Importance of Website Speed – How Important is Speed For Your Business?
Running a business is hard work, and many aspects can be inadvertently overlooked. Business owners often overlook how vital website speed is and underestimate the impact a slow site can have on their business.
Your website plays a big role in the success of your business. It’s one of the most important marketing tools you have. Google has increased the importance of website speed when determining search engine ranking. If your site isn’t fast, fewer people will see it.
The importance of speed has increased and today’s consumers are expecting a lot more from the website they visit. You want your website to load quickly for your customers, but did you know slow websites affect your search engine rankings?
A study by Google revealed that 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Google has ranked speed as one of the key factors for website ranking, and they have continued to increase the importance of speed year after year. If you want to be seen by customers and rank higher on search pages, you must have a fast website.
Website speed impacts Google ranking
Google has been clear about the importance of website speed for some time now. It’s one factor they use when ranking websites. Google has a whole page devoted to website speed and how it impacts rankings. As a business owner, you cannot afford to ignore website speed.
While many people think site speed isn’t as important as other factors like links and content, that’s simply not true. Site speed is still a very important factor for Google and can have a significant impact on your sales and conversions if your website is slow.
What is page speed?
Page speed is a measure of how quickly your website loads. One of the main metrics Google uses for measuring site speed is LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) which is part of Google’s Core Web Vitals. The LCP measures how long it takes for the largest element on a page to load. The lower your LCP score, the faster your website is. A site with a score of 1.2 seconds is faster than a site with a score of 3.4 seconds. Google considers sites with a score at or below 2.5 a good score.
Remember, Google wants to put the fastest (i.e., highly optimized) websites at the forefront of the search results.
The best way to measure the speed of your website is to use Google’s free tool, Page Speed Insights. The tool will give you an excellent overview of how your website performs on mobile devices and desktops.
Site speed and SEO
Your site speed is crucial for SEO (search engine optimization) and user experience. Google will factor your site speed into its ranking algorithm, so you must maintain good speeds. However, when you are evaluating the speed of your website, you need to keep in mind the mobile user experience.
Mobile vs desktop
It’s no secret that mobile search is taking over. In fact, according to Google, “more than half of all queries on Google are now from mobile devices.” And this trend is only going to continue. The trend has led Google to place a high value on mobile website speed.
One reason for this shift is that mobile users are much less patient than desktop users with waiting for a website to load. If your site doesn’t load quickly enough, they’ll go elsewhere.
In addition, as more and more people conduct searches on their phones, it’s increasingly important that your pages load quickly for them. Mobile-first indexing means that Google will rank your pages based on how they look and perform on mobile devices first – so if your page loads slowly on a phone or tablet, you do not have a website optimized for SEO.
Consider this: in retail, a three-second delay in mobile load time can decrease the average conversion rate by over 50%. While three seconds may not seem like a lot of time to decide, it can be the difference between making a sale and not. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to speed up your website. Check out our blog post The 5 Best Practices For Improving Your WordPress Website Speed.
Speed and conversion rate
Conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors who take the desired action, such as filling out a form or clicking on a link. A high conversion rate is a sign that a website is providing what users are looking for. Low conversion rates suggest that there may be something preventing people from completing the desired action.
Factors that can affect conversion rates include:
- Website speed
- Layout and design
- Irrelevant and confusing page copy
Speed and bounce rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave a website after viewing only one page. This can be because of many reasons, such as:
- The user does not find what they are looking for on the website.
- The website takes too long to load.
- The user is being redirected to another site.
Google considers the bounce rate of a website when ranking it in search engine results pages (SERPs). A high bounce rate means that users are not finding what they are looking for on your site and are leaving quickly. You can use Page Speed Insight to test your website and see where you need to make improvements.
What are the most important areas of website speed for your business?
It’s no secret that first impressions count. They matter so much that we often make snap judgments about people or things we encounter for the first time. The same is true for websites – your visitors will form an opinion of your site based on how quickly it loads.
A slow-loading website can be a major turnoff and can cause customers to leave before they even learn about what you offer. Let’s explore some important aspects of your website that affect speed.
Reduce Server Response Times (TTFB)
The amount of traffic you receive affects site speed server response time, and software. The optimal server response time is under 200ms. Anything above that can cause your site to load slowly and frustrate your users.
Speed is important, but other factors like “customer experience” are just as important. To provide a good customer experience, it’s necessary to streamline code and optimize the design besides reducing server response times. This will make your website faster for all visitors, regardless of their location or connection speed.
Load time is one of the most important aspects of website optimization; it significantly impacts user behavior and buying outcomes. Take the time to optimize your site for speed, which will improve rankings and conversion rates across all devices.
Replace GIF images with a video
Video is a powerful marketing tool. They can give customers a glimpse of your business, products, and services. They can promote your products and services, or even just entertain. However, some businesses are fond of using GIFs. There is nothing wrong with GIFs but for page speed, they are not the best choice.
For optimal page speed, consider replacing GIF images with videos. According to Google, large GIFs are inefficient for delivering animated content. For the best video experience, consider:
- Converting large GIFs to videos to save on users’ bandwidth
- Using MPEG4/WebM videos for animations
- Using PNG/WebP for static images to save network bytes
Avoid multiple page redirects
Eliminate unnecessary redirects wherever possible, as each redirect adds more load time to the server. Therefore, reducing redirects is an important factor for website speed.
Reduce the number of HTTP requests as well, because each request takes time and slows down your site speed. The fewer files you load on a page, the faster it will be.
Finally, keep in mind that any external content you include on your site will add a delay to the page. That’s why it is important to use only those resources that are necessary for the content.
Eliminate render-blocking resources
The website speed is also affected by the server response time, traffic load on the site, software your server uses, and the hosting solution you use. The optimal server response time is under 200ms.
Slow database queries, slow routing, and lack of memory are common performance bottlenecks that need to be considered when speed is a concern.
Get Your Website Optimized For Speed
Everyone business wants its website to be fast, but plenty of people don’t know enough about the many aspects of website speed to know what to do. While some speed issues are easy to fix, most non-techies will struggle to diagnose and fix these issues and the more complex ones.
Fortunately for you, WP Gazelle makes it easy. Our world-class support team will fully optimize your website for speed, SEO, and so much more. We have the tools necessary to take your website to the next level. Connect with us today!
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