Are You Losing Customers from Your Website's Slow Page Load Time?
As a business owner, do you know how fast or slow your website pages load and how you stand relative to your competitors? Slow speeds can cause site abandonment, lower search rankings, and impact your success online.
Our research shows that a one-second delay in page load times carries a high cost. A one-second delay results in 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and a 7% loss in conversions. 47% of consumers expect sites to load in 2 seconds or less. Your site design must be ready to perform. If your page load is over 3 seconds, almost half of your visitors will leave before they arrive.
Measuring your site load speed is essential to identify any issues that are slowing your page delivery. Web page load speed is critical to users and search engines. Web designers like us can help optimize your website design and page speed. We can also improve your customer experience and competitive position.
WHY PAGE LOAD SPEED IS SO IMPORTANT
The majority of web users expect a site to load within 2-3 seconds. 53% of mobile users will abandon the page if the load time is over 3 seconds. Many sites across various industries average load speeds of 5-7 seconds. Slow load speeds like these fail best practices and customers' expectations. A 25% decrease in conversion rates occurs with even one extra second of page load time.
Website load speeds need to be a foremost priority for an online business to achieve top site performance. Speeding up your load times gives you a competitive advantage in search visibility.
HOW TO TEST THE SPEED OF A WEBSITE
Measuring your speed can help you identify issues with your current website design.
Page speed measures how efficient your website pages are at loading content. One tool, Google PageSpeed Insights shows a site speed score on both mobile and desktop. It provides a quick snapshot of how Google views your speed and usability.
Our website development team has tuned our code to meet Google's requirements. Our sites use optimized code to pass all metrics with flying colors. We optimize for mobile devices, the most demanding set of requirements, as a based line.
Many different tools are available to measure page load speeds. The scores they provide offer a detailed starting point for your web design and SEO. Top-performing websites track their page loading efficacy to optimize performance.
Still, most websites fail the 3-second load best practice benchmark. Furthermore, a recent MachMetrics study found the following. On average desktop sites take 4.7 seconds, and mobile website designs take 11.4.
Mobile-first indexing has made a fast UX even more important for search rankings. Google wants to direct users to sites that load and function well on mobile devices. It's now essential to reduce the loading time of the website on all form factors. It seems that desktop search rankings are now linked with mobile performance.
A key standardized measure of page speed is Time to First Byte (TTFB). TTFB is the browser wait time to get the initial piece of web page data from the requested web server. In short, TTFB measures web server responsiveness or 'quality.'
Your web hosting provider plays an enormous role in your TTFB score. Google would like all TTFB scores to be under 1.3 seconds. Optimizing web delivery reduces server response time and improves TTFB. One of our core web development goals of web delivery is to be better than the industry standard. We use local servers and an efficient framework to exceed Google's TTFB goal.
We've found that a good page load speed and TTFB score maximize the impact of your web design investment. gives you the best bang for your buck on your website investment. In short, there's a high correlation between low load speed and higher average value.
PAGE USER EXPERIENCE
Google's Page Experience is a set of criteria Google uses to determine the 'value' of your website to users. Currently, Google Page Experience has the biggest implications for mobile search. A major update of these metrics and measurement systems will roll out in mid-2021.
Update: Please see our 2022 Google Search algorithm updates blog for more information.
Google's algorithm works by evaluating how much each user values the content on your site. (i.e. how 'useful' your content is.) Google measures a user’s experience on a web page with a large set of data-informed criteria.
Google measures factors like page load speed, responsiveness, security, and advertisement loading patterns.
After measuring, Google combines these metrics with their Core Web Vitals. The resulting score helps determine how 'helpful' Google's algorithm believes your site is. In turn, this helps determine how likely your site will be to rank on the search engine results page (SERP).
Google's search algorithm rewards pages that offer a better user experience. Optimizing for these metrics helps deliver a good user page experience. So, build a website designed for speed and write valuable content for an advantage in search.
GOOGLE CORE WEB VITALS
Note: for the most recent information on Google's Core Web Vitals, read our 2023 blog.
A significant new component of the Google Page Experience is Core Web Vitals. First presented by Google in 2020, it will become an important search ranking factor in 2021. These metrics focus on user completion of events on a page. The score values are dynamic as users interact with the page. Scores are better when events execute faster. There are three outcome grades - Good (passes), Needs Improvement, and Fail.
Google's Core Web Vitals make up a new set of Google page experience criteria. Core Web Vitals check for several specific factors. Web Vitals use mobile design, SSL, non-invasive ads, safe browsing, page speed, and reliability to assess your website's value.
The Google Page Experience update including Core Web Vitals is likely to go live in May 2021.
Here is a more detailed description of the three Current Metrics in Google Core Web Vitals.
