How important is a fast website?
Just imagine: after a Google search, you click on a link that looks promising. The title is attractive, and you think you will find an answer to your question on this site. However, you just see a white screen, and a website that keeps loading… What do you do?
It is very probable that you will simply return and look for a competitor who does have a fast(er) website. Not only you as a user, but also Google thinks speed is very important. It’s one of many factors that have an influence on your position in Google.
A fast website can be rewarded with, among other things, a higher position in Google. The same also applies vice versa. When you have a slow website, you get a “badge of shame”. The user will see a message stating that the website in question usually takes a long time to load. It goes without saying that this is not good for your business. But what impact does this have exactly? In other words, how important is a fast website?
In addition to an answer to these questions, you will also find some important factors that influence the speed of your website on this page.
“When it comes to website speed, one rule is very clear. A faster website equals more sales.”
How important is a fast website?
To show that this is indeed extremely important, I looked up a whole series of statistics. I’m sure some will blow your mind. It’s my intention to give you new insights about this. If your website is faster than the competition, this is a big advantage for you and it’s guaranteed to bring you extra customers.
How fast does the average user expect a website to load?
Depending on which study you consult, this result comes out to 2 to 3 seconds. This means that if your website does not load within this time, the user simply clicks away and goes to a competitor who has invested in a fast website.
This result is not unexpected, I think. The average person is impatient. We all have a lot on our minds, a lot of impressions. When we search for something online, we want an answer as quickly as possible. For example, a website that takes 10 seconds to load is unworkable.
According to this survey, 47% of consumers expect that a website loads in 2 seconds. In addition, 40% would leave the website if the website takes longer than 3 seconds. These figures do not only have a major influence on leaving the website, but also on conversion (achieving results).
By the way, this knife cuts both ways. Not only will users leave the website faster and be less likely to purchase from you, Google will also give your website lower rankings. Which again results in fewer visitors (and fewer sales).
How fast is fast enough?
To be able to give a substantiated answer to this, we will first look at some statistics. I collected the following statistics from this source:
- Walmart improved their conversion rate by 2% for every second won.
- Amazon reported a loss in revenue of 1% per 100ms longer load time. 1 second delay, would cost them a whopping 1.6 billion USD loss in sales.
- A 400ms delay results in 0.44% less traffic for Google. This equates to 440 million abandoned sessions per month and a massive loss of revenue generated through advertising.
- An extra 0.5 second into the generation of each query page would mean a 20% loss in traffic for Google.
A few more stats that show a slower website is bad for a company’s revenue as well as their reputation:
- Yahoo increased their traffic by 9% for every 400ms improvement.
- 35% of customers say they are less likely to purchase a product if a website is slow.
- 66% of customers say website performance affects how they view a business.
- 33% of customers express more negativity towards a company with a poorly performing website.
These were a few more conclusions from the in-depth study from Google:
- 53% of people who have to wait longer than 3 seconds on a mobile device, leave the website.
- Conversion on mobile devices remains lower than on PC.
- There is a 123% higher chance that the visitor will leave the website faster and not view more than one page, if it takes 10 seconds to load, compared to 1 second.
A website can never be “fast enough”. If there is a way to make your website 0.1 second faster, we will do it. More speed equals more revenue. Moreover, a fast website is also important for the overall user experience. When your website performs poorly, it can lead to a worse reputation for your business. These studies also show that not only is it important to make your website faster by seconds, but even milliseconds can make a huge difference.
Don’t think that this only applies to very large companies. The numbers are obviously bigger, but the percentages will be very similar. If you currently generate a turnover of $ 2 000 per month via your website (in any way; via a webshop or simply by converting visitors to customers), optimising your website can easily mean a 10% increase in turnover. Because the investment in a fast website is minimal, you will certainly earn this back within a reasonable period of time. The numbers speak for themselves here.
Do you already have a website, and do you want to know how fast it is? The best (free) tool for this is GT Metrix. Enter your website address, and you’ll have the results in a few moments. If you would like to improve this – not only in terms of speed, but also in terms of conversion, findability in Google, security, analysis, design and more, do not hesitate to contact us.
Why making your website faster is a good investment
To wrap up this part of the article, I want to give a quick overview of the top 5 reasons to speed up your website – supported by what you’ve already read above.
