3 Reasons Why Website Speed Matters
By Jash Unadkat, Technical Content Writer at BrowserStack - July 21, 2020
Website speed helps form the first impression for a visitor of that website and business. Developers and testers strive hard to make a website aesthetically pleasing and functional by adding numerous features, content, and functionalities. However, if these features or the content are not adequately optimized it may adversely affect website speed.
How fast a website loads is instrumental to anyone visiting the site. According to research, 47% of people don’t wait for more than two seconds for a web page to load.
Speed is an integral part of the user experience, specifically for e-commerce websites as it can cost them millions for every second delayed. This article details three reasons why website speed is important and why it is essential to optimize website speed.
1. High speed ensures an impressive user experience
As mentioned earlier, when a customer or a visitor opens the website for the first time, they expect it to load quickly (within 3 seconds). Bear in mind that first impressions are vital for businesses on the web. Speed plays a decisive role in how audiences perceive a brand on the web.
It is human tendency to consider a faster website more reliable and professional. Inversely, a slow website is mostly annoying for users. Most users bounce immediately and prefer visiting other, faster websites to meet their requirements. Turning around that negative impression can be very challenging.
Research by Kissmetrics also reveals that 40% of people abandon a site completely if it takes more than three seconds to load. Thus, to deliver an impressive user experience for first-time visitors, a website should load fast every single time it is opened.
Note: To check how fast a website loads across real browsers and devices, use this website speed test tool by BrowserStack. Every speed test is conducted on a unique real device-browser combination (For example, Safari on iPhone X). This helps teams get accurate test results.
2. Speed affects the SEO rankings of a website
Google made it very clear that they operate by speed-obsession for every product on the web. Matt Cutts (Google’s former head of web spam) has officially admitted that Google considers fast load speed as a positive ranking factor.
However, Google has also clarified that website owners should not compromise with content quality or relevancy to make web pages faster.
Note: For users seeking to enhance their website speed, it is highly recommended that they refer to this article on How to Increase Website Speed.
Thus, for websites to rank well on Google, teams must ensure that web pages are optimized enough to load faster. Higher rankings lead to growth in organic traffic, which is very important for businesses.
3. Speed affects conversions
Bear in mind that Google penalizes websites with low page load speed. More importantly, customers or visitors will stop returning to such sites or bounce when pages take too long to render. This results in the loss of potential customers and revenue.
This is true especially for e-commerce websites, A one-second delay leads to a 7% reduction in conversion. For example, if an e-commerce site makes $50,000 per day, a delay of one second could potentially result in approx $1.28 million of lost revenue every year.
For businesses to be successful on the web, having a fast website is non-negotiable. A fast loading website not only delivers a good user experience but helps in creating a lasting positive impression among customers. Hence, optimizing page load speed is of utmost importance for every website developer and tester. It needs to be on the list of their priorities from the very beginning of development sprint cycles.