Your website looks fantastic, but it’s as slow as a snail on tranquillizers.
Does this statement apply to you? If so, you’re not alone. One tempting mistake that is common among many website owners is to prioritize aesthetic appeal over functionality. It’s normal to want the fanciest, most jaw – droppingly gorgeous homepage anyone has ever seen, but all those extra little features add up.
Ideally, you want your website to load under three seconds; that’s impressive, and you will lose very few visitors. At five seconds, page abandonment rates start climbing dramatically. Eight and above will have serious consequences.
With internet speeds around the world increasing every year, those numbers will only get smaller. Users are becoming very impatient, and a website that can’t adjust is setting itself up for failure. Here are a few of the effects of slow load times.
1. It drives away new visitors – When it comes to user experience, ZooSEO states that loading speed is one of the biggest deciding factors. Visitors will not remember the pretty flash animations if it takes fifteen seconds just to find an answer to their question. People also tend to develop a negative impression of the company if their website is slow.
2. It lowers sales – While loading speed is a significant concern for every website, it’s especially crucial for e-Commerce sites. Statistics show that 79% of shoppers will not buy again if they were dissatisfied with the website’s performance. As most merchants rely heavily on repeat business and referrals, this is a major blow to their bottom line.
3. It affects your search rankings – There are many factors that affect rankings, and loading speed is one of them. Search engines will always prioritize a website that delivers a positive user experience. Plus, faster websites have lower bounce rates, and they tend to generate more links and shares from happy customers.
This is definitely a balancing act. You want your website to look professional, attractive, and memorable. But you simply can’t neglect user experience either. Learn to cut out what you don’t need, and keep running tests to measure speed and page abandonment rates.