There’s a need for speed if you want to keep customers on your website.
Have you ever found yourself spending excessive amounts of time searching for a very specific product, only to find the website you need is just not loading? Or have you tried entering a url to a website and nothing appears on your screen? It’s loading, loading and eventually it appears… but this might be all it takes to drive some visitors away from the site. Some visitors might try to click on a page on the website, but if this produces subsequent slow loading times, they are sure to abandon the site as well. We live in an age of consumerism and want everything right now.
People like fast sites.
Site speed is equivalent to a “good user experience”, which in turn leads to positive conversions. Equally, slow loading sites are by definition a bad user experience which even Google penalizes, as it wants to provide great user experiences. When setting up a site, it is crucial to test loading times and get to the bottom of any delays.
Here are some statistics:
- Four seconds of page loading time correspond to an abandonment of 25% of users, while a page loading time of ten seconds corresponds to an abandonment of 37.5% of users.
- According to John Mueller, from Google, a duration of 2 seconds disrupts crawling activity (you can imagine the impact on site rankings).
- Forbes conducted a series of experiments where they concluded that over a given test period, the users read fewer posts per day on the same website as the loading times were deliberately increased on a daily basis.
- Slow loading times lead users to abandon shopping carts during checkout. Tammy Everts, in her video from 2013, stated that a two-second delay during a transaction resulted in abandonment of the transaction in 87% of all cases studied.
- In 2012, a study showed that 67% of UK consumers abandoned a transaction due to slow loading time. The study showed that businesses with slow loading sites lose up to £1.73bn per year. The survey showed that out of 1,568 UK respondents, 1,048 would leave a website with slow loading times. That’s 66.8%. The next reason for abandonment on the list – not being able to find what they were looking for – comes in at 780 respondents, corresponding to 49.7%.
- A study from 2009 by Akamai states that “page loading is a key factor in a consumer’s loyalty to an eCommerce site, especially for high spenders.”
- Not only do users abandon purchases, they also acquire a negative impression of the whole brand – a slow loading website becomes synonymous with a company which to them is not very impressive.
- In 2016 we are even more spoilt – we expect loading times of one or two seconds maximum.
- The good news is that mobile tolerance is slightly higher than desktop… for now, at least.
Here are a few tips on how to instantly improve your website’s loading times:
- Get a fast hosting provider
- Optimize all of your images
- Load background images externally (CSS)
- Optimize your META tags
- Streamline any content
- Enable browser caching