How Poor Site Speed Damages Your Business
Table of Contents
One of the biggest factors you need to be aware of when monitoring your website health and Technical SEO is site speed!
How quickly your website loads plays a big role in how Google ranks your pages. The faster pages load, the more likely you are to rank higher on search engines.
But here’s the issue…
People these days are very impatient, and research shows that many users will expect your web pages to load in 2 seconds or less.
But what happens if your website takes longer to load? What impact does it have on user activity? And how does it affect your business?
Check out the statistics below to learn how slow site speed could be damaging your business, and follow our tips for improving your page loading times.
8 statistics on site speed and its impact
25% of users will leave a webpage if it takes longer than 4 seconds to load (Neil Patel)
If your web pages are a bit slow to load… BOOM!
That’s a quarter of your users gone.
Even just an extra few seconds of loading time can frustrate incoming users and make them abandon your website and go to one of your competitors instead.
47% of consumers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less (Kissmetrics)
I mentioned this one at the start of the blog post, but I needed to come back to it.
Almost half of consumers will expect your web pages to load in two seconds or less.
That first impression with your users is super important, and most people attribute first impressions to your website’s design. But the first impression is actually how quickly your website loads!
If your website takes longer than two seconds to load, you’re probably going to see an increase in bounce rate and fewer user events and conversions.
73% of mobile users say that they’ve encountered a website that was too slow to load (Akamai)
With over half of all online searches coming from mobile devices, optimising your website’s mobile experience isn’t just an option. It’s a necessity.
But even in 2023, almost three-quarters of mobile users say they’ve encountered websites that are too slow to load.
Optimising your website’s design and layout on mobile is great, but if you aren’t optimising your site speed on mobile devices, you’re still going to see a high bounce rate and fewer returning visitors.
As a page’s loading time goes from 1 second to 5 seconds, the change of users bouncing increases by 90% (Google)
If there was ever a statistic that shows how much a few extra seconds of loading time matters, it’s this one.
When optimising your site speed, your goal should be to make your website load in one second or less. Miss that mark by just a few seconds, and the chance of your users leaving without interacting with any other pages almost doubles!
With your site speed, every second, and even every millisecond, counts.
A 1-second delay in page response time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions (Kissmetrics)
I’ve mentioned bounce rate a few times already in this post, but now I want to touch on the knock-on effect of those bounces.
If your users are leaving in droves because your pages take ages to load, then you’re going to see fewer conversions, and that means less revenue.
Even just a one-second delay in page response time can lead to a 7% reduction in conversions.
So, you could be losing revenue just because your website takes three seconds to load instead of two. That’s crazy! 😳
If an eCommerce site is making £100k a da, a 1-second page delay could cost them £2.5million in sales over a year (Neil Patel)
Even if you’re a big brand seeing massive sales figures through your website each day, you could still be leaking revenue just down to a one-second delay in page loading times.
Add that daily loss of users and conversions up over time, and you could be losing millions of pounds in revenue each year.
70% of consumers say that slow page speeds affect their willingness to buy from an online store (Unbounce)
Nearly three-quarters of consumers will leave a website and refuse to buy from them if slow site speed affects their experience.
Again, that’s a massive portion of your audience that won’t convert and may never return to your website, all because your web pages take a few extra seconds to load.
As the saying goes, time is money. And if your page loading times are too long, you’ll be losing money.
Websites that load in just 1 second see 300% more conversions (Portent)
Logically, if you lose conversions due to slow page loading speeds, then having quick page loading speeds means you’ll see more conversions.
Websites that load in just one second can see up to three times more conversions than websites that take longer to load.
So, if you cut your loading speeds by just a few seconds, you could triple your conversion rate and see more sales and revenue flowing into your business!
How to improve your site speed
Use a trusted and reliable host
One of the biggest things that can impact your website performance isn’t actually down to your website itself. It’s down to the server that your website is hosted on.
That’s why when optimising your site speed, you first need to assess whether your hosting server is fit for purpose.
If you’re hosting internally on your own server, then you need to speak with your IT team to check that it’s got all the proper hardware and software that it needs for high performance.
If, like a lot of other businesses, you pay for external hosting, then you need to choose a trusted and reliable host that has a consistent track record of high speeds and little downtime.
