Improving web page load times boosts revenue (Part 1)

Web page load time can have a big impact on user behavior and traffic flow to your site.

Not only can slow load times lower your Google algorithm ranking, it can lose you the customers you already have because they don’t have time in their busy schedules for your grocery cart page to load. However, visitors also expect high quality websites with easy navigation, intuitive flow from one page to the next, and a quick checkout process. In order for your site to handle this kind of complexity, you’ll need higher end servers and lots of bandwidth. Walking the balance between having good website performance and catering to all your visitors’ needs can be very tricky.

Reasons for slow load time

If you’re experiencing slow load times on your site, Mike Quinn, President of Yellow Bridge Ineractive, said some reasons might include “low server memory, competing resources, or data influx.” If you have a lot of images, content marketing, or apps your site may slow down even further. “Bottom line,” Quinn said, “your website’s speed can be the difference between generating revenue and not generating revenue. You should not stop monitoring a website’s performance.”

Customer pet peeves

Quinn’s point about  monitoring is an important one. In the day-to-day bustle of company business and website upkeep, you might forget to check to be sure the home page is still loading quick enough and links don’t get broken. Second after slow load time on customers’ lists of pet peeves is when links break or lead to empty pages.

Optimal web page load time

How fast is good enough? According to Jupiter Research, “The average online shopper in 2006 expected a web page to load in four seconds. Today, those same shoppers expect web pages to load in two.” This goes for both desktop and mobile devices, or you run the risk of customers switching allegiance to your competitors. Keep in mind as well that different browsers have different requirements for the best website performance, so don’t focus all your efforts on Firefox or Chrome and leave out visitors who use Explorer, Safari, or some other browser.

Using responsive web design

One way to solve compatability issues is by utilizing responsive web design (RWD), a technique that allows your site to adjust itself depending on how it is being viewed. Text, images, and menus can be scaled or simplified to be mobile-user friendly. This also helps with website load time.

Source: Forbes

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