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Is Your Website The Turtle Or The Hare?

Is your website turtle or hare image by Think Big OnlineRecently we asked one of our researchers to find out what the top 10 issues are for website owners, and surprisingly one of the top 5 was website load time.  It’s surprising as it shows a level of depth and insight into how website owners think.  Rather than just thinking about the traditional “is my design appealing?”, “is my offer engaging?” they’re also thinking about website usability.

Now this is a good thing, as your website load time is a major factor in website conversion and search engine optimisation.  If you remember the childhood story of the Turtle and the Hare you’d probably remember that the slow moving Turtle was the winner.

Unfortunately this childhood story is one of fiction and in this new digital age, if you have a slow loading website then you’re probably losing.  You’re losing visitors, you’re losing sales and you’re losing search engine rankings.

How Does Website Load Time Affect Search Engine Rankings?

One of the key factors that Google is interested in is the load time of your website.  The faster your site loads the more likely it is to rank higher in the search engine results, because Google wants to give their users the most relevant results and most usable websites when someone types in a search term.

You could have the best looking website and the most relevant content on the internet but if your site loads really slooooooowly then people are going to hit the back button and find someone else’s site. This sends a message to Google that your content or website is not, in fact what people are looking for because they are not engaging with the page they land on.

How Does Website Load Time Affect Conversions?

Not only does website load time affect your search engine rankings but it also directly affects your conversion.  There is a very limited time frame for you to take a visitor and entice them to stay on your site.  You see, the longer a visitor stays on your site the more likely they are to buy.

To increase conversions on your site you should increase load speed so the marketing messages are fully loaded and displayed to your visitor almost instantly. Now this isn’t a tech “how to” post about coding, servers and optimizing the size of your images. It’s about bringing awareness to a commonly overlooked element that can effect your rankings and sales.

In a study done by tagman they found that by losing just 1 second they lost 7% in conversion of their customers. See the chart below and how quickly the conversion rate drops with increased page load speed.

How Amazon Increased It’s Sales Instantly

In a study done a few years ago the giant online retailer Amazon found that they when they increased the speed of their website by 100 milliseconds their revenue directly increased by 1%. Now you might say that “1% no big deal.”, but what if you were in the same situation and managed to increase your website speed by 1 second?

This could be a net gain of 10% revenue or inquiries for your business. Now we have seen slow websites tweaked and set up properly and shave off up to 8 seconds. Think about the net of gain of this.

How To Test  Your Website Speed

A quick and free tool you can use to to see how fast your website loads is pingdom. Go there now and see how fast your site loads and it will even tell you how your site compares to all other sites that have been tested.

If your site is well below average, then contact your webmaster or give us a call and find out your options, because it’s something you can fix once and it will keep producing better results for the life of the site.

Leave a comment below of how fast your website loads, we’d love to see the average load speed for our readers.