How slow is your business website? Could poor website speed be affecting your SEO and conversions?

Hosting Tribunal share the dramatic effects of website speed in this infographic.

They break things down into the following categories:

  • Bounce rate
  • Revenue
  • Publicity
  • Loyalty
  • Traffic
  • Customer experience
  • Checkout rate
  • SEO
  • Abandonment

Check out the infographic for more detail.

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How Website Speed Affects Your Rankings, Traffic & User Experience [Infographic]

No one likes to wait when browsing the web, but with users becoming increasingly impatient, slow-loading websites are quickly losing search engine rankings and driving traffic away to more nimble competitors.

If you run a website, it’s important to learn what elements can have the greatest impact on your site speed so that you can deliver the best user experience possible and ensure your website’s high search engine rankings stick around as long as possible.

This guide will show you how easy it is to optimise your website speed and deliver a better user experience at the same time.

How website speed affects bounce rate

A slow loading speed can cause higher bounce rates and lost potential customers. More than 50% of visitors will leave a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. The average load time on web pages is over 3 seconds and mobile web pages take an average of 8 seconds to load.

If you want to reduce bounce rate—and increase sales—make sure your site loads fast!

There are various ways you can do that: optimising images, compressing JavaScript/CSS files, reducing server response time and minimising redirects.

According to a study from KISSmetrics, if a website takes longer than 3 seconds to load Google sends those users over to a competitor’s website. In fact, 63% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less… meaning it is imperative for businesses to deliver an excellent user experience by implementing strategies that help their websites load faster.

After all, 54% of consumers say they will not return to sites with poor performance. Imagine what could happen if your website had just one more conversion per day? The impact on revenue would be enormous!

How website speed affects revenue

A one-second delay in page load time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions and 10% fewer page views per visit.

Ecommerce sites see an even greater impact: 16% fewer purchases and 11% fewer customer returns. In fact, as websites become more complex, each additional second of page load time will likely cost you hundreds or thousands of pounds.

Furthermore, several studies have shown that slow sites correlate with higher customer support costs because customers get frustrated trying to access information on slow sites and contact support for help.

According to Aberdeen Group, two seconds slower than average can translate into 24% more support contacts resulting in higher costs and lower profits.

How website speed affects publicity

We all know how important it is to have a fast website. But sometimes, when we’re so focused on our rankings and traffic, we forget to take a step back and think about how website speed affects your publicity.

If your site is crawling along in Internet terms (even if you aren’t experiencing any major technical issues), people will stop visiting and sharing your content.

And that will impact almost every part of your online presence. It could hurt your rankings. And it can make you look sloppy or unprofessional, hurting credibility.

If users are likely to leave before they’ve found what they came for or even given up entirely, there goes user experience too—not good for ratings or retention rates!

How website speed affects loyalty

The faster your site loads, the more likely customers are to stick around. A study by Akamai found that 53% of users expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. And 41% will abandon a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

These stats make speed a key factor for improving customer loyalty and company reputation online.

As consumers spend more time online, they value websites that work quickly and efficiently. It’s important to not only look at how quickly you can get a page from point A to point B but also how easily visitors can get from there to where they want to go next—and whether what you provide is going help them achieve their goals.

How website speed affects traffic

Users judge a website’s speed as an indicator of how professional and reliable it is. If your site loads slowly or isn’t easy to navigate, you can expect users to take their business elsewhere.

According to one study, 53% of visitors will abandon a website if its pages do not load within three seconds; that number jumps to 68% when webpages do not load within five seconds.

Additionally, 79% of shoppers will go somewhere else if they cannot complete a purchase in three steps or less on a mobile device (they expect instant gratification).

And 61% will go elsewhere if they experience more than five redirects while trying to get from one page to another on your site. All this results in less visitors and page views.

How website speed affects customer experience

The average adult attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish at eight seconds. This doesn’t leave much time for loading and buffering.

However, if your website takes too long to load (no matter how beautiful it is), you will see your customer satisfaction level decrease. If your site visitors are unhappy with the speed of your site, they are more likely to find another source.

Even worse, they may contact your company via social media or some other outlet to make their complaints known. Either way, you lose potential business opportunities.

How website speed affects checkout rate

Online shoppers have a lot of things to worry about when trying to decide whether or not to buy a product or service. Should I read more reviews? Is that a scam? Did someone else get a better deal?

One thing they don’t worry about is your website speed. If their site takes too long to load, it’s easy for them to get distracted and go elsewhere. Studies show that having a slow website will reduce your e-commerce conversion rate by 20 percent.

You can expect 80% of all visitors to leave if your page takes longer than 3 seconds to load. At that point, you aren’t just losing sales—you’re losing customers altogether.

Don’t let slow speeds crush your checkout conversion rates!

How website speed affects shopping cart abandonment

A fast site can have a profound impact on user behaviour. A study from Akamai revealed that 76% of consumers expect web pages to load in 2 seconds or less. Anything over 3 seconds tends to annoy users and will result in an abandonment of purchase intent.

The same survey also showed that 40% of consumers are likely to abandon their shopping cart if their page takes longer than 5 seconds to load. These numbers show how vital website speed is for ecommerce sites.

After all, these sites make their money based off conversions, not impressions. If they make it difficult for shoppers to check out quickly, they won’t be making any money at all.

How website speed affects SEO

In a world where every millisecond counts, website speed is an important factor in your SEO. Google rewards websites that are faster to load by ranking them higher; more importantly, users prefer fast-loading sites to slower ones.

Google made page speed and mobile responsiveness search algorithm updates in 2016 because those two factors play such critical roles for both users and search engine rankings.

The good news is it’s pretty easy to optimise your site so it loads quickly—Google even has some tips on how they determine if a site is slow. But it does take a bit of work to make sure everything runs smoothly.

If you have sluggish code or old plugins bogging down your loading times, you can use scripts like Pingdom and Google PageSpeed Insights to check what you’re doing wrong. And once you know exactly which elements are slowing down your site, there are plenty of ways to optimise each one.

Google recommends using CSS sprites, minifying HTML and JavaScript files, using asynchronous scripts (if possible), adjusting browser caching settings (for example serving up static content), compressing images (e.g., JPG vs PNG), minimising redirects (where possible) and increasing server response time.