If you are being completely honest with yourself, how long would you be willing to wait for a website to load? Would it surprise you to learn that 1 in 4 website visitors will abandon a website if it takes more than 4-seconds to load? This is the importance of page load speed. But, why does it matter in digital marketing? And is it something that can easily be improved?
Why is page load speed important?
Page load speed is important for a number of reasons but the main one is: time is money. Nobody wants to sit around and wait for a website to load when there are other websites out there that will get the job done faster.
Like it or not, page load speed can make or break a business, here’s why:
- 70% of consumers agree that page speed will impact their willingness to make a purchase.
- 1 in 4 visitors will abandon a website if it takes more than 4-seconds to load.
- 46% of website visitors will not return to a website that performs poorly.
- With each additional second of loading time, conversion rates will drop by 5%.
Today, it’s all about the user experience. Now, let’s delve a little deeper into why page load speed impacts your digital marketing…
Page load speed is a big ranking factor
PLS (page load speed) is a big ranking factor and the likes of Google favour websites that are faster and provide a superior user experience. This was confirmed in 2018 – especially for mobile searches.
In other words, if your website is slow to load, then your competitors are likely to outrank you. Yes, there are many other critical factors to consider, but PLS is an essential.
PLS impacts conversions
As mentioned above, the longer your website takes to load the lower your conversion rates drop. Naturally, the goal of every business’s website is to convert page visitors into loyal customers.
It’s not enough to type your URL into Google on your laptop and measure your PLS yourself. It may load quickly for you on your own desktop, but most people will be using their mobile phone device (which takes 87.84% longer, on average).
In other words, you need to properly measure your PLS using the right tools (e.g., PageSpeed Insights / Chrome User Experience Report) and optimise your website for ‘mobile first’.
What’s the perfect page load speed?
Now you are probably wondering what the perfect page load speed is? Here’s the thing…the average web page takes:
- 3 seconds to load on desktop
- 3 seconds to load on mobile
And Google recommends that you aim for under 2-seconds. Yea, you read that right: the recommended page load speed is under 2-seconds!
You may think that it is difficult to achieve when the average is so high. However, it is entirely possible – and rather easy, actually.
How can you improve page load speed?
The easiest way to improve your page load speed is by upgrading your website hosting with high quality cloud services from an established provider. If your current web host is cheap, then there’s a good reason for that; it’s likely impacting your PLS. Other factors include:
- Reduce the copywriting on your website (quality over quantity)
- Compress and optimise your images
- Reduce redirects
- Cache web pages
- Enable browser caching
- Utilise a CDN (content delivery network)
- Eliminate any unnecessary plugins