Posted on 3rd February, 2017 in Digital Marketing, Search Optimisation, Featured

Site Speed – Making or Breaking Your Website

03Feb

It’s a very rare person who would tell you that a slow website doesn’t grind their gears.

In fact, there is absolutely no one in the Excite Media Team who would happily twiddle their thumbs and watch wheels spin while a website loads. We live in a fast-paced world where we want things sooner rather than later. That’s why page speed is so critical to a good user experience (UX).

It doesn’t matter how great the content is, how flashy the graphics are, or even if you have an ace video playing – speed is key. 

What are the stats on slow sites? 

Shocking.

Okay, possibly an overreaction but when you have paid the money and put in the effort to have a brilliant website to generate leads, you don’t want it wasted. Research conducted by KISSMetrics found 40 per cent of all users clicked off a site if it took longer than three seconds. 

Imagine your e-commerce store that was selling $10,000 worth of product every month. That one second delay, could cost you 7% of your sales per month. A total of $9,600 or nearly a month’s worth of revenue!

If your page is delayed by just one second then it reduces conversions by seven per cent! While seven may sound like a tiny number in the grand scheme of things, placing a dollar value on it gives much better context.

Imagine your e-commerce store that was selling $10,000 worth of product every month. That one second delay, could cost you 7% of your sales per month. A total of $9,600 or nearly a month’s worth of revenue!

Placing this into a financial context is critical to highlighting the importance of page speed to a business. Particularly those with a flourishing online presence.

It’s not all about the money.

While much of the sitespeed conversation focuses on conversion rates, we also need to take a look at the effects on SEO. For more information on what exactly SEO is, get in touch with us for the 411.

“Google has always maintained its priority towards providing high-quality user experience (UX) and page speed is all part and parcel of that.”

In 2010, Google changed its algorithm to consider the speed of sites in how it ranks websites. It reasoned that users spend less time on slow sites, so it was no longer going to be rewarding bad behaviour. Google has always maintained its priority towards providing high-quality user experience (UX) and page speed is all part and parcel of that.

It’s important to note that content on a site is still one of the most relevant criteria that Google checks. Your keywords, H1 tags and inbound links are still checked, but site speed no longer just affects your user. It affects where you’re ranking.

On top of hurting your SEO, Google also penalises sites utilising the AdWords platform by negatively gearing your quality score for slow site speed. Yep, you can’t even buy your way to Google’s heart. So, if you are considering investing in AdWords to boost your business, then checking your site speed should definitely be on your to-do list.

How do I find out my site speed?

If these statistics have got you a bit worried about your website’s speed then the good news is you can test the current delay. One of our first recommendations is checking out Google’s PageSpeed Tools. Input your website there and Google will give a score out of 100 on what you’re doing right and wrong. It also gives you the ability to choose between mobile and desktop versions because your website will load differently for both.

Our support team also recommend looking at Pingdom Tools , which does full page tests for free. The benefit of Pingdom Tools is that it provides you with the specific load time, your report grade, and how you’re faring compared to other sites. If you’re not familiar with tech jargon, then some of the results it returns may not make a lot of sense. 

Help! My site speed is 15 seconds!

We’re exaggerating with the 15 seconds bit there, so fingers crossed it’s not. However, if you have used PageSpeed Tools or Pingdom Tools, then they do return a bunch of results on how to fix it.

When we put in our own website, both times it responded to optimise our images by formatting and compressing them differently. Compressing our images differently could potentially reduce our site speed by 70%, dependent on our current process and the future process.

Other feedback can include minifying CSS and JavaScript, parallelise downloads across hostnames, and leverage browsing caching. Unless you love all things internet like us, then these types of suggestions aren’t going to make a whole lot of sense.  

At Excite Media, we can tackle these problems head-on and scour your website for all the hidden problems they may just be slowing your site down. Even if your website was built by another company, we’re happy to be the Sherlock Holmes of the internet and find the cause of your problem.

As we believe, why build a great site if people are going to click away? 

Want to refresh your current business website?