Seems like an innocuous question, but often people are surprised when they learn the truth. While the United States may lag behind quite a few when it comes to average internet speed, most of us still have a good enough connection to visit just about any site. So does how fast your website loads really matter? The truth is, it matters a great deal. Here are a few reasons...
1. Search engines take site speed into account - Every time a search engine directs someone to your site, it is measuring how long it takes to load the site. Not just the home page, but every line of code or function in the system. While most of this should happen in a matter of milliseconds, every delay could end up costing you traffic if the search engine docks your ranking due to load time.
2. Users have short attention spans - This topic has been discussed ad nauseam, but it is true. A user might suspect something with their internet the first time a page loads slowly, but pretty quickly they will blame the website and leave. The bigger issue is that once they leave, you are unlikely to get them back. If your website takes even a second too long to load, you will lose traffic.
3. User experience is crucial to sustained traffic and growth - A second or two delay on one page, another second delay as the carousel loads, and then a bit more as a dropdown list populates. While none of these items are that bad by themselves, they can combine to create a terrible user experience. After all the time you have spent building your digital presence, you could lose traction because a simple chart did not load fast enough.
The internet can be a tough place to operate. Websites rely on multiple systems to be built and even more for people to find their location. Site speed may seem like an afterthought, especially because it seems like your site loads in a blink of the eye, but the little details in site speed and page load can make all the difference in the success of your website.
Wondering how your site checks out? You can use this tool to test your site!