Loading Speed Matters: How Slow Websites Lose the Race

Carl Lewis - Loading Speed Matters

Does site speed matter? Yes.

Website speed issues are usually issues with the website itself, and that means technical fixes. Plenty of small business owners would rather ignore the problem as long as the page eventually loads. Some have even questioned addressing site speed as a valid use of time and money.

But for the digital marketing world, the “debate” about site speed has quieted, largely because there’s not much to debate. Google declared long ago that site speed is a ranking factor. It’s not a big one, but nevertheless, a slow loading time will have a negative impact on your search rankings.

Bounce rate is also a ranking factor. This is the rate of visitors who immediately leave a webpage for any reason, either by closing the window or hitting “back” on their browser. A slow website will have a higher bounce rate, because modern internet users demand faster websites. A high bounce rate will also negatively impact your site’s search rankings. So, slow site speed will actually affect two ranking signals from Google.

Studies show that nearly 50% of web users will abandon a page if it takes more than three seconds to load. Nearly 90% of users are unlikely to return to a site after one bad experience. Think about that.

How can I tell if my site is too slow?

There are various tools to show site speed:

  • PageSpeed Insights – This page will allow you to check the overall speed of a site from its URL, and will provide recommendations on exactly how to fix the issues.
  • PageSpeed Tools browser plugin – This browser plugin offers similar functionality, but will allow you to view the data as you browse without leaving the window.

What can I do about it?

The tools listed above will often have recommendations, but they are usually highly technical and somewhat difficult to understand. Your best bet is to contact your webmaster to assist.

Some common fixes to help speed your site up are:

  • Using smaller, size-appropriate images
  • Employing browser caching
  • Minifying code text, including JavaScript and CSS
  • Code fixes may help with site speed, but beware – sometimes the code is the main problem. Over the years, webmasters may employ various fixes, to the point where there are fixes designed just to fix previous fixes. This is Band-Aid medicine.

At a certain point, you’ll have to ask yourself: is this site’s code just hopelessly messy? If so, consider building a whole new website — it’s one of the most important investments a business can make, and your customers will take note.

If you’re in the market for a free website, or just need a free evaluation of your current website, give us a call at (877) 865-1267.

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Author: Rahul Alim
Custom Creatives was established to serve as your full-service one-stop Digital Marketing Company, offering graphic design, web design and web development agency, catering to businesses of all sizes. Custom Creatives has designed and deployed over 100,000 banner ads, as well as thousands of websites and landing pages and print collateral for small businesses and large international corporations. Providing exceptional quality services and products with a high return on investment is at the heart of everything we do.


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