How Website Site Speed Affects User Experience
Patience may be a virtue, but it's not something you should expect from your website's visitors. We live in a fast-paced world where no one likes to be kept waiting, and forcing people to do so could lead to them going elsewhere for the product or service that they should be getting from you. The speed of a website, as perceived by the end user, is driven mainly by two factors, how fast results are returned and how long it takes a browser to display content. Both of these things have a significant impact on user experience. A poor user experience, then, will have a direct effect on all of the metrics that any business savvy online retailer should be monitoring: bounce rate, conversions, search rankings, and even how trustworthy users deem your website to be.
Bounce Rates and Conversions
Loading time is a major contributing factor to page abandonment. Research has shown that a 47% of consumers expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less, and if it takes longer than 3 seconds, then 40% will abandon the page completely. The same research has shown that a one second delay in site response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. This is a significant figure, if your site makes $1,000 a day, then over a year you would be losing out on $25,500. Improving site speed is easily achievable, so you should never lose money because of it.
Google uses page speed as a signal in its search ranking algorithms. Although it is not as significant a factor as the relevance of a page, the people at Google have carried out researchthat confirms that faster sites improve user experience. By including a 'usability factor' in their algorithm they are, in a sense, challenging site owners to improve the speed of their websites.
A slow website decreases customer satisfaction and should be addressed immediately. Seventy-nine percent of web consumers won't return to a website they had had trouble using, and 44% would tell a friend if they had a bad experience making online purchases—which why a business' reputation is essential to success. It all comes down to usability, if you've invested a lot of time and energy into the design of your site but it's a nightmare to use, then your potential customers are not going to wait around long enough to see it. So, with all of this in mind it's important to be aware of how fast your site is, as well as what's slowing it down. Check your site's speed with MetaCDN’s site speed test to find out how it compares to other sites, and whether or not it's hindering your success. If your site speed could be better, there are several things you can do to improve it. Google also offers tutorials that explain how to make a website run faster. In a digital age like ours, consumers will not wait for your site to load, so make sure your website is running smoothly and efficiently.