Speed usually seems like a luxury. When it comes to faster cars, faster shipping, faster computers, or faster service, we appreciate the time saved—but we don’t think of it as necessary. In most of those cases, the slower model works just fine if you’re willing to wait.
The speed of your website, however, is much more than a little luxury. In fact, it’s a key factor in your ability to bring in and convert leads. A single second shaved off your website’s load time can be the difference between missing and attracting new business.
Ready to multiply the power of your website? Think fast! Here are three big ways a little extra speed can connect you with more customers or clients:
1. A fast website can improve your search rankings.
Countless businesses compete every day to get their websites to the top of Google Search—and for good reason. Organic searches through Google account for a sizable chunk of the traffic to most websites, putting businesses in contact with potential clients and customers they may not otherwise reach.
In May 2021, Google plans to launch a major algorithm update that puts more emphasis on page speed. In other words, how fast a webpage loads will influence the page’s rank in search results. While page speed has been an ingredient in the rankings mix for a while, this update significantly raises the bar and shifts website load time from a general consideration into a set of detailed metrics.
The bottom line is that, all other things being equal, websites that hit the bar on Google’s speed metrics will rise in the rankings, and slower websites will fall. And, while speed won’t be the only ranking factor that matters, it will soon take up a much bigger portion of the pie.
Want more details? Get up to speed with Google’s 2021 page speed updates here.
2. Faster websites make for better user experiences.
The faster your website loads, the better the experience it provides to your users—including your existing and prospective customers and clients.
To understand why, consider your own experience online: How do you feel when you try to use a slow-loading website? How about when the elements on a page shift around as it loads? Do you usually wait around, or do you back up and try a different website?
We all know what it’s like to wait too long for a website to tell us what we need to know. Whether you’re looking for a restaurant’s menu on your phone or searching for a local attorney’s services on your desktop, it’s frustrating to hit a slow-loading, laggy, or broken website. Moreover, it can shake your confidence in the service that business might provide—and, in all likelihood, prompt you to visit a different destination instead.
When your website is slow to load, it’s likely that your prospects are frequently choosing your competitors over you. Their immediate needs—to find answers, to access information, to get help—almost always outweigh any concerns about who meets those needs.
In terms of online search, it’s not just about finding the right answer—but the fastest one.
This is especially important for attorneys, doctors, and other professionals who help people with potentially life-changing problems. If prospective clients have to wait for your website to load, or if it’s sluggish as they use it, they’re going to build an impression of your business itself as slow, sluggish, and inconsiderate of their time.
3. Website speed can accelerate conversions.
Attracting people to your website via Google and providing a great user experience when they get there are the first steps. Now, let’s talk about conversions.
Faster websites are better at getting visitors to convert—i.e., complete a desired action, like filling out a contact form, downloading an offer, or clicking to call.
It’s not just a gut feeling. All kinds of businesses—from auto retailers to doctors and lawyers—have found that shaving even milliseconds from loading speeds can drive an uptick in conversions. Likewise, for every second of delay in load speed on mobile devices, conversions can fall by up to 20%.
Website speed affects retention and referral rates well. Users may convert once on a slow site, but they are less likely to return to the same business again or recommend the business to their friends and family. Ensure your website loads quickly, and you won’t miss out on valuable word-of-mouth marketing!
Get up to speed with award-winning website experts on your side.
These are just a few reasons to invest in your website and considerations for providing your visitors with the best possible experience. Clearly, a speedy website matters. And, thanks to Google, 2021 is the year where it really matters.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend hours of your time optimizing your online presence alone. Get your website up to speed by getting in touch with the experts at Foster Web Marketing.
Give our team a call at 888.886.0939, or schedule a website design consultation to learn about your current site speed and how to improve it!
For more tips about creating and improving your online presence, check out Ruby’s free guide.
Molly McCormick is Director of Marketing at Foster Web Marketing.