How Does Website Speed Affect Digital Business?, web speed
When it comes to website speed, the competition takes place in milliseconds. Although there are many important factors involved in generating sales, page speed is obviously the most important one. Basically, all efforts you made for content, SEO and user experience can’t be effective if your website isn’t fast enough. The statistics show that internet users generally expect a website to load in nearly 2 seconds. As speed becomes more and more important in digital world, websites that take long to load may not have any chance to reach their potential customers and attract them at all. A visitor is much likely to switch to other option instead of waiting for a slow website to load.
Impacts of Speed on Conversions and Bounce Rate
Having said that, web page speed is directly related to conversion rate and bounce rate, which are critical digital marketing metrics for digital businesses. Conversion rate is simply the percentage of visitors that take desired action of a particular website to total visitors. Researches indicate that fast loading pages also positively affects customer’s relationship with brands. Website speed affects customer satisfaction, and supports customer engagement. Thus, a slow website might mean dissatisfied customers which eventually damages customer life cycle and brand’s reputation. Customer research lab indicates that: “66% of customers said website performance influences their impression of the company and 33 percent of customers have a negative impression of a company with a poor performing website.
Bounce rate is simply the percentage rate of visitors on your site that viewed only one page and then left without any further action. Unless you aim to direct your traffic to a specific land page or such, a high bounce rate negatively affect the customer journey. For example a high bounce rate it could mean a huge potential decrease in sales and sales revenue for e-commerce businesses.
Google states that 53% of mobile visitors leave a website if the load time exceeds 3 seconds. There isn’t a certain ideal webpage load time applicable for all websites since each website includes different sized images, files, codes and etc. However, it can be said that visitors expect all of them to load fastly, irregardless of their size and location. As of July 2018, mobile website page speed also officially became a search engine ranking parameter. Thus, webpage load time also have impact on digital marketing efforts of digital businesses when it comes to creating content and SEO.
Importance of Measuring Website Page Speed
To assess website page speed and its impacts on digital business perfectly, exact measurement is needed. Once the current speed of website is known, it can be compared with industry averages, competitors and regions.
- Page Speed Insights
Google Page Speed Insights is the most popular free online tool when it comes to measure website page speed. It provides detailed description of website speed on both desktop and mobile. Page Speed Insights also provides a detailed explanation of how to improve your website speed. These suggestions also shows the priority degrees of each step, so that you will know which action must be taken first.
- GT Metrix
GT Metrix is another tool that offers website page speed and performance optimization. Digital businesses can use GT Metrix to test their website speeds from different browsers and different countries and assess what impacts the website speed more. GT Metrix suggests the ways to improve a slow website as Page Speed Insights. Another feature of GT Metrix is that users can set alerts to get notified when website starts loading slower than a certain speed unexpectedly, for example due to high traffic or a server issue.
To numerically see the effects of milliseconds in e-commerce, Amazon case might be a good example. Only one second of slowdown in webpage speed could cost $1.6 billion of revenue per year for Amazon. And the case studies show that every 100 miliseconds of improved website speed increases conversions and generates 1% increase in revenue as well. Another example is that for every 100 miliseconds of slowdown, 20% of Google’s traffic is lost. This is why every online business should take time to optimize their web page load time. Although it might seem as complicated and long to deal with, it actually affects the overall performance of all digital marketing efforts. At the end of the day, any marketing and customer engagement effort become pointless if these can’t be communicated with the visitors at all. You can find various methods to optimize your page speed in our previous blog post here.
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