Having a fast website is a no-brainer. Too often, we don’t think of it beyond the initial building of the site. Meanwhile, time goes on, and we’re adding, changing, and optimizing all sorts of other areas. But is the speed still there? Here are six reasons why speed should always be in the top three site priorities.
1) People will not wait around.
This is the biggest reason to speed up website load times, the one at the root of nearly every negative consequence. We already know it, but it bears repeating – people will leave your site if there’s a three-second lag. The longer the wait, the larger a percentage that will drop off. Because of that, a fast website powered by quality hosting provider is a must.
2) You won’t sell as much.
Did you assume that the people who left your too-slow site would come back later to buy something? Think again! Consider what you’re selling now, and imagine how those numbers would change if your site was a mere second faster. The results may surprise you.
3) Your audience will not grow.
In truth, it would be difficult to accurately assess how sales would increase if no one dropped off due to speed issues. That’s because the people who are satisfied with your load times are more likely to come back. Who knows how many times they would repurchase with you? If your site is slow, you’re not building a following. You’re scraping by with who is willing to deal with it.
4) Your reputation will be damaged.
Let’s forget selling for a moment and focus solely on first impressions. What will potential investors, partners, and more think about your website on their first visit? If your landing page takes time to load or doesn’t load properly, they might think twice about doing business with you. At the very least, it can plant a seed of doubt that indicates you’re not 100% prepared and on top of your game.
5) Your rank may suffer.
So much of what we do for our websites is for the sake of our search ranking. While the specificities are opaque in some areas, we do know that Google is checking the load time of your site. If it isn’t fast enough, you could begin to slip a little in search results. Do you really want to give up your spot to someone who honestly doesn’t provide content and services that are as good as yours?
6) Huge, profitable companies do it.
Shopzilla, Amazon, Yahoo! – what do they have in common? For one, they are obsessed with speed. Furthermore, they have the resources to measure the true impact of a fast-loading website down to the millisecond. Amazon, for instance, estimates a revenue decrease of 1% (a full percentage point!) for every 100 milliseconds they keep potential customers waiting.
Before you mess with another feature on your site, try a variety of speed testers. Figure out where you fall in the pack, and begin hatching a plan to boost speeds this month. It could be the single most profitable online adjustment you make.