Think of your own online behaviour. How long do you usually wait for a website to load before you hit the back button?

According to a recent Kiss Metrics study, half of us don’t even wait 2 seconds for a website to load. We are such an impatient lot…

So why has page load speed become so important and what difference does a fraction of a second make? I’m glad you asked… Let’s count them down…

1. First Impressions Count

Your website’s load speed is the first impression you will make with your visitor.

Both in real life and on the web, first impressions count. Whether we like it or not, your website visitors make an instant judgement about you and your business based on how long they need to sit and wait for your web page to load.

If your website loads fast, you’ve instantly made a great first impression. You’ve provided a great user experience right out of the box.

Think about it, it’s just psychology. We consider fast websites to be professional and reliable. We naturally relate speed to efficiency, trust and confidence.

“If it’s fast it must be professional”

On the other hand, a slow website makes us think it’s potentially unsafe, insure and untrustworthy.

Let’s face it, you don’t get a second chance when it comes to first impressions and user experience. Nearly 80% of your potential customers aren’t coming back

2. Quick answers & immediate results?

As technology improves and the NBN and 5G rolls out, we’ve all come to expect fast internet and page load speeds. Imagine the fate of Netflix or Stan without high speed internet???
Here are the hard facts:

  • 47% of people expect your site to load in less than 2 seconds.
  • 40% will abandon it entirely if it takes longer than 3 seconds.

You get a little bit more wriggle room with mobile visitors, but not much.

  • 85% of internet users expect a mobile site to load as fast as or faster than on their desktop.

“When we’re on the move, we tend to be even less patient. We want answers fast!”

It’s clear that we all expect quick results whether we’re on a laptop, desktop, tablet, or mobile phone. Think about how you use the internet every day. You’re looking for quick answers and immediate results.

When it comes to well-known and authority sites, people are willing to wait a little longer. If you’re Google or Facebook, visitors will tolerate a small delay, because they’re an established name.

Unfortunately, for small business, you don’t always have that luxury. It’s best to be as fast as possible right from the start.

3. Improve User Experience

User experience is one of the few ways that your website can really set itself apart from your competitors.  Think about this…

How much more business could you glean from your competitors if your site simply loaded faster?

It’s not difficult to make small changes to see big results.

At its core good user experience (UX) design is all about creating a fantastic yet dimple experience for you visitors.  There are two basic factors involved in a positive user experience:

  • Give visitors what they’re looking for
  • Give it to them fast.

That’s why website load speed is your number one priority when it comes to user experience. People visiting your website are looking for something. Give it to them as quickly as possible.

As soon as your visitors are confused or frustrated, you’ve done something wrong. And nothing frustrates us like a slow website!

4. Improve Your Lead & Sales Conversions

Let’s quickly revisit one of the first stats we shared with you:
40% of people will abandon your site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.

Now, let’s say 10,000 people visit your site every month. If you slowed down to 4 seconds, you could lose 4,000 potential customers.
4,000! – Now what business can afford that?

If slow load speeds are driving people away, then it’s driving your leads and sales away. This isn’t just speculation either. Some of the biggest companies on the planet have tested this out.

Amazon did tests that showed they would lose $1.6B every year if they slowed down by just one second. Yes, you read that right, that is BILLION with a capital B
And Amazon are an established, recognisable company. If customers won’t wait just one extra second for Amazon, what chance have the rest of us got?

5. Website speed affects your Google rank

In Google’s own words, they have a self-confessed love of speed.

“We’re striving to make the whole web fast”

You may be well aware of the Google AMP initiative (Accelerated Mobile Pages) which is designed to speed up page load speeds on mobile devices.
Google are on a mission to make sure the internet is super-fast, easily accessible, and of course useful. So far, in our opinion, they’re doing a pretty good job.

There’s a lot of information out there about Google, load speed, and your search ranking. Some of it true, some of it not so much. Here’s what we know for sure from the mouths of Google themselves.

  • Google do take website load speed into account when ranking websites on both mobile and desktop search results.
  • It started out as a very small ‘signal’ (compared to relevance and authority), however with every Google algorithm update it is getting more and more prominent.

Here’s the interesting bit:
“Google will reduce the amount of crawlers it sends to your site if your server is slower than two seconds.”

That means Google is less likely to pick up your latest blog post, or notice any other recent updates. And that is definitely going to affect your traffic.
So to sum it all up… Speed matters. It affects your user experience, it affects your search ranking and ultimately it affects your sales and conversions.

6. Long Term Effects

So what are the long-term effects of a slow website? A slow death.

We’ve established that slow page load speeds lead to an instant drop-off in visitors. Nearly half of your potential visitors have already vanished. But there is a long-term effect here too.

“Long page load speeds gradually stunts your natural growth and word-of-mouth”

Customers slowly stop referring your service to others because of a poor experience. Established websites are less likely to link back to your content. It might even put people off signing up to your newsletter or downloading your free PDF or brochure.

We often link a slow website to a lack of credibility, which may hurt your brand in the long run.

So what can you do to improve page load speeds?

One of the main contributing factors to slow page load speeds is poor quality hosting services. It is more than likely that your hosting service is hurting your business.

And yes, WP Butler has the answer and an incredible deal.

We are so confident that our Australian based dedicated WordPress WP Engine servers can deliver your website faster than your current hosting provider, that we are offering you an amazing guarantee…

If our WP Engine dedicated hosting is not faster than your current cPanel web host, we will pay your existing hosting charges for an entire year. That’s right, one entire year of free hosting on us if we cannot show you that our WP Engine servers are not the fastest on the planet.

So what have you got to lose? Put us to the test.

Give us a call on 1300 739 301 or reply to this email and we’ll prove it to you.

Gary Weis

Author Gary Weis

Gary is the founder of WP Butler. He specialises in Marketing, SEO, SEM, SMM, Website Concept & Strategy Development.

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