It’s incredibly frustrating when server performance affects your site speed and overall SEO, because it’s outside your control. That’s why it’s so important to choose a reliable host from the start or migrate to another host if poor speeds and unreliability are causing issues.
One that we use here at Damteq is Lightspeed, which is 70% faster than Nginx servers.
Cleaning up your website code
If there’s too much going on and too many files to load, it can significantly impact your site speed.
Let’s use your CSS files as an example.
CSS files are coded style guides for your website that tell browsers how to display your website and its content.
But having too many CSS files or overly complex styling on your website can really slow things down.
Every time your website loads, browsers have to load your CSS files to understand how it needs to display your content. If there’s too much going on or too many files, then it can slow down page loading speeds while the browser processes all of the information.
Optimising your code structure and removing unnecessary elements or simplifying strings of code can help improve your site speed, ensuring a smoother user experience.
Compress files and images
Large files and images can have a big impact on your page loading times.
If your website is full of big images, and a browser has to load these every time a user visits a page, it’s going to slow things down and give a pretty bad user experience.
That’s why following best practices by compressing any files and images you upload to your website will avoid slowing things down.
As a general rule, try keeping any files and images on your website under 100KB.
Use SVGs where possible
While we’re on the topic of images, using an SVG format (Scalable Vector Graphics) as much as possible on the images you upload to your website can also help improve your site speed.
SVG images can be resized without losing their quality, so using them on your website for icons and simple graphics can cut some weight from your website and speed things up a bit.
Reduce HTTPS requests
When someone lands on your website, their browser makes requests to the server to load different elements like images, scripts, CSS files and more.
Each request is like a toll on the motorway; it takes time to process each request and can cause a backlog, which results in delays.
You can speed up your page loading times by combining multiple files into one or by using browser caching to store some of the elements locally so they don’t need to be requested each time that user visits a page.
Few requests mean faster loading times and a better website experience for your users.
Reach out to Technical SEO specialists
All of the steps above will help you reduce your page loading speeds, but they all require a good level of Technical SEO knowledge and an understanding of the structure and inner workings of your website.
If you don’t fully understand website code or the depths of SEO, you could cause more damage to your website by going in, poking around, and changing things.
If that’s the case, reach out to an SEO agency that can handle all the time-consuming, technical stuff, leaving you to focus on other things.
If you want to have a chat about your website and how we can help improve your site speed and SEO, you can book a discovery call with one of our specialists here.
Free tools for monitoring your site speed
Before you start going ahead and making a load of changes to your website, you first need to know how bad of a situation you’re dealing with.
There are a load of tools out there for monitoring site speed and other Technical SEO issues, but here are a few free ones that are super simple to use.
Lighthouse is a free tool that reports on your website’s performance, SEO, accessibility, and best practice compliance.
What’s great about it is it’s built right into your Chrome browser, and it’s stupidly easy to generate a report.
Just follow these steps:
- Open up your website in Google Chrome
- Go to the page you want to audit, then right-click and select ‘Inspect’
- At the top, next to ‘Sources’, click the two arrows
- Now, click ‘Lighthouse’ and tick the categories and devices you want a report on
- Finally, click ‘Analyze page load’ in the top right, and wait for your report to generate!
You can then check the Performance section of the report to see how quickly the page and the elements on it loaded.
Damteq’s SEO Audit Tool
We’ve got our own SEO Audit Tool that you can use to get an instant report on how your website performs against Google’s key ranking factors.
Powered by MySiteAuditor, the tool analyses and reports on website performance metrics like site speed and a load of other technical and on-page SEO factors that Google use to rank your website.
Go check it out to run a free SEO audit of your website.
Pingdom is another great tool for getting a quick report on your website’s speed and performance.
You just pop in the URL you want to test, select your geographic region and then click ‘Start Test’.
You may have to wait a bit, as they run each audit one at a time (no doubt to avoid impacting their site speed), but it will tell you which place you are in the audit queue.
Things to remember
Site speed plays a big role in the quality of your website and your overall search engine optimisation. It’s also vital for offering visitors a good user experience, keeping them on your website for longer and increasing your conversion rate.
If your website loads too slowly, even just by a couple of seconds, you’re likely to see an increase in users leaving your website, meaning fewer conversions and revenue as a result.
Technical optimisations can help improve your site speed, helping you rank higher on Google, see more user activity on your website, and generate more sales and revenue.