Probably everyone online wants a fast website. Nowadays, it somehow comes subconsciously that slow websites are no longer acceptable. But how much do you stand to lose? Read on to get some points on the importance of website speed and why a fast website is good for every business.
What is website speed?
Commonly just referred to as site speed, it is how fast a browser can fully load elements of a particular web page. Remember, this refers to a single web page. Most websites have multiple web pages. So ideally, you cannot accurately predict the overall speed of a website until you run the tests on individual pages. You can use various online services like Pingdom tools, Google’s Page Speed Insight, GTMetrix, and many others to test the speed of a certain web page.
One this to remember, online speed tests have different test locations. You could be testing the speed of your website from the other side of the world. This usually leads to variations in the results you get but they could still give you an idea of whether you need some optimizations.
Key Performance Indicators for a fast website
While looking at the results of your speed tests, the data can be overwhelming. The graphs could be huge and the figures confusing. Generally, every business will have different goals but these metrics tend to be more important most of the time. Keep in mind this article is about website speed and not increasing sales. For that, you’d look at things like conversion rate, bounce rate, and other online marketing metrics.
- Load time – is how long it takes for an entire web page to appear in the browser. Of course, if visiting a website, you want the entire page to load. If this time is too long, it could be bad for the user experience.
- Page size – is the total file size of all the resources that need to be loaded for the page to function. The bigger the page size, the longer it takes to load the website. The page size can also have a big impact on mobile users, especially those who may be paying for data, and when paying for data no one likes it running out.
- Time to First byte – is how long it takes for the very first byte of data to reach your browser from the website server. A faster Time to First Byte may keep visitors from leaving your website because they may see there is progress as they wait for your website to load.
- Time to interactive – is the duration before the website becomes usable. There are times a website can load and remain unresponsive on the screen. This time is important because the whole reason for being on a website is to get information from it. If it isn’t responding there is no reason to remain on that website.
Google’s view on website speed
In mid-2018, Google announced it would start using page speed to rank websites. As they clearly put it, ‘people want to find the answers to their questions as fast as possible.’
What you gain with a fast website
People land on websites because they’re looking for something. Having users on your website is like having prospects walking into your shop. If they’re there, they are looking for something you might have. With a fast website, your customers find what they want faster and you close the sale. A slow website, however, will just make your prospects turn to your competitors’ websites and see what they are offering. Leading to you losing a sale.
In addition, since we already know website speed affects rankings on search engines, your fast website has a good chance to be ranked higher than your competitors. Higher rankings lead to more page visitors and ultimately more sales.
We’ve said this repeatedly, everyone likes a fast. First impressions matter. For someone that has not interacted with your business before, your website is how they will form their first idea of your business. Fast website = great first impression.
The importance of website speed can be emphasized all day long. But, it all starts by choosing a reliable website design agency. Feel free to request a call back from us and we’ll get in touch to talk about your needs. We design and develop modern, speedy, and unique websites for businesses and online shops. Waste no time. We look forward to working with you. You know what they say, ‘Speed is of the essence.’