Benjamin Franklin once said, “Time is money.”
What he didn’t know is how relevant his quote would be 200 years later as it relates to page speed.
You might wonder why the whole page performance thing applies to marketing. It should be the IT department responsibility, right? Well, certainly not. Website performance is the marketing team’s responsibility and here’s the 5 reasons why.
1 - Google needs you to be fast
Google identified a very simple consumer trend: slow website equals unhappy visitors.
Indeed, a report from Kissmetrics suggests that “47% of customers expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less” and that “a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions”.
Google earns money showing ads and, as Google needs you to continue to use their search engine in order to keep on showing you ads, Google is obsessed with the quality of their search results.
Consequently, Google will always prioritize performant websites over slow ones.
2 - Poor Performance Impacts bounces
As a refresher, bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors that leave your website after viewing one and only one page of your site.
Imagine you are selling clothes at a local market. Someone likes the T-shirt you are selling, picks it up, and then puts it back because they have been waiting for ages to get your advice. Of course, one person doing that isn’t so bad, but what if out of 100 people who picked up a T-shirt that week, 85 of them hung the T-shirt back and moved on.
Visitors, just like all customers are impatient and it is your job to deal with it.
3 - Poor Performance Impacts SEO Ranking
Google revealed that loading speed is part of its algorithm to rank pages. Consequently, a slow page speed means that search engines won’t rank you well in order to keep offering the best experience to their visitors. In addition, search engines will crawl fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget, and this could negatively impact your indexation even further
4 - Poor Performance Impacts conversion rates
We now know that the speed of a website can win or lose a shopper. So what you need is an excellent loading time to display your website’s content and create an awesome user experience. Imagine your website is loading quicker than the others, it naturally has more possibilities for conversions right?
5 - Poor Performance Wastes Your PPC Spend
If you are investing in ads, you either end in gaining money or losing it. Note that the returns of your ads campaigns is mainly determined by the quality of your ads. Just like for organic searches, Google wants to display the best ads to give his users the best experience possible (and make billions while doing it).
If it takes ages for your website to load when a potential customer clicks on your ad, it won’t surprise me that he gives up and leaves your website. So, this unwelcome behavior can signal to Google that your landing page experience is poor and it can negatively impact your Ad Rank. Another reason to take performance very seriously.
So what is the impact of a slow website?
- Google doesn’t like you
- You have lost potential customers
- You don’t rank well on search engines
- Your website doesn’t convert
- Your ads are expensive and inefficient
At the end, if your are investing money on a underperforming website, you are wasting money. Plain and simple.
Is your website underperforming and how can it get faster?
First of all, you should test your site's performance below with the PageSpeed tool. This tool is provided by Google to serve as a guideline for best web performance practices. It will score your site from 0 to 100 and give recommendations on how to optimize it.
Remember though that even if you must score over 80, you shouldn’t be obsessed by scoring a 100. This might not even be possible in all cases, depending upon how your website is setup. A lot of websites with dozens of external scripts, simply will have an almost impossible time trying to achieve a perfect score.
Give it a try now !
Try to group similar files so the requests to the server are limited. GZIP can also reduce the size text-based resources such as CSS or JS. WordPress plugin like autoptimize can help you do so.
Follow Google’s Page Speed Insights recommendations, most of the issues can be tackled by your developer or web designer team but sometimes you also need to contact your hosting provider.
Overall, remember that for every second of load time, you’ll tend to increase customer confidence and trust in your website, as well as impact the way others talk about you. A few seconds can make all the difference!