(LCP) Largest Contentful Paint (Loading) - the length of time your site takes to display key elements. LCP combines page load speed with the load time of useful content above the fold. Improving your Largest Contentful Paint will help you rank higher in search. A good LCP will conclude in under 2.5 seconds after a page begins loading.
(FID) First Input Delay (Interactivity) - the time interactive site elements take to load. FID measures the time between a user's first interaction and the page's response. A high FID helps determine a user's frustration. UX and user satisfaction often correlate with conversions. FID should be less than 100 milliseconds for a good user experience (UX).
(CLS) Cumulative Layout Shift (Visual Stability) - the frequency of changes in a page layout. Ads, images, and other design elements can all have a dramatic effect on page layout as they load. Each shift a user experiences is disruptive. Avoid intrusion and poor on-page experiences have a positive impact on Google's algorithm. The CLS should maintain a score under 0.1 for a good experience. Every shift lowers your score.
A website manager should take the following steps to improve their Core Web Vitals score:
- Use an excellent web hosting service
- Deploy Lite web pages for fast loading
- Optimize your site for mobile loading and browsing
- Secure your website with an SSL certification
- Use non-invasive on-page advertisements
HOW TO IMPROVE PAGE LOAD SPEED
Site speed is vital to your performance in search. How can you speed up your website load speed? Our website design team recommends checking two critical areas for speed optimization. Those areas are image compression and the minimization of HTTP requests.
Image compression may be the foremost speed optimization task and a core of the job. The smaller your image files, the faster your site will load. We recommend the following methods to optimize images:
- Use Gzip, if enabled
- Replace large, unoptimized images with smaller versions
- Use image compression tools. (My JTech, our proprietary CMS, compresses and optimizations any images as you upload.)
- Optimize every image, content container, and design element
- Run a compression audit on your site images. Convert PNGs to JPGs and compress them as much as possible.
- Optimize your eCommerce pages with both performance and visual appeal in mind.
Our web design team also uses several other effective methods to optimize page load time.
- Lazy load image files on image-heavy web pages
- Delete unnecessary images - Especially vital on commerce sites with heavy images
- Minify files by removing unnecessary characters and streamlining code to process functions faster
- Use asynchronous loading with minified HTML and CSS files. Loading files at the same time shortens the file-loading queue.
- Optimize the files browsers cache on the first visit
- Use a CDN or other external hosting option for videos
- CSS optimization for faster loading
- Uninstall unused plugins
WHAT EFFECT DOES SITE SPEED HAVE ON SEO
Page speed matters to search algorithms and your visitors. So, it affects your SEO. Optimizing page load speed can help your website rank on the SERP. You need a fast page load speed to compete with other top 10 organic results on the first search results page.
It is crucial to be under 3 seconds on average. Under 2 seconds is ideal for improved page engagement and conversions. The average site page loads in over 7 seconds. Fast page load speeds also reduce bounce rates. Lowering bounce indicates greater user interaction—helping improve search ranking.
If your site is slow to load, users will bounce. Visitors will spend less time on the site. Google will crawl fewer pages. Each event is a negative signal to Google's search algorithm.
A team of SEO professionals can optimize your page speed and address the new ranking metrics. Our team begins by running an SEO audit to determine the reasons your site may be lagging.
Afterward, our team will track, optimize and report on performance. We want you to understand the improvements in your page speed and visibility in search over time.
A WEB PARTNER FOR HIGH-SPEED SITES
Your business went to great effort to build your website. Get the most from your investment by optimizing it for speed. Speeding up your site pages helps visibility, conversions, and UX—setting them up for success.
Speed always plays a major role in delivering conversions. 79% of customers said they would not return to a site with slow performance. Walmart online found that every 1 second of load time improvement equals a 2% conversion rate increase.
We use specific techniques during your website's development to optimize it for performance. After your build in complete, our in-house digital marketing team will set up your SEO. Our digital marketing team is also happy to continue optimization as part of an ongoing SEO plan.
Regardless of your plan, we integrate SEO tools into every website we build. Our web development and SEO teams ensure that the most effective technical and SEO page speed optimizations are in each new website.
We partner with your business over the long term to monitor your current site performance and address any page speed issues. For older sites, we diagnose any issues before starting work. Issues can include large images, page elements, or bloated code.
Our digital marketing agency team will then use proven SEO tools to improve your page load speed.
Page speed optimization can be overwhelming if you don't have specialized SEO experience. You can trust us to measure, optimize, and launch a realistic plan to improve your performance.
Learn about the value that fast web page speeds bring to your business and how a holistic partner can continually optimize and support your website's success. Reach out today for your Web Vitals evaluation.