Yes, speed kills – the difference is that it’s the other way around for the websites. A slow loading website is most likely reducing your conversion rate, hampering your search engine ranking and in essence affecting your business revenue and bottom line. In this article, let’s talk about the need for speed in the digital world.
1. Why is speed important? In today’s fast paced world, people just don’t like waiting for the website to load. This is specially applicable on the mobile devices. When it comes to user experience (UX), speed becomes one of the most important factors. When was the last time you waited patiently for someone else’s website to load? Page load time is one of the major factors in page abandonment. The longer the page time, the higher the bounce rate is likely to be. This will also turn into less average time spent on the website. So with lower speed, comes less customers, less average time spent on site and less conversions. Need I say more?
2. What affect does it have on SEO? Although, speed optimisation is only one of the factors affecting your ranking, I believe it’s an important one. Google, towards the end of last year, started using it’s mobile search engine as the primary index. For mobile devices, speed is very important due to the limitation of mobile network and device processing power. Now, Google’s primary index will most likely dictate the secondary/ desktop search results. This means, speed will become one of the most important ranking factors in the near future (if it’s not already the case).
3. How to optimise your website for speed? This is a topic by itself. I don’t want to get too technical on this. I will give you three tips that you can take to your web developers to help you optimise your website for speed.
- Use Gzip compression to reduce the size of your webpage elements.
- Make sure your website images are optimised for web to reduce the size of your webpage.
- Where possible, use browser cache to carry the load of your webpage. (Please note, this may not suit every website. Discuss the pros and cons with your web developer first.)
In essence, what I am trying to say is; in short term speed may not be the most important factor in search engine ranking, but in long run, it could potentially become one of the most factors. Regardless of this, it can still affect your conversion rate and eventually affect the overall bottom line. The solution is simple. Keep your website light and fast.