Recently we asked one of our researchers to find out what the top 10 issues are for website owners, and surprisingly one of the top 5 was website load time. It’s surprising as it shows a level of depth and insight into how website owners think. Rather than just thinking about the traditional is my design appealing, is my offer engaging they’re also thinking about website usability.
Now this is a good thing, as your website load time is a major factor in website conversion and search engine optimization. If you remember the childhood story of the Turtle and the Hare you’d probably remember that the slow moving Turtle was the winner.
Unfortunately this childhood story is one of fiction and in this new digital age, if you have a slow loading website then you’re probably losing. You’re losing visitors, you’re losing sales and you’re losing search engine rankings.
How Does Website Load Time Affect Search Engine Rankings?
One of the key factors that Google is interested in is the load time of your website. The faster your site loads the more likely it is to rank higher in the search engine results. Load time is important for Google as they are trying to present to their visitors search results that provide good user experience.
The major indication that load time is important to Google is it’s inclusion as a statistic on the Google Webmaster dashboard. While they haven’t officially announced it as a factor, this is generally a strong recommendation to consider load time for better search results.
How Does Website Load Time Affect Conversions?
Not only does website load time affect your search engine rankings but it also directly affects your conversion. There is a very limited time frame for you to take a visitor and entice them to stay on your site. You see, the longer a visitor stays on your site the more likely they are to buy.
To increase conversions on your site you should increase load speed so the marketing messages are fully loaded and displayed to your visitor almost instantly.
As you can see having a “turtle” website could be costing you both sales and also search engine rankings. Out of interest, leave below in the comments how fast your website loads, we’d love to see the average load speed for “the average website owner”.