Page loading time is one of the most important aspects of your website, low to no optimization greatly affect your bottom line, your sales and also your search engine ranking.
In today’s digital age, the idiom “slowly but surely” doesn’t have its place anymore, the very idea that a website’s fancy effects and visuals justify its slow loading time has been rendered obsolete by the new speed optimization techniques. In this article, we will talk about how this slow website affects your business, we will post a complementary article on how you can optimize your speed next week.
How to measure your site’s speed
There are quite a few tools that allows to measure your page loading speed effectively (Google Pagespeed, Pingdom, etc). Our favorite for many reasons is GTMetrix
It gives the most comprehensive and complete analysis of what slows down your website specifically, the most common reasons are :
- Lack of server optimization
- Heavy images
- Sloppy code (especially scripts)
Let’s take a look at our GTMetrix results :
The key metrics you need to take a look at are :
- Fully Loaded Time : The time it takes for your page to be completely loaded on your browser (no more spinning wheel) – The average loading time is 7s
- Total Page Size : The weight of your page’s content, this includes code (HTML,CSS,JS) and loaded resources (Images, fonts, videos) – Average : 3.19mo
- Requests : The number of requests this page needs to be completed, see them like calls to resources, could be scripts, css files, images – Average : 90
If any of your metrics are average or higher than average, you’re in need of some speed optimization.
40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Why does it matter so much ?
Let’s take a look at the following statistics by the great Neil Patel :
Search Engine Optimization :
Google has started taking interest in page speed in 2010, it has been mentioned for the first time in the official Google Webmaster Blog. The algorithm has been rolled out incrementally on desktop since then, and Google recently decided to launch it for mobile as well, mobile users have proven to be less patient than desktop users, so this decision makes sense.
This update has been launched in July 9, 2018, and what it means for you is that no matter how good your SEO is, you can drop in search results if your website is slower than your competitors. To reassure us, Google has added that “the intent behind a query is still a “very strong signal,” and that a slow page may still rank if it has relevant content. The Speed Update will have the greatest negative impact on pages that deliver the slowest experience to users compared to their competition”
Google has published a new tool called TestMySite to identify areas where you can improve your mobile page loading time. The tests are very extensive and test your site via a 3G connection, most of your users probably use a 4G connection, but that’s how seriously Google is taking this.
Since this tool (and GTMetrix) don’t require admin access to the website, you can run them on any site you want! Benchmark yourself against your competitors by testing their website to know if your site is vulnerable to google rank drops.
“Wait, I don’t really care. I have ad campaigns that send people directly to my website.”
Well, you should care. If you are familiar with Google Ads, you know that they assign a Quality Score to each ad, and the common misconception is that the quality score only depends on the ad itself, but that isn’t completely true. Let’s take a look at the following graphic :
If most of the people who click your ad and land on your website leave your website because it was too slow, your Quality Score will take a hit.
Businesses can’t afford to disregard speed optimization anymore, make sure you assess your loading time to see if you need optimization.
If you do, either ask for the help of a professional, or start optimizing !