All website owners have the same purpose in mind. It doesn’t matter if you use your website to promote your business or to sell your product. All owners want to attract as many visitors as possible and give them the best possible experience. If you manage this, you can consider your website a success.
Most try to do this by focusing on content. This is indubitably the right approach; quality content is the most important part of a website.
We do not want to dispute this. Instead, we want to show how website speed complements content. If a website with good content is fast, it can achieve tremendous results. If a website is slow, however, no amount of quality content will save it.
Let's first consider some statistics on how speed affects websites regardless of content.
First, we can mention the way speed affects search rankings. Most owners have search engines in mind when creating the content for their websites. Some even invest resources in search engine optimization. Still, long load times can undo all your efforts here.
It has been 8 years since Google announced speed would be a ranking factor for desktop searches. And this year they have expanded that practice to mobile websites. Moz.com tested and confirmed this. Faster websites get the edge in searches.
Not only that, but long load times cause many visitors to abandon a page after opening it from search results. This shows Google that a page has no value relevant to the search. You can imagine that page will score lower on subsequent searches for the same term.
We can also mention that Google’s crawlers spend a limited amount of time on each website. If the pages take too long to load, crawlers might not even index some of them. To put it in plain English: if your website is too slow, some pages won’t even show up in searches.
And that’s just speed’s influence on SEO. You also need to consider how it affects the actual visitors.
We have already mentioned visitors give up on slow pages. The stats by the Hosting Tribunal show that if load time goes from 1 to 5 seconds, about 90% of users are likely to navigate away rather quickly. Increase this time to 10 seconds and 123% more visitors will bounce. And visitors who don’t bounce away will visit fewer total pages and are more likely to avoid your website in the future.
Each second of delay will cost you 11% of page views.
If you run your business online, you will suffer even more drawbacks. Longer loading means reduced customer loyalty and fewer conversions. Many customers abandon their shopping carts mid-transaction due to slowness. And if you think this doesn’t happen often, we can tell you that the combined value of abandoned shopping carts worldwide is $18 billion each year.
What does this mean for your store? Well, let’s say your store makes $100,000 a day. A second of delay would cost you $2.5 million each year. That’s almost a 7% reduction in profits.
And if you think your website is safe, testing shows that long load times affect even the most popular websites. Google projected that a 0.5-second increase in load time would reduce their traffic by 25%. Amazon estimated an added second of load time would cost them $1.6 billion each year.
So, if you haven’t already done so, look into optimizing your website’s speed. Luckily, it is easy to find tools that make this process simple. And with higher speeds, you will get ahead of the competition.
If you wish to learn more, check out this exciting infographic for all the facts you should know about website speed.