It is no secret that web page load speed affects the way users will interact with your site. But it may be surprising to know just how much of an impact web page load speed can have on conversions, and time spent on site. According to recent data, if a web page takes longer than three seconds to load, over 25% of your users will click away from your site. Additionally, major retailers like Walmart have found that for every second load speed was reduced, their conversions increased by 2%.
Google has also indicated that the speed of your website is one of the signals they use to determine page rank. This means that the slower your page loads, the less likely it will be to show up near the top of a search results page.
Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to ensure that your website is able to load as quickly as possible for your website visitors. Our team of web experts at Cause Inspired have developed this checklist that you can use to ensure that your web page load speed is not responsible for reduced conversions or an increased bounce rate:
- Utilize free online tools to analyze the load speed of your web pages. We recommend using Google’sPageSpeed Insights or the Pingdom Website Speed Test. These free tools will analyze the content of a web page, and generate suggestions for you to make your pages load faster. Simply enter your desired URL into the search bar, and you will see a web page load score that can be used to assess how quickly your web page is loading.
- Use a Content Distribution Network (CDN). Essentially, a CDN is a highly distributed platform of servers that can help reduce the time it takes for a web page to load. It is able to do this by reducing the physical distance between the server and the individual users trying to access your website. This means that individuals across the world would have faster, and more reliable access to your website.
- Optimize the sizes of your images. Go through your website and double-check that your images are no larger than they need to be, that they are compressed for the web, and that they are in their most appropriate file format. Typically, PNGs are best suited for graphics with fewer than 16 colors, while JPEGs are often better for photographs.
- Improve your server’s response time. The response time of your server is affected by the amount of traffic coming to your site, the resources used for each page, the software used by your server, as well as your hosting provider. To improve the response time of your server, you should check for potential performance issues including slow database queries, slow routing, or lack of memory.
The speed at which your web pages load is an extremely important factor that can determine your bounce and conversion rates. The longer it takes for a web page to load, the more likely it is that someone will abandon the page without completing an action on your site. By analyzing your page load speed, and doing everything you can to improve it, you will notice more people engaging with your site.