If you’ve ever visited a website that loads slowly, you know how painfully frustrating it is to wait what seems like forever for the site to load. In reality, websites usually load in a matter of seconds, but in today’s world where every second matters, we’ve become accustomed to having everything immediately.
Why Website Speed is Important
According to research by Google specifically on mobile page speed, the average page fully loads in 22 seconds! Try this, stop reading and count to 22…painful, right? I’m guessing most of you abandoned counting after 3. About 53% of visitors will abandon a mobile page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
You can see from the chart above that as the mobile page load time goes from 1 second to 3 seconds, the probability of bounce increases 32%, and from 1 second to 5 seconds, it increases to 90%! It only goes up from there, with every bounce possibly being a lost customer.
With over half of web traffic coming from mobile, you can imagine how a slow page affects your bottom line.
If that’s not enough reason to pay attention to speed, Google has also indicated that website speed is one of the signals it uses in its algorithm to rank sites on search engine results pages.
How to Measure Website Speed
If you are not currently using a company to help you manage your website or SEO efforts, there are a number of free tools you can use to measure the speed of your web pages. It’s as simple as plugging in a web page URL to get a website assessment based on a variety of factors and they will even give you recommendations on what you can do to fix any issues uncovered during the test.
If you’re using Google Analytics to keep track of page load times, you could be missing out on key data. The Google Analytics tracking doesn’t start until a web page has loaded in the browser. This means that if the page is slow enough, the visitor will abandon the page before it loads and this bounce would not be accounted for in your analytics reports. So, if you’re exclusively using Google Analytics to measure your site speed, you could be missing some very important feedback. It also means that as you make page load time improvements, you could initially see your analytics data get worse, because you’re speeding up the worst pages enough that they are now being reported.
Google Analytics reporting shouldn’t be ignored though as it does provide some great insight on all pages that have loaded, and you will most likely find pages that need to be improved.
WEBSITE SPEED TESTING TOOLS
- Google PageSpeed Insights:
- Pingdom Website Speed Test:
- GT Metrix Page Speed Test:
- Think with Google Test My Site:
What You Can Do to Speed Up Your Website
After you’ve run some tests to measure your website speed and responsiveness, you may have some recommended actions to speed up your website.
The most common and easiest optimization to implement is reducing image sizes. This involves compressing your website images to make the file sizes smaller, resulting in a faster page loading time. Once you’ve optimized your images, you’ll want to make sure to implement a process to do so each time you upload new website images to avoid page speed slow-downs in the future due to image sizes.
Remember to test your desktop and mobile versions of your website regularly to make sure your site is optimized for speed as you make changes to your website and its content.
If you’d like help analyzing and improving your website’s speed, contact us for a Complimentary Website and SEO evaluation.