By Jason Chow
It only takes a couple of seconds for you to lose out on a potential sale.
Here’s the thing. You might have a really awesome looking website with plenty of fancy plugins and payment options, but all of it is useless if your site is slow to load.
If you want your business to succeed, your site needs to load fast. Why? Higher speed means higher conversions and better profits for your site. In order to do that, the first thing you need is to look into the fundamental of a web hosting company.
But are page load times really that important? It sure is and we break down some facts on why speed matters and a few tips to improve your site’s speed.
How load times affects your site
A slow loading page can have an adverse effect towards your online business profitability.
How exactly? It basically boils down to 3 main points that you should be concerned with if your site is not optimized and loads slowly.
Having high bounce rates
Consumers really hate slow sites. Kissmetrics notes that 40% of consumers are more likely to abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load.
Impatience is the key word when it comes to online shopping. They don’t have time to wait for the page load if they want to make that purchase immediately. Heck, 47% of your customers expect your site to load in 2 to 3seconds.
Losing 40% of your potential sales is absolutely staggering. And, when you have a high bounce rate, that’s going to have an effect towards your conversion rate and search engine ranking.
A drop on your conversion rates
It’s kind of obvious that your conversion rate is going to take a hit if your site loads at a frustrating speed.
It was Amazon who discovered that when they have a one-second delay in their page load times, it reduced their conversions by 7%. For a big company like Amazon, you’re looking at a loss of approximately $1.6 billion in sales for every extra second it takes for the page to load.
Imagine losing that much profit for something that can be easily fixed.
Low ranking on search engines
Search engine rankings are important and Google states that page speed will be one of the key factors for determining a site’s quality.
We all know the importance of getting listed high up on Google’s search results but if you have a slow loading site, you’re going to get hit by a penalty from them. This causes your site to be ranked lower in their search results.
When you have less traffic for your site, you’ll have fewer people buying your products and ultimately, you’ll lose out on a lot of profits.
Testing your site’s speed
You should have an idea of how fast your site loads just by visiting it. An acceptable speed would be at about 2 to 3 seconds per page. Ideally, you would want to get it down to less than 1 second for your loading speed.
However, if your site takes more than three seconds to load, you might want to test what’s your site’s speed with online tools such as Pingdom, Google’s PageSpeed Insight or Bitcatcha. These tools will give you an idea of where you’re at in terms of speed.
Ways to improve your site speed
By now, you should realize how important it is to have a fast loading site for your business. The question now, how do you go about improving it?
Everything starts with choosing a good and reliable web host. Having your site hosted on a slow and unreliable server means that visitors will experience major load times as they try to contact the server.
You can combat this by setting up your own dedicated server, which will be costly, or look for quality web hosts such as InMotion and Siteground.
The next thing you should do is make sure that your website is optimized for speed. Don’t put too many images or upload huge image files as they can take longer to load for users. Also, avoid putting too many plugins as some might be incompatible and will slow down your site.
Many small online businesses often overlook the importance of a site’s loading speed. Bottom line, a fast loading site will help you get better profits in the long run. Is your site optimized or do you need to improve its speed? Let us know in the comments below!