Web usability expert Jakob Nielsen, who’s been testing what web users really want since the mid-1990s before most people even had the internet, says this about page load speed:
“When sites shave as little as 0.1 seconds of response time, the outcome is a juicy lift in conversion rates. Today or the 1990s? Same effect.”
He goes on to add that web users prefer fast websites over gorgeous ones. And no VP of marketing aims for a “sluggish” experience in any area of business.
So, it’s super important for your bottom line that your website operates fast.
But, That’s Not the Only Reason Your Website Should Load Fast…
That’s because Google gives better rankings to websites that load fast. And this isn’t a recent rule.
In fact, it’s been in place for more than 5 years – since April 2010.
Remember: it’s Google’s goal to put websites with the most helpful information at the top of its search rankings. They’re a for-profit company, so they have to do that better than anyone else to stay in business.
After that, at a general level, they consider user experience. And since you already learned users want fast websites, that’s something you need to aim for.
How Do You Know if Your Website Loads “Fast?”
After all, people have different connection speeds. So not everyone’s experience is the same.
Some people might even still be on dial-up (remember that?)!
Fortunately, it’s easy to check. Google has a PageSpeed Insights tool that tells you (and appropriately so) in just seconds.
Simply enter in your URL. Google gives you a score of 1-100, with 100 being perfect. And it gives you separate scores for mobile and desktop versions of your website (you do have both, don’t you?).
Here’s an example so you see what we mean:
That’s the easy part.
The hard part is…making the changes. You don’t need a skilled developer to make them all, but you will need one to make most of them. Some you can get away with by using a simple WordPress plugin.
Examples of Websites that Load “Fast”
Believe it or not, you can shell out thousands of dollars making your website load fast. The good news is you don’t need to break the bank. You can get close enough if you’re on a budget.
But here’s a few websites that show you what to shoot for:
This website’s actually a thought leader in the online marketing space. Just click around on their site a little.
Notice how it loads so fast that you almost feel like you’re clicking on your desktop computer.
This site delivers news stories according to your interest. Like Copyblogger, it loads fast and has a simple design.
In conclusion, your customers want everything now, and the same goes with your website. So, it’s important to make it load fast for their benefit, and to keep your Google rankings high.