Page Loading Time 101: What is It and how it can affect your business

Keywords: website performance, website speed, page speed, page load time, mobile page load time, mobile consumer experience

 

With so many options just clicks away, shoppers nowadays have no time to waste on poor performing websites. Poor website performance and user experience can be caused due to a few issues, but the most important one out of those is page load time. If you are in any business where your website is a source of revenue, you need to know and act on page loading time right now because if you don’t, you will be losing out on a lot of revenue that your competitors will be gaining!

 

What is Page Load Time?

 

 

Well, according to Google, Page loading time is the average time (in seconds) it takes a certain page to go from initiation (Clicking on the link or pressing enter after typing the URL) to completion and display of the page to the visitor. Putting it simply, it is the amount of time a certain page takes to show up on your computer screen after you have tried to access it. Page speed can also be called to be “Time to first byte” which is the length of time your browser takes to receive the first byte of information from the web server.

 

How Does Longer Page Loading Time Take Away your Sales?
A recent survey by Microsoft Corporations has shown that our social media and smartphone based life has brought our attention span down to 8 seconds! Which means that human beings nowadays, spend 8 seconds on a topic on an average before moving on to another. With those kinds of numbers in mind, do you really think that people will be waiting for minutes for your site to load? Of course not, in fact, according to surveys done by Akamai and Gomez.com, it has been found that most people expect pages to load within 2 seconds, maximum. 79% of the consumers participating in the same survey stated that they will not return to a site if they experienced poor website performance the first time around. A staggering 52 percent has also stated that quick page load time and website performance is a significant factor when it comes to being loyal to the website.

 

A long page loading time has also been found to be associated with reducing mobile consumer experience significantly. E-commerce site pages which have not been bootstrapped properly tend to have lower mobile page load time and may stand to lose out on a lot of revenue. A one second delay in page loading time for an e-commerce website that earns $50,000 a day may cause the business to lose out on approximately a million dollars annually.

 

How to measure Page Loading time
A lot of entrepreneurs have a tough time when it comes to measuring their website speed. No, you don’t have to keep a stopwatch at your hand when you are measuring page load time, nowadays, there are a plenty of websites online which can help you measure the page loading times of your website. A few examples include KeyCDN Speed Test, Google Page Speed insights, Pingdom and UpTrends.

 

Websites such as KeyCDN can give you a detailed overview such as this on the loading times of your website’s pages.

 

Effects of low Page Speed:
Low Page speed can have a myriad of effects on your website, not only on your sales but on other aspects as well, here are a few aspects which may be adversely affected by slow page loading speeds:

 

• Low SEO score:

Most people dislike low website speed, so when a page takes a long time to load, it’s usually associated with high bounce rates as well. One of the prime factors that effect Google’s SEO score is the experience that a site provides to its visitors, and naturally, high bounce rates are associated with websites that are not able to provide a good experience to its visitors. Thereby, lower page speeds are often associated with lower SEO scores.

 

• Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty:

A lower website speed has also been found to adversely affect customer satisfaction levels as one research has found that a one second delay in website speed has caused customer satisfaction to go down by 16%. With the bearing down of customer satisfaction, so does customer loyalty. This is immense for any e-commerce business nowadays as ensuring customer loyalty & satisfaction is often hailed as the best way for customer retention. 52% online shoppers have stated the importance of a quick loading site when it comes to retaining customer loyalty.

 

This infographic sheds light on how much page speed can affect your online business.

 

 

 

 

• Conversion:

Any e-commerce businessmen will understand the significance of conversion; you can have the best marketing strategies in place to bring hoards of people into your site, but if your website performance is poor, you can be sure that most of those visitors won’t actually place an order in your site and follow through with it.

 

Conversion is often called “User Optimization” and there is an important reason for that, if a site is good for the users, provides the users with great experiences, then there will be higher conversions. If it’s not optimized for its users, then it will not be getting many conversions, it’s as simple as that!

 

• Search Engine Indexation:
Did you know that lower page speed can cause Google to not index your site properly? Yes, that’s absolutely right, folks! A lower page speed causes search engine crawlers to be able to index fewer number of pages using their allocated crawling budget and schedule, so for example, if a search engine crawler is only able to index 50% of your pages within its allocated schedule due to low site speed, the other 50% of your pages will not be indexed and thereby, you will lose valuable search traffic.