Holy moly. I see this a lot.
A customer comes to me with a brand-spanking new website, or an older one they’re looking to optimize. They’re seeing click-throughs on their email campaigns. Their Google AdWords is getting traction. So why aren’t they seeing any new leads to their Inbox?
It’s Their Slow-Ass Website!
We’re living in such different times from the 1990s/early 2000s when waiting for a website to load on a desktop was the norm. Folks today are loading your pages from smartphones (on the go) or via their broadband at home. So 75% of users will typically bounce as page load times pass the three-second mark.
Did you hear me? Your website needs to load in three seconds or less.
Page speed is a Google ranking factor. It has a huge impact on search engine optimization (SEO, or whether your potential customers find you in the first place). You see, Google is in the business of providing users with the best possible search result. Bounce rate and length of stay also affect ranking. So slow-loading websites get de-prioritized, quickly.
It’s crazy to think that people don’t have an “online attention span” greater than a few seconds, but it is the truth; expectations are simply higher now. Users also see a poor-performing website as “untrustworthy.” This has a major impact on conversions, branding, and all sorts of things that are important to businesses.
This is true for even the most micro of micro-businesses. Say you’re a blogger looking to build an audience. Your ‘conversion’ metric is new readers. If your content loads slowly or load times lack consistency, your audience may see you as untrustworthy or simply not authoritative.
How to Tell
There are a few quick ways to find out if you might have a page speed problem. Google Analytics can give you some insight into your Website Speed. Other tools like GTMetrix or Pingdom work well, too. Plug in the URL and you will get a website score plus a list of site speed issues. These are color-coded, with red issues being critical and yellow being useful to fix.
How to Fix
Once you have identified the causes of the slowdown, fix them! Test again! When your page speed tester gives an A grade, then maybe your target market will too.
What steps have you taken to address slow page speed?