For most businesses taking time out to think about how fast their website is really isn’t a factor. The website works, it looks nice….what more do you need to do?
In short, to get a website really working well there is so much more than just looks and function involved. We won’t get into SEO or CRO today but these factors alone can take up 2-3 days of agency or internal resource time each month. It may seem a lot but the results can change a business forever.
There is no doubt the world we live in is focused on speed more than ever before. We really do want everything and we want it now. But we have seen a big discrepancy between business owners’ personal demands on how fast they want internet and delivery and how fast they actually deliver to customers. Most people would say they wanted faster internet at home but very few business owners we work with thirst after a fast site in the same way.
LOOK AT YOUR OWN SITE
It is really important to focus this need for speed on your own site. Do speed checks monthly and note down any issues. There are a number of different ways you can do a check from https://gtmetrix.com/ to Google’s own tool https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
WHY DOES SITE SPEED MATTER?
Well there are a few reasons why it matters and they are all important.
- User experience. If a user lands on your site in this age of speed and the site is slow to load, they will leave. It is as simple as that. This is especially the case on mobile. People simply will not wait around for a page to load; they will hit the back button and got to a competitor site and spend money there.
- Ranking. Google has made it very clear that site speed is/will be a ranking factor. Why does Google care? Well it is because Google is trying look after its users so it can keep getting ad revenue in. If Google serves up a load of slow websites in it results eventually users will think its not a very good search engine. So ultimately the driver for quality is money but the result is perfect results as often as possible.
- Rank Brain. This is partly to do with reasons 1 and 2. Rank brain is Google artificial learning algorithm that, among other things, learns when people click on a site and then click back immediately. It learns which sites are obviously not proving useful for whatever reason. So, if a site is slow not only will the person leave and not spend money but as they leave they will also trigger a “black mark” against the site itself. This in turn effects rankings from a rank brain point of view.
So speed is bad for customers and bad in terms of two different Google angles.
WHAT’S THE LESSON HERE?
Well the lesson today folks is to check your site speed and get it improved if it is not super fast. It is as simple as that.
HOW DO I IMPROVE SITE SPEED?
There are a lot of factors affecting site speed so this is not a simple question to answer. But the first thing to do is speak to your marketing and or web design company. If you have paid good money for a site that is not working as it should then they should fix it. If the site is really old then it may be time for a new one.
Hosting is also important. That cheap hosting deal you went for may have seemed a good idea but slow shared hosting is not going to win you any races and investing more into fast managed hosting may be the way to go. For another £20 a month you could have a super fast site.
From a technical point of view it could be your images are too large, you may have inline CSS slowing things down and a number of other factors. All of these things are easy to fix if you find a good quality company to do it. Sadly there are a lot of very bad quality companies out there who don’t understand this stuff and end up taking money for slow and poorly made websites.
At the end of the day all is not lost if you have a slow site. Speak to some agencies and experts, get some quotes and get it fixed! Of course you can always speak to us but that’s for you to decide.