As the saying goes, some of us have a need for speed. And online users are no exception. In fact, they’re the neediest of all.
For perspective, according to some website load time statistics, latency is the number one reason why U.S. consumers decide to bounce from mobile pages. Moreover, just a two-second lag in the time it takes for a website to load can increase bounce rates by 103 percent.
For affiliate marketers especially, creating content that converts is everything. But if that content doesn’t load fast enough on a webpage, it was all for nothing. Online users might even bounce before they see your impressive blog design.
No matter how an online user wound up on your site — whether it’s the result of an email marketing campaign or click on a social media post — first impressions matter. And for a website, that first impression is the page load speed.
Also referred to as website speed, page load speeds directly affect a business’s bottom-line and they also directly influence how website visitors interact with your site. And mere milliseconds can make a difference.
Consider the following facts and figures.
How 0.1s Makes a Difference in Website Speed
For more context, and according to those same website load time statistics, decreasing site load times by just one-tenth of a second can:
increase retail customer engagement by 5.2 percent
result in an 8.4 percent increase in conversion rates for retail sites, when that load times decrease is on mobile
lead to bounce rates of lead generation pages improving by 8.3 percent
can boost conversion rates by 8 percent
Worth mentioning is page load speed is a separate concern from why your blog has poor traffic. It’s about how the traffic or online users that do come to your site are treated, meaning how long they’re waiting to be served what they clicked on it.
Think of it like walking into a restaurant. No one likes waiting for a table for minutes on end. Rather, you want to be seated right away and served immediately.
The same goes for page load speeds — online users want the content they clicked on and they want it right they land on your site.
Website Speeds Across Industries
Consider the following industries and their page load times, according to Google:
Tech sites take 11 seconds to load on average.
Travel sites take 10.1 seconds to load on average.
Retail sites take 9.8 seconds to load on average.
Automotive industry sites take 9.5 seconds to load on average.
Media and entertainment sites take 9 seconds to load on average.
Business and industrial sites take 8.7 seconds to load on average.
Finance sites take 8.3 seconds to load on average.
Classified sites take 7.9 seconds to load on average.
Why the lengthy list? Well, despite users’ wishes for lightning-fast page load times, knowing the average website speed across industries sets expectations. For bloggers, it also serves as a baseline for how fast their site should run. (Consider some website speed test tools to gauge just how quickly your site is loading.)
How To Improve Website Speed
So, how do you improve website speeds? Here, we’ve outlined a few beginner tips.
1. Optimize Your Images
The larger your image, the longer it will take to load. In other words, your image is unoptimized for your site. Be sure to check the specification for your web-hosting provider and adjust your image sizes and formats accordingly.
2. Reduce Page Redirects
Page redirects make your website think harder and, therefore, think longer. This is because they require an additional HTTP. When possible, reduce your redirects.
3. Consider Browser Caching
Another way to make your page load faster is to utilize browser caching so that when visitors return to your site, the browser already has the information from your site memorized and won’t have to take as long to reload it. There are several plugins for this.
All this to say, page load speed matters because it directly influences user experience — and in our fast-paced world, user experience is everything. So, consider adding “improve website speed” to your list of blog growth hacks for 2021.
For more website load time statistics and the ways in which page load speeds affect businesses, review the infographic below, courtesy of WebsiteSetup.