Website speed is a critical part of the user experience. It has been proven that bounce rates increase when a page takes too long to load, which means lost leads and lost customers. Google is on a mission to make the web faster for everyone which could also mean negative impacts to your SEO.
why website speed is so important

Have a think back to the last time you visited a website and the page took more than just a second or two to load. It can be a frustrating experience especially if you’re in a hurry. Website speed is an important factor in the user experience, especially when visiting a site for the first time.

  1. Bounce, and bounce rates
  2. The impact of slow website speed
  3. What are the main causes of slow load times?
  4. How to test your website’s performance
  5. What can be done to resolve slow load times?

Bounce, and Bounce Rates

A webpage that is slow to load has a higher bounce rate than a page that is faster to load. What is bounce rate? When a user navigates to a webpage and then leaves the site right away, this is called a bounce. When you look at a sample of users, the percentage of bounces is referred to as your bounce rate.

A high bounce rate means that users are not engaging with your site or its content. Google then thinks your site isn’t relevant to those users, which means your ranking drops for the related search terms.

So as a rule, bounces, and high bounce rates are bad.

The impact of slow website speed

2017 Google research showed that bounce rates increase 90% when mobile page load time goes from 1 to 5 seconds. That is a massive drop in users to your site and potential conversion.

Google website speed bounce rate fact

That is why Google is on a mission to make the web faster. They are now offering tools to web developers to test their sites and see how they stack up. Google’s PageSpeed Tools help identify the reasons why a website may not be performing as well as it could. This information can then be used by developers and webmasters to optimise websites.

What are the main causes of slow load times?

  • Images or files that are too large
  • Javascript issues
  • The use of Flash content
  • Excessive HTTP requests
  • Not making use of caching techniques
  • Messy code
  • Not using gZip compression
  • Slow hosting services

How to test your website’s performance

Here are some tools that you or your developer can use to test your website’s performance, and to get advice on how to resolve any issues:

Google’s Pagespeed Tools
Pingdom offers a range of page optimisation insights as well as website uptime monitoring
WebPagetest offers the ability to choose servers from locations all over the world to test from

What can be done to resolve slow load times?

Hot Tip

Using something called a Content Delivery Network (CDN) on your website helps with the loading of larger files. A CDN is basically a network of geographically placed servers used to hold your content and deliver it to the user’s device when they try to open your page. Doing this helps reduce the load on your server and deliver a faster a smoother user experience.

There are plenty of CDN providers out there, but you will need your webmaster or developer to implement the service for you. Have a chat with them about what can be done.

Looking for more tips on how to build a great website? Check out our advice here: What Is ‘Too Artsy’ When It Comes To Websites?

About NewyMedia

We’re a digital marketing agency in Newcastle, Australia. Working closely with our clients we take a holistic approach to your digital marketing, including you and your team in the journey to deliver personalised and tailored solutions.

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