loading times from different countries (if you operate in that country) and on all supported platforms like mobile browsers, or even outdated desktop internet browsers.
4 Reasons Slow-Loading Pages Are Such A Big Deal For Your Website
Still not sure that slow webpage loading times are a huge deal? After you read these reasons, we’re sure that you’ll be convinced that you need to take another look at your site, and ensure that it’s properly optimized.
- Page loading time is directly correlated to search engine optimization – Google made headlines several years ago when they announced that page loading times would affect SEO. Of course, page loading time is only one part of SEO, but it’s still an important element. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us to learn more about our SEO services.
- Mobile page loading time has an even bigger effect on SEO – This is because of Google’s AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages – Project. This project sought to improve the usability of mobile web pages by creating a set of guidelines and best practices for web developers to use when building mobile-optimized or responsive websites. By using the AMP framework for web pages, your website can improve search engine optimization – particularly on mobile.
- Slow web pages are a leading cause of customer dissatisfaction – The simple fact of the matter is that nobody wants to wait for anything to load on your website – particularly when they’re first getting acquainted with your products and services. According to a recent study, 79% of customers who are dissatisfied with webpage loading times are less likely to do business with that company again. You only have a limited period of time to claim a new customer and convert them once they come to your website – so you need to optimize your web pages to ensure they won’t be unhappy with their experience.
- Loading time has an enormous impact on your ability to convert customers – According to a HubSpot infographic, a website with a loading time of 2.4 seconds has a conversion rate of 1.9%. At 3.3 seconds, this drops to 1.5%. At 4.2 seconds, this drops off even further, to less than 1%. At 5.7 seconds, conversion rates are reduced to less than 0.6%.
The numbers don’t lie. You can have the most search engine optimized, well-designed, and functional website out there. But if those fancy graphics, animations, and next-generation design principles aren’t built with page loading time in mind they could cause loading times to hit 3+ seconds, you’re going to lose a huge amount of business. Your customers will just start walking away.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of other reasons that you NEED to make page loading times a focus in your organization – but these 4 are some of the most important reasons.
Analyze Your Website – And Start Optimizing Your Website Today!
Working to speed up your website may seem intimidating. Our advice is to start slow. Find the web pages with the worst performance, figure out why they’re so slow – and do your best to drop your loading times to 3 seconds. The faster your pages load, the more success your business will enjoy – that’s just a fact!