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Digital marketing, Website Design

Speed Matters: The Importance of Fast Loading Web Pages

Speed Matters: The Importance of Fast Loading Web Pages

A common question we get asked is: why does the speed at which my website loads matter? The easy response is that people are impatient but there’s much more to it than that. In this blog we’re going to look at why speed matters to your visitors, to Google, and to your business.

What is page speed?

Page speed is the time it takes for your web page to completely load from the moment a user clicks on a link to your site. It’s affected by a range of variables and these can all be controlled and optimised by you to help improve your sites performance. A quick example is image file sizes. If you upload a few images that are 36mb each to your homepage, it will take longer for that page to load than if all of those images were 200kb.

Who cares about page speed?

Google cares.

Since 2010 Google has used the speed at which a page loads as an influencing factor is search engine rankings. The reason for this is that Google believes, and the evidence certainly suggests, that page speed impacts the user experience. Since Google aims to provide users with the pages that offer the best user experience it’s only logical that they should take page speed intro consideration.

Google cares so much that they’ve even developed their own tool called PageSpeed Insights, used for helping businesses test their page speed and review suggestions on how to improve.

Your visitors care.

As we said at the beginning of this blog, people are impatient. In a world where information is available within seconds, people don’t want to wait. A website that loads pages within 3 seconds – Google’s benchmark for a fast loading page – offers visitors a much more enjoyable user experience. It enables them to find what they’re looking for quickly and it allows them to explore your site comfortably, making it much more likely that they’ll stay.

Your business cares.

Now to the most important stakeholder, your business. Your business cares about page speed because of these few simple facts:

  • Users spend 70% more time on websites that load quickly
  • 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
  • For every second a page takes to load, conversion rates drop 12%

A fast loading website keeps visitors engaged and on the site but if your site is slow you can expect people to leave relatively quickly and go and visit a competitors site instead. The age old phrase ‘time is money’ has never been more true. The longer your website takes to load, the more money your business is likely to lose long term.

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Summary

The importance of a fast loading website cannot be overstated. Speed not only affects the user experience, it also has a huge impact on your bottom line and your ability to generate leads. The factors that impact site speed are all manageable and can all be improved to enhance your website. The Google PageSpeed Insights tool is a great way to get started, but if you like it’s all a bit too confusing we’re more than happy to help.


Interested in a free speed audit? 

Contact us and a team member will get back to you shortly! 

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