Why Do I Need Better Web Performance?
There is a lot of talk about website performance, speed, rankings and how that all fits in with the user experience. Is a fast site necessary? How much does performance really matter? Also, why does Google care about my site’s speed? As one of the more experienced web design companies on the block, we would like to share our perspective on why any company might need better web performance.
As in, slow web speed kills your business. One of the primary aspects of your web performance is related to your page load times for a number of reasons:
- A one-second delay in load time reduces page views by 10% and customer satisfaction by 15%
- Over 50% of online shoppers have claimed that if a site is too slow they will not make a purchase
- Page load times are now part of Google’s search results ranking algorithm as they will rate faster pages higher because of customer satisfaction
- With a heightened focus on the user experience both from designers and consumers, every lost second lowers the user’s expectations for gratification which reduces conversions by 8%
While eCommerce sites face the most issues related to speed and web performance relative to customer satisfaction and conversions, it can really affect any site as more and more consumers expect so much.
An important consideration beyond just the basic ideas of page views or conversions is also how people view your brand. “I like some of their products but the site is just so slow!” That is the type of comment that affects your reputation and brand loyalty – both of which are fickle things in today’s consumer driven market.
Tips for making your site faster
One of the easiest ways to increase web performance is to make back end adjustments that increase the overall speed of your site. Here are some of the things we regularly do to help make sites perform better:
- Understand metrics – It is more than just load time. You also need to be aware of time-to-interact which lets you know how long a consumer has to wait before they can take action. This is important when deciding the order in which tasks are performed to ensure customers can act quickly versus waiting for a key element to load.
- Keep sites simple – More is not always better when a simple, effective design will do. Keep the number of page elements as low as possible while being careful about the size of those elements. Reduce the number of HTTP requests as well. All those fancy scripts and other bells-and-whistles are nice but they add up and slow you down.
- Enable compression – By using compression you can speed up the delivery of content by well over 50%.
- Reduce third party content – While third party content can be useful and is sometimes necessary, too much leaves you dependant on their performance in addition to yours. Why be limited by something you have no control over?
- Be mobile – You need a site that is optimized for mobile if you want to have the speed mobile users expect.
- Reduce marketing tags – Using one unified tag rather than multiple marketing tags makes things simpler and faster.
- Be judicious with images – Overly large images that have not been optimized are like anchors that weigh you down and slow you down. Make sure the image fits the purpose it is intended for and is sized properly and compressed.
The bottom line is speed and how it relates to web performance is more important now than ever. Consumers are becoming more and more impatient along with having higher expectations about what technology should be able to provide which is why you need better web performance to ensure you stay ahead of your competition and firmly in the good graces of your customers.
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