Why Site Speed Is So Important
May 6, 2021
Have you ever closed the tab you have open because the website is taking too long to load?
Website speed has never been so important. This is the case across all types of businesses, but it’s particularly important for ecommerce websites.
A few seconds could be the difference between a sale and a lost customer. In this post we explain why site speed is so important, from general user experience to its impact on SEO.
Your website is often the only chance you get to make a good impression on new potential customers, and first impressions matter. If a website visitor hits a link to your site and is greeted by a slow loading page, chances are they’ll give up. Customers and website visitors make an instant judgement on your site, and a fast loading speed gives the impression of a professional, trustworthy brand that delivers what consumers are looking for.
Consumer expectations are higher than ever. As a society we’ve become accustomed to a quick, convenient and reliable experience. The bar is high, especially for startups or less known brands, as customers are more likely to wait a little longer for an already-trusted name. As more and more products and services move to a digital format, we’re used to having everything we need at our fingertips, and brands must ensure they meet customer standards across all devices. According to kissmetrics.com, 47% of people expect your site to load in less than 2 seconds, and 40% of people will abandon a website entirely if it takes more than 3 seconds.
Site speed is integral to providing a great user experience. No one wants to be kept waiting every time they want to view a different page or product on your website. Not only will delivering a great user experience keep customers coming back, it also helps to set you apart from competitors. The aim of UX is to give users what they’re looking for, and fast.
Site speed is very important when it comes to increasing conversions, yet it so often gets overlooked. We already know that slow site speed drives customers away, which means it’s also driving sales away. Going back to one of the stats mentioned earlier, if 100,000 thousand people visit your site and it takes 4 seconds to load, you’re going to lose 40,000 potential sales. And that’s before they’ve even really browsed your website.
How important is site speed for SEO?
Whilst there are many ranking factors to consider, site speed is certainly worth some attention if you’re trying to improve SEO performance. Whilst page load time won’t earn you a top spot in the SERPs on its own, a slow site speed can hold you back if left unresolved. Again, it all comes down to user experience – search engines favour websites that offer the best experience to visitors. Everything works hand in hand when it comes to SEO – there’s no point writing good quality content if you’re neglecting other primary ranking factors.
What is a good site speed?
There is a lot of outdated information when it comes to site speed on the internet. Studies from five years ago will likely state that 5 seconds is a good loading time, but as we know technology is continuously improving, meaning that Google would consider this far too slow in 2021.
The answer is that your page loading speed should be as fast as you can possibly make it, but we realise this doesn’t really offer anything concrete to aim for. Based on current statistics, we’d say that page loading speed should be no longer than 2 seconds.
How do I test my website speed?
There are numerous online tools you can use to check your page loading speed. Google has their own tool for this, PageSpeed Insights – simply input a URL into the search bar to retrieve data related to speed, as well as any opportunities Google has identified to shave a few seconds off your load time. Don’t forget to analyse both mobile and desktop.
Why is my site slow?
There are multiple different reasons why your website might be slow, from CSS not being optimised to database issues. It’s best to consult a technical SEO specialist who understands the causes and solutions to these problems.
At Venture Stream, we have an experienced SEO team, as well as developers, who dedicate a lot of time and effort to ensuring our clients’ websites are running smoothly. We’re also Shopify specialists – building bespoke ecommerce websites from scratch to ensure you get it right the first time and save yourself a lot of hassle later down the line.
Looking to improve your ecommerce website? Send us a message and we’ll be in touch.