Google recently announced that it will begin flagging slow websites in its popular Chrome browser. But there are many other reasons a slow site can hurt a business.
Google and other search engines already punish slow-loading sites with lower search-result rankings. A slow landing page can also affect your “AdWords Quality Score,” a metric Google uses to determine where and how often your ads appear, as well as how much you pay for every click on your ad.
For online retailers, the stakes are even higher. Shoppers on a slow site often become easily frustrated, leading to higher cart abandonment rates. A 2018 survey by Unbounce found that nearly 70% of consumers say page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer.
And page speed is particularly important for mobile users. According to the latest numbers from Google, the average mobile landing page takes 17 seconds to load. Unfortunately, the same study found that 53% of mobile site visitors leave if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
Given the importance of loading times, you should do all in your power to make sure your site and individual pages load fast as possible across all types of devices and browsers. Here are four steps you can take to speed up your website:
1. Check your page load speed
There are several factors that can impact speed, so the first step is measuring how fast your site is loading for your average customer. Google PageSpeed Insights provides detailed information on how fast a website loads for both desktop and mobile visitors. It also gives step-by-step instructions on how to improve page load speed.
GTmetrix will also analyze your website, provide a score and suggest improvements for free. For a monthly fee, you can get more advanced monitoring services, including an option to receive an alert if your site suddenly begins to slow down.
2. Compress your graphics
Today’s consumers are looking for websites to deliver rich experiences with lots of videos, high-resolution images and other multimedia content, says Bryan Osima, CEO of Uvietech Software Solutions in New York City. Unfortunately, these rich experiences require massive bandwidth to render properly, reducing the speed at which your visitors can engage with your brand.
“Make sure every infographic, video, picture or audio content has a useful purpose,” Osima says. “And make sure they are compressed and optimized as much as possible to reduce the file size without materially degrading their quality.”
“Audit every page of your website and be sure you are only loading the scripts that each page requires,” he says. “Every superfluous script that you load on a page will reduce the speed of that page.”
4. Upgrade your technology
If you’ve optimized all of your web pages and your site is still loading slowly, it could be your server or hosting service. If you host your own website, make sure you have an internet connection with adequate bandwidth and speed and consider upgrading to faster server equipment with more memory and other tools, such as load balancers and intermediate caching servers, Osima says.
If you use a separate web host provider, find a new host that has faster response times or upgrade to a higher hosting tier with your provider. “Or move off a shared hosting account to a managed server where you have less drain on the server resources from other customers also using the same equipment,” Osima adds.
Given all the risks of having a slow website, it’s critical to make sure your site runs as fast as possible—improving your customer experience, says Anna DiTommaso, owner of Creative80, a Dallas-based web design and digital marketing agency.
“Regardless of how great your content or products are, if your site is slow and users get impatient, they’ll simply find another source,” she adds.
Spectrum Business Internet offers plans starting at 200 Mbps and up through Spectrum Business Internet Gig—providing businesses with a range of options to ensure they have enough online speed to run their business efficiently and effectively. Find out more by calling us at 855-299-9353.Print this article