What Is Site Load Time?
Web site load time is the time it takes for your web page to load from the server where it’s hosted.
Google really finds this important measurement because they want the best experience for their users. The longer it takes for a web page to load, the more likely that person is going to leave that page.
You’ve probably experienced it and not long ago it was the norm. But with today’s high speed internet and everyone seeming to be in a huge hurry, load time has become an important factor and websites that load slowly can lose a lot of business because of this.
A Slow Website Means Poor Rankings
Google really value this aspect of their algorithm. Their main aim is for users to have a good user experience and if they know that they’re sending users to a slow website, it reflects badly on their algorithm and people will move away to another search engine. As a result, they don’t rank slow websites high up in the index.
What Is A Good Website Load Time?
Less than 1 second is excellent, 2 seconds is probably the norm but anything beyond 3 seconds is considered poor. You can check your own website speed here. Also Google have a great tool here. With the Google page speed application, if your site is 95% percent slower than all other sites, Google recommend that you take action and they will give you a list of things that you can do.
At the time of writing, the speed of this website was 2.35 sec using Pingdom’s tool.
There’s been a lot of research done on the negative effects of a slow page load time. Some studies show that for each 1 second it takes for your site to load may result in a 7% loss in conversions for your site.
To put this into perspective, if you have a large E-commerce site that sells products online and you do $1,000 per day in sales, for each additional second of page load time of your shopping cart page may be costing you up to $25,000 per annum in lost revenue.
“I Have a Slow Website, What Should I do?”
If you do nothing at the moment and just leave the website as is, well that’s fine but you’ll just be prolonging the inevitable.
This is going to become more important over time because as technology gets faster, newer websites and servers are built, you’ll probably be left in the past.
Here’s What You Can Do Today To Make Your Site Faster
If you run a WordPress website, there’s a free plugin W3 Total Cache this will enable your website to not get downloaded from the host every time a visitor goes to it. Rather it will show a previously downloaded version and this will make it load faster.
Videos, images and fancy website functionalities are one of the biggest culprits of a slow website.
The easiest thing to do is just make sure that all your images are optimised. Make sure that you haven’t loaded up huge files into the back-end that weigh down your site.
How Can I Optimise My Images and Videos?
If you use WordPress then you can use the Ewww Image Optimiser plugin.
If you have videos on your website, the best thing to do is put them on YouTube and then embed the link on your site – try Wistia for a great web based video player option that will host your videos and allow them to be embedded on your site. That will take a lot of the heavy lifting off your website as well.