Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Confirmed: Speed Matters More than Ever

If there’s one thing every Internet user today has in common, it’s growing impatience. Even if some have at least a little more patience than others, impatience among web users is growing like never before. For the most part, it is taken for granted that both your website and all of its internal pages will load in full at the snap of a finger. If they don’t, your prospects turn around, head elsewhere and perhaps never return.

Now, it’s natural for those on the business side of the equation to simply throw accusations at impatient customers, arguing that it’s unrealistic to expect flawless performance at all times. Unfortunately, the customer is always right. Or at least, the customer determines whether and to what extent you will succeed, therefore you need to do what they want, when they want it.

According to one of the more recent studies carried out by Kissmetrics, almost half of all consumers now expect websites and internal pages to fire up in no more than 2 seconds. In addition, approximately 40% stated that they will happily walk away from a website (perhaps permanently) if they are forced to wait more than 3 seconds for it to load.

But here’s the real kicker – it’s not only about the huge increase in bounce rates slow loading times tend to trigger. Instead, research has shown that even when customers wait those extra few seconds and stick around, slow loading times can have a remarkable effect on conversion rates.

…and not in a good way.

Extensive surveys have shown that when page loading times are delayed by as little as one second, it can lead to a quite extraordinary 7% reduction in conversions. In the case of Amazon – which is admittedly rather on the large side compared to most online businesses – it is estimated that approximately $1.6 billion is lost every year, simply due to slow page loading times. It’s not as if your own business is likely to incur these kinds of heavy losses, but still – can you really afford to throw away 7% of possible conversions, simply due to basic issues with page loading times?

The answer…of course you can’t!

From a website developer’s perspective, the most frustrating thing about poor page loading times is the way in which they can usually be addressed relatively easily. While it’s not to say that there will not be some time, effort and expenditure involved, it often takes little more than a few simple tweaks behind the scenes to get things up to speed…literally. Whether it’s your current hosting service provider, your site’s coding, issues with its content or anything else across the board, there are various ways and means by which you can and therefore should work to improve its performance.

Given the fact that so many businesses are still allowing themselves to fall behind the curve by operating sluggish and inconsistent websites, this is actually a comparatively quick, easy and affordable way to get ahead.

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