You might have designed a beautiful website and thought once it’s launched online then, that’s all. However, you could not be further from the truth. Designing and launching a website is the first big step but making sure your website performance is great is another ball game. And before you think to yourself that website performance is not that big a deal let me give you ten reasons why you need to rethink that false notion:
1. Focus on Mobile Phones
It is no secret that as smartphones become cheaper and cheaper more people use their cell phones to conduct online searches. In fact, Google’s findings suggest that majority of online searches are done via cell phones as opposed to the traditional desktop. Also, did you know that mobile phones comprise 65% of the time spent on digital media?
You probably know where we are going with this? Yes, that’s right; make a mobile-friendly version of your website so that users can easily access it through their phones. Users can easily get annoyed when a desktop site opens on their phone and the formatting makes it hard to navigate the site. For example, scrolling the text from left to right on your small phone screen when using a desktop version site can be quite aggravating.
2. Loss in Conversions
The speed at which your webpage loads is extremely important. Just how fast are we talking about? Well, research shows that if your website does not load within the first 3 seconds, forty percent of users are likely to leave your site without bothering to wait for it to load. So while 3 seconds may seem like a short amount of time to you it isn’t for your users. After all, as they say, “time is money.”
Through a basic mathematical example, you can get an even better perspective to understand how detrimental this 3-second delay is. Let us say you have 100,000 visitors. If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load then you could potentially lose 40,000 visitors. Hence, you need to keep an eye on your website’s performance.
3. Bounce Rate
The bounce rate is another important website performance index. It basically measures how many people visit your website and leave after viewing only one page. Most sites aim for an average bounce rate of 26-40% though the desired bounce rate varies according to the type and nature of a website. This reinforces our previous point which is that if it takes longer for a website to load or web pages to load then users are likely to ditch the page and check out another site. Such is the consequence of slow-ness that BBC found their users dropped by 10% for every extra second a page took to load.
A high bounce rate can also be used as an indicator of whether users do not like your web content or have a hard time navigating their way around your website. For this reason it is important to keep things clean and simple when it comes to your website’s layout and design. In this case “less is more” so try not to overcrowd information on your home page or make too many menu tabs. Also, visually complex designs can put off users. Therefore pay attention to your bounce rate as it could be an indication to improve multiple aspects of your website.
When we think of marketing we forget that the simplest and most organic form of marketing is by word-of-mouth. Word-of-mouth usually refers to finding out about something by hearing about it from somebody else, and while this may not be your primary strategy you should not overlook it. If users have a good experience they will talk about your website with other people. On the other hand, if users have a bad experience they may not talk about your website or they might talk about it negatively. This can have an adverse impact on the number of your visitors which is why you must regularly check your website’s performance.
5. Can You Help Improve Network Slowness?
You may have done everything right by creating the perfect website that loads quickly and easily with a clean, simple user interface. Unfortunately, however, you cannot quite control slow local networks or ISP services. To make things a little harder when a user uses their phone’s 3G or 4G, the network is even slower as opposed to when they use a solid Wi-Fi connection such as that of Grande internet.
Do not get disheartened though. While you may think you cannot do anything to improve the situation there is still hope. Through certain methods such as compression or hosting along with CDN (Content Delivery Network), you can increase the speed at which web content is loaded. CDNs are particularly useful as they consist of a large number of servers that convey information according to where a user is located; it effectively speeds up data delivery by allowing for fewer “hops.”
6. Short Attention Spans
Though perhaps you may have felt this point has been covered, it is important to emphasize the fact that users now have short attention spans. So if they find anything challenging or slow in terms of your website you can expect to lose out on them. Also given the stiff competition from other websites all over the world which might be performing better you need to bring your A-game to the forefront.
Long Story Short
Website performance is key to gaining users or customers in the case of an online business. The hard work is not gaining visitors but making sure they actually use your website for the purpose for which it purpose. The next challenge then is maintaining and growing your conversions. In the case of a business, this would mean that you manage to gain users who visit your website and also make purchases from it.
The list above will help you understand the critical need for websites to load fast. So, if your website is slow, then the list is the push you need to work on that.
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