When you click on a link to load a website, how long do you wait before giving up? According to a survey by KISSmetrics, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. 40% will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. If your website isn’t lightning fast, it could be costing you big time!
The cost of a slow website
If you have a website that makes $100,000 per day in sales, a one second delay in loading time could cost you $2.5 million in annual revenue, based on the numbers shared by KISSmetrics. That is a seven percent loss in conversions in a second. Skilled.co says that cutting a second off your loading time could give you a $7,000 per day increase in sales.
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Site speed impacts your business in multiple ways. In addition to customer experience consequences, Google uses site speed to rank websites in its search algorithm. If your site doesn’t perform well for Google’s bots, it may not show up for human users at all.
But you are not stuck with a slow website. Using some common techniques, you can turbocharge your site speed.
Opportunities for improvement
No matter how you built your website, it can always be better. In the 1990s, companies would put “under construction” banners on their sites to show pending changes. These days, users expect websites will be regularly updated and improved.
Whether you use a popular content management system (CMS) like WordPress or run your own custom-built online application, there are some web standards you can implement that will make everything load faster and improve the chances your visitor will stick around.
Here are some of the best actions you can take to speed up page loading times for users:
- Enable compression – Compression reduces the size of files that tell browsers how to display a page. A smaller file means faster sending and loading.
- Minify code – Minification removes unneeded spaces and other characters to slim down file sizes.
- Utilize caching – Many of the elements of your website are the same on every page. Caching allows users to reuse those elements without downloading them again every visit or every time they load a page.
- Optimize images – Images may be the biggest part of your website. Optimizing them for the web can reduce the file size without dramatically reducing quality. Compressed PNG files are best for the web.
- Add a CDN – A content delivery network, or CDN, makes copies of your website at data centers around the world. Visitors get the closest copy to cut the time it takes to send your site around the world.
Remove obstacles preventing sales
Site speed is just one reason people leave websites without making a purchase. The site must also look good, function well, and make it very easy for visitors to find what they are looking for and make a purchase.
Some websites take the user experience a step further by integrating with 3rd party tools. For example, GlassesUSA.com utilizes SplitIt to offer interest-free, free-free installment payments for customers in the checkout process. The integration is optimized for fast response times and seamless checkout.
In the era of Uber, Amazon Prime Now, and Netflix streaming, modern consumers expect a near-instant experience that always works perfectly. Any digital enhancements that improve your customer’s online interactions with your company should flow through to the bottom line.
Build a fast website to capture every lead
The e-commerce landscape is ultra-competitive. With new companies popping up every day and fewer geographic restrictions, you need to look to the web as a place to differentiate. If you can deliver a faster website coupled with a better overall user experience, you are on the right track for online sales success.
Take a fresh look at your website with a renewed focus on removing barriers from your customer’s purchase. Whether it is a technical improvement that cuts loading times or a new feature payment feature, your business has a big opportunity to grow and thrive online. In a landscape where every second counts, no business can afford to look the other way.