In the wide world of speed, seconds count. Split-seconds count. Can you imagine the frustration of a sprinter, NASCAR driver, skier who trains for years only to lose the big race by a quarter of a second?
That’s why they tweak every aspect of their bodies, cars, skis. Perhaps by dropping a few pounds, reshaping a windshield, finding a better ski wax, they’ll close that gap. It’s a relentless search for that elusive quarter second.
It’s not that different in the world of websites. Speed means more each day and not just to users who are becoming more demanding and impatient. Your website might not be seen because of a low search ranking due to its lack of speed because of Google using Core web Vitals as a ranking factor. And speed is at the heart of what they see as vital.
Basically, your website has three seconds to load; a bit longer if the user is on their mobile device as the average webpage takes 87% longer to load on mobile vs. desktop. But, of course, the bar is always being raised. And even if you are fast, if your chief competitors are faster, you’ll lose visitors and sales.
Speed and the UX
Websites are service tools, they are all about delivering to the user what they want in the format they want it in. A sluggish website leads to annoyed visitors who will eventually abandon it for a better alternative because something quite similar is simply a click away.
Fast websites lead to greater satisfaction, longer visits, fewer bounces, more interaction, more sales.
Speed and the Ranking
Our Cyberlord Google is constantly changing its analytics to offer its searchers the best options for their inquiries. In their Core Web Vitals, are various criteria they deem to make a good overall experience for the user. One of the ways in which your ranking is determined is the website’s speed. That can be loading speed and bounce rate which is the number of visitors who visit your website and then leave without doing anything there.
Speed and the Sales
With as much as 60% of shopping being done online, speed is a major factor for buyers who are spending vast amounts of time clicking through online catalogs of clothes and chainsaws. If your pages load slowly, and a visitor is not in the mood to wait around, well, doesn’t Bass Pro Shop offer essentially the same goods as Cabela's?
Consumers cite slow loading (64%) as one of their top irritations when shopping online.
Speed and the Mobile
Half of all web traffic is coming from mobile devices. Optimizing your website for mobile users is critical for today and even more important for tomorrow. Mobile networks and smartphones are getting faster and so the wait times that were acceptable last year no longer are.
How fast should your website load on a mobile device? Google expects your webpage to load in under five seconds on 3G and even faster on 4G networks.
Speed and the Credibility
Because we are getting speed and then expecting speed, when we don’t get it, two things pop to our minds. One is simple annoyance and the other is fear. A slow-loading website makes us think that we’ve inadvertently clicked on a bad website, one that will seek to do us harm. A malicious website is slower to load because it is simultaneously trying to do harm to your computer.
Also, we now tend to think of the website’s performance as a reflection on the professionalism of the company who owns it. After all, it’s the digital face of the company. If it’s not polished and effective, then how good are they at the rest of their business?
Like with the sprinter, driver, or skier, the search for speed is never over. Your website will need to be worked on to become fast and then maintained to that speed even while you continue the search for that extra half-second that you'll eventually need.
With offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, CA, New Target provides digital strategy, web design, web development, data integration, application hosting, and online marketing for prominent national associations, corporations, and government agencies.
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