Why website speed matters to your business

Snail with racing car wheels

Why website speed matters to your business

Milliseconds count when it comes to website speed. Whether you have an e-commerce website or you use yours as a brand marketing tool, if it’s not lightning fast, it could be losing you sales.

This is nothing new, but there are changes afoot on the World Wide Web that mean this matters now more than ever.

Website users are impatient 

It’s widely known that when people are scrolling through the internet they have the attention span of a gnat.

They scan webpages for the information they want rather than reading them in-depth. This is important to consider when writing content for your website.

People are equally impatient about the speed at which pages load.

In fact, a study by the Financial Times Technology Department found that if their pages took three seconds to load 7.9% of people would click away. Maybe even to a competitor’s site.

Slow sites damage user experience  

Slow websites don’t just make your customers’ eyes roll while they are waiting for them to load.

If information, images and buttons jump around the screen in the first few seconds this is even more frustrating.

This is known as ‘cumulative layout shift’ and happens because larger elements on your page, like images, load slower than smaller elements, like text. The result is some parts are ready to view before others.

This is bad for user experience, especially if you have an e-commerce site where a shifting screen can mean customers accidentally select the wrong product.

Your search rankings will suffer

If a lot of your website traffic comes from Google, site speed is about to become a whole lot more important.

Google – the biggest search engine out there – is always looking at ways to show its users the best websites.

This means adapting its algorithms to give people a good user experience. In the past decade, mobile-ready, secure websites with rich content have won higher places in search results.

From June 2021 site speed will also be a key factor in how websites are ranked along with other ‘Core Web Vitals’ that impact user experience.

This means that websites that may have previously ranked highly due to the quality of the information on their pages may drop down if a competitor’s site is faster and more responsive.

As part of its Core Web Vitals update, Google also wants to address the issue of cumulative layout shift.

This is why website speed is now such an important issue for every business. 

How to check your website speed

You can check how your website performs for mobile devices and desktops using Google’s Page Speed Insights tool.

This uses a score out of 100 and a traffic light system to give you an overview of how your site performs. Anything less than 90 or green means your website could be penalised in future search results.

Of course, how you rank in Google results will depend on your competitors. You can check this using the Page Speed Insights tool too.

If they are doing better, particularly on mobile devices, you should speak to your website developer.

Page Speed Insights sets out suggested improvements ranging from streamlining the coding behind your site to reducing the size of images and rationalising plugins.

Maximise the potential of your website

If you want help to improve your website speed and user experience then we can help.

Amplify PR is a Hampshire-based content marketing and PR agency with website developers who deliver bespoke, SEO optimised and highly effective websites that exceed your business needs.

We are also experts in on-page SEO and create website content for clients across a number of sectors.

Get in touch to find out more about our website design services.