- Make a good first impression on your visitors. One of the reasons to have a professional website is that you can make a good first impression to potential and existing customers. Website speed is certainly part of this as well. A slow website gives a bad impression.
- People are impatient. So if your website is too slow, they will just leave and go to a competitor that does have a fast website. For every second that your website is slower, you lose customers and sales.
- Give your visitors a positive user experience. In addition to the design, functionality and structure of your website, its speed is also a very important part of the overall user experience. A fast website automatically means a better experience for the visitor. This again means more trust and more sales.
- A fast website equals a higher conversion. Even very large companies, such as Amazon and Google, have found that when their pages slowed down by just a few hundred milliseconds, their sales fell dramatically. One of the observations above was that 40% of visitors leave the website if it hasn’t loaded after 3 seconds. You can also look at this positively. If your website still has room for improvement in terms of speed (and design), then this is a great opportunity to significantly increase your turnover.
- Influence on your position (rank) in Google. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the speed of your website also affects your rank in Google. A faster website is rewarded with a higher position. So the message is: be literally too quick for your competitors.
Tips for a faster website
Now that you know why it’s so important to make your website as fast as possible, I want to give you a few more tips to make your website faster.
1. Keep it simple
A lot of web designers like to indulge in adding all kinds of unnecessary embellishments and elements to a website. If this has little or no impact on the speed of a website, this is definitely a good thing. Having a beautiful, attractive, unique website is very important.
However, it’s not more important than the speed of a website. The statistics described earlier in this article show this. If your website does not load within 2-3 seconds, the visitor will leave your website.
So keep it simple. We like a “clean” design, stripped of unnecessary elements. Take a look at our portfolio.
2. Good web hosting
This is one of the most important elements for having a fast website. You may be wondering what web hosting is? Before a website can become visible to the world via the Internet, you need 2 things (besides the website itself). Namely a domain name (with us this is “www.omniawebagency.com“) and a server where your website can be “hosted”. Your web hosting ensures that your website goes online.
There’s a big difference in how fast you can make your website, depending on the type of hosting. No matter how well optimised your website is, if your host is not good, you will never be able to achieve the best possible result. Moreover, you can suffer from problems such as “downtime” (when your website suddenly goes offline), sudden delays and more. These issues truly are a pain and you want to avoid them at all cost!
At OMNIA Web Agency we only use very fast, secure and reliable hosting for all our clients.
3. Image optimisation
An important factor for the speed of your website is limiting the “weight” of your page. All elements (images, encoding) have a certain weight, expressed in KB and MB (kilobytes and megabytes). As research showed, 79% of web pages are over 1MB in weight, 53% over 2MB, and 23% over 4MB.
Optimising your images through compression can make a huge improvement. In some cases you can save more than 1 MB, just this way.
4. Optimisation of your fonts
One tip that many people overlook is to keep the number of fonts used to a minimum. Every font you use must be loaded. This undoubtedly increases your loading time. We recommend choosing 2 fonts and using them throughout your website. Usually this is one font for the titles and one for the continuous texts.
It is also important not to use many different thicknesses (font weight). You often have the option to choose between “light”, “normal”, “semi-bold”, “bold”,… We usually use normal and bold.
5. Perceived speed
In addition to the actual loading time of your website, there are also techniques that you can apply to increase the perceived speed for the user. What do I mean by this?
Your website may load in 3 seconds, but your TTFB (time to first byte – when the server responds and you can see something on the screen) is only 100ms. If you then use a preloader (you will also see this appear on this website before loading the page), the user will usually see it appear in 500-800ms . This visual indication that the website is loading is guaranteed to immediately improve the user’s experience and increase the likelihood that he will wait for the page to actually be visible.
In addition, there are many other techniques that we use to improve the perceived (and effective) speed of our websites. You can read more about it here.
How can OMNIA Web Agency help you?
At OMNIA Web Agency we attach great importance to delivering the fastest possible websites. Besides applying all known and already existing strategies, we also carry out further improvements as part of our Service Package.
Besides speed, we also optimise on conversion, design, ease of use,… Feel free to take a look at our complete range of services. Do not hesitate to contact with all your questions and to discuss your project. A first introductory meeting is always free of charge. If you want us to help you as soon as possible with your challenges and make your company more reslilient to all kinds of setbacks, our free Strategy Session is an absolute must.