There’s no denying the importance of optimizing your website for speed, but just how far should you go? Some pages (and maybe even yours) are in need of a major overhaul to meet customer expectations that are rising by the minute.
Is it worth the time and money invested? To put it simply: yes. Akamai Technologies published a study that surveyed 1,048 online shoppers and drew the following conclusions based on their experiences with eCommerce sites:
– 40% will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
– 52% of online shoppers claim that quick page loads are important for their loyalty to a site.
– 14% will start shopping at a different site if page loads are slow, 23% will stop shopping or even walk away from their computer.
– 64% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with their site visit will go somewhere else to shop next time.
Guess what? That survey was from 2009. Customer expectations have only escalated and probably more than you think. Advancements in technology always raise the bar, but what do these numbers mean exactly? Other than the obvious conclusion that humans are generally impatient in nature, it means that below average website performance can essentially shut the door on potential customers before they even have a chance to see what you offer. In other words, less money in your pocket!
So where do we go from here? First we need to analyze our website and see where it’s lacking. My favorite resource is GTmetrix because it gives you both the Yahoo! YSlow score and the Google Page Speed score. It gives you recommendations to increase overall speed and even prioritizes the categories so you know precisely where to focus your efforts to see the largest gains. The best part is, you can compare URLs to see how your site stacks up against your competitors. Pay close attention to the recommendations section. It’s free advice!
I relied heavily on GTmetrix when designing the homepage for my eBook, and it paid off with a page load time of 1.25 seconds, a solid 97% score on the Google Page Speed test, and a respectable 85% score on Yahoo’s YSlow test. Not bad numbers, but there’s still room for improvement:
Other things to consider:
|Faster Website means downloading pic like this in a qtr second|
Every second counts. First impressions are vital, and if your first impression is a clumsy, slow loading website, then you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage from the very beginning. Also keep in mind that more people are accessing the Internet through mobile devices now than ever before, so don’t underestimate the importance of a functional mobile version of your site. If those reasons weren’t enough to get the tweaking process rolling, Google also uses page load speed as a minor ranking factor. Although it’s not currently a major part of the algorithm, it’s a factor nonetheless.
Via Justin Mathhew