Website speed, that is.
Bet you don’t hear a lot of gurus telling you how important it is to have a seriously fast website.
But it is.
Okay, let’s say you’re really hungry, so you order a pizza.
But the pizza delivery guys says it will take an hour to arrive.
Would you rather wait an hour for a pizza or order something else that’s gonna arrive in 15 minutes?
Unless you’re an avid pizza junkie… I have a feeling you’d rather order something else.
It’s the same when it comes to page and site speed.
The speed of your website affects almost every metric there is to care about – stuff like bounce rates, search rankings, conversion rates, page views, user satisfaction, and revenue.
Basically, making your site faster can help increase your conversions.
Here’s what Google found out when they did a speed test run.
They asked users if they’d like 10 or 30 results per page.
Hands down, everyone said they wanted 30 results per page.
But when Google rolled out the changes and tested for speed, they found that traffic had dropped by 20% on those pages.
The download speed difference between those and the 10-result pages was half a second.
Don’t mess with web users.
So why does site speed matter?
1. It affects search ranking
You know how Google has that algorithm that helps them rank pages when someone does a search?
Turns out that page speed is one of the ranking factors in there.
Faster load times = higher rankings.
Higher rankings, in turn, lead to more traffic.
I’m not saying that page speed will automatically make your site #1. But they can give your site an edge.
If two sites have the same authority and relevance, page speed may be the deciding factor that pushes one site ahead of the other.
2. It gives a better user experience
If visitors to your website find that your site has slow-loading pages, that means that they’ll have a poor user experience.
This will cause your bounce rate to grow, and your page views to drop.
People will abandon sites that take too long to load.
That means lost traffic, which in turn means lost sales and lost money.
Put it this way: A one-second delay can cost you 7% of sales.
In dollar terms, this means if your site typically earns $100,000 per day, within a year you could lose $2.5 million in sales.
Can you afford to throw that away?
I didn’t think so.
3. It affects your AdWords Quality Score
Not many are aware of this.
Google considers page speed to be a key component of the landing page experience. It’s an important variable when they assess landing pages.
Keep in mind that Quality Score will drive your CPC (cost per click). Your page speed can help you to lower your advertising costs.
So, what slows down site speed?
There are several factors, but the first place to look is your host.
It might be uneven quality of service due to sharing a server. Or choosing a generic hosting provider.
A good managed host should be able to help you resolve the many additional factors that could be slowing down your site.
• Widget or plugin overload
• Too many ads
• Bloated images
• Incompatible browsers or apps
• The blog theme
But don’t worry, there are tools that can help you test your site’s speed and help you narrow down what you need to tweak or work on in order to provide a faster, smoother loading experience.
In general: eliminate what you don’t need, and make sure the right hosting company is running your site with the right software.