How Website Loading Speed can Improve Your Website Traffic

website loading speed

Whatever industry they are in, and whatever the purpose of their website, there is no denying each and every webmaster on the planet would dearly love more traffic headed to their site. In fact, many companies invest big bucks in drawing extra traffic to their pages and boosting their search engine ranking through targeted SEO campaigns.

One factor which is often underestimated in the quest for more online traffic is the speed at which the website operates. Good SEO will help people to find your site and excellent content will make them stay, but if your site is taking ages to load up, the temptation to simply click the back button and find a site that doesn’t make them wait around could be too much for your customers.

The risk factors

Poor performing websites that take a long time to load will reduce traffic in two distinct ways.

1. Customers will abandon your site

In a study by Akamai, they found that 47 per cent of web users expected websites to load up in around 2 seconds. Forty per cent of web users would be keen to navigate away from the website if it took longer than 3 seconds to load and, even if they do stay long enough to buy something, 79 per cent said they would not return to the site if they experienced slow loading times once.

2. Google could penalise your rankings

Since 2010, Google have included loading speed in their ranking algorithm, which means your hard-won spot on page one of the search results could be at risk if you choose to ignore this factor. In practice, Google say this only affects around 1 per cent of active websites, but there is another way that you could be penalised because of your website’s poor performance.

Google monitor the ‘bounce back’ rate from your site, i.e. the number of people who click a link from their search results but swiftly hit the back button and return to the search page. This indicates to Google that they have directed a customer to an irrelevant or low-quality site, making them less inclined to return your site for that search query in future, whereas in reality it was just that your customer couldn’t wait around for the page to load.

The potential

Increasing the loading speed of your website can have far-reaching benefits for your business. Here are just a few of the results other businesses have documented after decreasing the page loading time of their websites:

• Shopzilla reduced loading time by 3 seconds and saw a 25 per cent increase in page views, 12 per cent more revenue and 50 per cent less hardware.

Firefox reduced load times by 2.2 seconds and saw an increase in download conversions by 15.4 per cent.

• Netflix saw a drop in outbound traffic of 43 per cent after they enabled compression.

Overall the potential to increase traffic and give your users the very best experience possible means site loading speed is just too important to ignore. Begin with a website speed test to see how your site is performing now, and work from there to eliminate those elements which are slowing it down and boost performance and traffic instantly.

Have you check your site speed recently ? How is it performing ?

Image Credit: Jamiel Smith

Article by ZK

ZK has written 740 articles.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Davide August 20, 2013, 1:54 am

    Thank you so much.
    Sadly, my website loading time upto 6 second on home page…
    What should i do?
    Cuz i think it’s impossible to optimize the loading time within 3 seconds by only optimize the webpage.

  • Prakash August 20, 2013, 2:48 am

    You are right with the the psychology involved as it definitely affects a users decision to bounce off the site.

  • Hyptia August 20, 2013, 3:06 am

    Yes number of things are depend on loading speed of website because visitor don’t have much time to wait open for site. So these are the tips which you should apply to make your site perfect with loading time.

  • Social Media Marketing Services Los Angeles August 20, 2013, 12:20 pm

    Can you please advice us to improve load time of Magento website?

    • Emma Citrix August 23, 2013, 5:26 am

      You can analyze the load time issues on pingdom(dot)com.It’ll show you all the points you have to focus on to improve the load time.

    • Jasmine August 26, 2013, 1:05 pm

      I think Magento is a huge software. There are a few areas you can look at to improve its speed as well as the website.

      1. Use a better hosting, such as VPS
      2. Use CDN for the images
      3. Optimize the database
      4. Use caching, for example memcache if possible

  • Sohail August 25, 2013, 11:50 am

    Well yes, i do agree with your point regarding loading speed of a site as i personally experienced it. As the better loading speed will give good impression to visitors and make them daily readers.

  • Jasmine August 26, 2013, 1:07 pm

    Website speed is more and more important these days, as search engines also emphasize this. There are a number of ways to do this, and one of the most important one is to use a reliable web hosting company.

    Try HostGator and Bluehost, and if you are really serious – use Wp-engine (if you are on WordPress).

    Cheers!

  • Sbazaar August 31, 2013, 7:35 pm

    Load speed is a vital element in terms of search engine results.
    Now with mobile platforms it becomes more crucial and critical.

    Thanks.