Having a website that loads quickly for every visitor is incredibly important to your success online. Faster websites are better at attracting and retaining visitors. They can even help you drive sales.
One key to speeding up your website is to use a web hosting company that prioritizes fast connections. To help you choose the right provider, we’ll explain the top 10 reasons why website speed matters.
Internet users are notoriously fickle about visiting websites. Many click on a site only to return to their search results a few seconds later, sometimes without even seeing what your site’s landing page has to offer.
The slower your website loads, the more likely this is to happen. Nearly half of online consumers will leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. In addition, the longer your site takes to load, the more visitors will get tired of waiting and simply navigate to another site.
That means you only have a few seconds to make a good first impression, or else you’ll miss out on a visitor and a potential sale.
If you’ve ever tried to navigate a slow website, you know how agonizing the process can be. You have to wait for parts of the page to load before you can scroll down, and every link you click on means stopping and waiting for several seconds or longer before you can resume what you were doing.
Ultimately, website speed matters to users because it’s a major part of the online experience. Fast-loading websites feel seamless to explore, while slow-loading sites feel clunky and annoying.
Whether you’re selling products online or trying to advertise your business, you’re much more likely to be successful if you make the process easy for visitors. A fast website does just that.
Website speed is so essential to your visitors’ experience that it can even affect how likely they are to return in the future. A site that loads quickly and provides an excellent user experience is one that customers will return to again and again. A site that takes forever to load, on the other hand, is one that visitors will learn to steer clear of.
This is particularly important if you own an online shop and rely on loyal customers to support your business. Around 79% of online shoppers say that they would hesitate to make a repeat purchase from a site with slow loading speeds. Your website needs to be consistently fast, as a single bad experience can drive customers to check out your competitors’ websites.
One of the biggest challenges in converting visitors on your website into customers is to keep them moving smoothly through your digital sales funnel. The longer each step in your sales funnel takes to load, the more likely it is that a prospective customer will simply give up on their purchase.
In fact, more than 45% of online shoppers say that a slow checkout process will make them less likely to complete an online purchase. So, if your website isn’t keeping up the pace that customers expect, you’ll miss out on potential sales—a lot of them.
Almost every consumer online today expects to be able to see high-quality photos of an item before they make a purchase. A website with fast-loading images gives prospective customers exactly what they want, when they want it. As a result, they’re more likely to move from landing on a product page to adding that product to their cart.
Slow-loading websites, on the other hand, put up a roadblock between a customer and the product images they seek. Many shoppers simply aren’t willing to wait to see what they’ll be getting, especially if they have to pause for each new image in a gallery to load. They’ll simply navigate to a competitor’s site instead.
The solution is to keep your images as small as possible so they load more quickly—without compromising quality visuals. Top hosting providers like IONOS recommend that you compress images before uploading them to your site.
Another reason website speed matters is that it impacts how many people will find your website in the first place. Google and other search engines test websites’ loading speeds when determining how to rank them in search results. Sites that load faster rank higher, while sites that load more slowly rank lower than competitors.
A slow website could be costing you visitors even if you don’t realize it. For every visitor who bounces away from your site before it loads, there may be another who never clicked on your site in the first place because it appeared at the bottom of their search results.
So, if you’re trying to figure out ways to improve your site’s SEO and attract more visitors, improving your loading speed is an easy solution.
Your website’s performance can also impact how much it costs to advertise your site on search engines. Google AdWords, for instance, uses a website quality score to determine bid prices for keyword-based advertising. That quality score factors in website performance, and a lower quality score translates into higher costs for search engine ads.
The good news is that Google AdWords and other search engines only measure the speed of your advertisement landing page. So make sure to create a custom landing page that’s optimized for fast loading. It’s still important to ensure the rest of your site loads quickly, but this can save you money on advertising while you work on optimizing the remainder of your website.
An important aim of a business website is to show visitors that your company is professional, competent, and high-quality. That’s why it’s important to upload high-quality images, add user testimonials, and write copy that’s clear and easy to understand.
Ensuring that your website loads quickly and consistently is another way to convey that the business behind your website is trustworthy. Visitors want to know that your business is available when they need it. Downtime or poor performance leaves a bad impression and can even suggest to potential customers that your business doesn’t have its act entirely together.
The majority of visitors to your website are likely experiencing it on a smartphone or tablet rather than a computer. That’s important when thinking about your website’s performance, because mobile sites almost always load more slowly than desktop sites.
Part of the reason for this is how users are connecting to your site. On mobile devices, visitors may be connecting over a cellular network, so downloading large images and loading complex pages can take longer than it does on WiFi.
That distinction is lost on many site visitors, however. If your site loads slowly on mobile, they’ll simply head elsewhere. The best and simplest way to ensure your mobile site performs well on a wide variety of devices and connections is to optimize your whole website for speed.
Fast website performance is becoming more important year after year as online visitors’ attention spans drop. As time goes on, there are more websites, more apps, and more distractions. Studies have shown that the average attention span has fallen from 12 seconds to only 8 seconds in the past few years.
That has significant implications for website owners. If your website’s performance isn’t constantly improving to keep up with the demands of your audience, your site is at risk of being left behind. In addition to making sure that your site’s content remains optimized as standards change, it’s important to choose a hosting provider that continuously upgrades its systems and performance.
Website speed plays a crucial role in getting visitors onto your site and ensuring they have a good experience. The better your website’s performance, the more likely you are to turn curious visitors into repeat customers. The most important thing you can do to keep your website running as quickly and smoothly as possible is to choose a high-quality web host.