Page Load Speed – Why It Matters
The load speed of a page has become a vital part of ensuring a good user experience. In fact, recent research by the web analytics platform, Kissmetrics, indicated that almost half (47%) of consumers would expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, with a further 40% abandoning websites that took longer than 3 seconds to load. This same study showed that a delay in page response of just a second can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
If you’re still not convinced of the importance of page response times, consider that Google as well as Bing and other search engines now include page load speed as a ranking signal that will play a role in how your website ranks in search engines – and therefore the traffic it can hope to generate through the natural search listings. Google posted back in 2009 to indicate that this would be an important focus of theirs going forwards.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Many companies (including ourselves) now employ search engine optimisation (SEO) specialists to ensure your website ranks well. Consider how much wastage there would be if all the work has gone into the site’s optimisation but is then lost because the site itself is too slow to enjoy the rankings it would otherwise experience.
Slow loading websites like this are penalised by search engines by receiving a lower rank than they deserve, which in turn naturally leads to less traffic. Even when visitors do end up clicking on the website link, as the Kissmetrics statistics show, impatience will likely get the better of many and they will simply move on to a faster website.
Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are another costly business expenditure that are highly affected by page load times. When you run a PPC campaign you pay for each click delivered to your site. As noted in the Kissmetrics study (above) conversions rates drop dramatically with pages that take time to load, as users click back, or navigate away to find another site – thereby giving you less return on your costing campaign.
Advancements in web browsing platforms coupled with improved server architecture and optimisation means more of us are able to enjoy high-quality images and videos as well as seamless streaming of music, video and lag-free video gaming.
Ofcom, the UK’s independent regulator of the communications industry recently reported that almost three quarters of the UK had access to a broadband internet connection of 10 Mbps or higher, whilst almost a quarter of those people opted for a “super-fast” connection of over 30 Mbps download speeds
But these statistics mean there are still a significant proportion of people (25%) who don’t only have access to 10 Mbps broadband or slower. These types of connections are not likely to be able to carry out everyday online tasks such as streaming videos and music.
BT offers a super-fast Fibre broadband which is available to 57% of all UK properties, but it is hoped government grants will help to expand this further, allowing BT to extend its internet coverage across most of the UK, and use the expanded 4G network to fill in any few gaps in service.
As one of the UK’s leading digital solutions agency we host websites for our clients with particular attention to speed. Hosting your website with us means you will enjoy a very modern, highly optimised service that will deliver some very fast speeds. We proving both Umbraco hosting and WordPress hosting plans.
Separately, we also specialise in optimising websites – reducing the amount of work they need to do by leveraging techniques such as local caching, resource bundling, minification and browser caching to minimise the work needed.
You can test the speed and efficiency of your website using some great tools that are freely available such as Pingdom’s page load speed tool and Google Page Insights. There are other great tools out there, and many such as those quoted, will also show you where improvements can be made.
Should you need a more detailed analysis of your websites performance, you can take advantage of our Audit My Website service