Survival of the Fastest

Why a quick and clever website can work better than a slow and fancy rival

We know that internet connection and download speeds have improved in the last few years. However, so have our expectations. 2015 was the year of the on-demand movement. Where the saying, “I want it and I want it now”, was no longer seen as something someone would say whilst throwing a tantrum, but instead as a realistic demand. A while back we might have been prepared to suffer the slow arrival of images, and other fancy features, as a page downloaded – however now this is increasingly not the case.

A decade or two ago, ordering a catalogue by telephone and having it arrive through the post a few days later seemed okay. We’d then flick through the pages, select what we wanted to order, fill out a form, put our credit card details in the respective rows and send our order off in the post. We can even get our free-to-air TV on-demand! Fast forward to the present day and if a webpage doesn’t download virtually instantly, impatience kicks in and a few seconds seems like a lifetime. If we’re talking about your business or organisation’s site, then the result of this is often worryingly simple. People arriving through a search engine – who are potential customers for your products or users of your service – simply return to their search and go elsewhere. It is so frighteningly easy to lose such ‘customers’ – ones that you never even knew you could have had!

Winning The Race

It’s also vital to consider the likely behaviour of the actual search engines themselves. For instance, Google takes great interest in the speed at which a page loads when they are ranking websites. The reason for this is that Google wants to give its users the best possible experience, and that means serving them websites which perform well. If your site isn’t matching this criteria, Google are going to be less inclined to rank your website well.



The Survey Says…

Research by Kissmetrics and Aberdeen Group has been conducted in this vital area. Without having to go into great detail, it’s worth considering these three important findings:

  • A single second loading delay can reduce page views by more than one-tenth, and mean you would convert seven less visitors out of every 100.
  • Customer satisfaction scores for slow-loaders, those taking more than a single second, can be one-sixth lower.
  • Almost one in five mobile users will leave a page if it isn’t fully visible in just five seconds; add another five seconds and the numbers are up to three in 10.

What Does It All Mean?

If we take a look at the last point above, we can see that people increasingly, (probably now into the majority), are using their smartphones to access websites for research and purchases. Yet many companies still have websites that might be reasonably effective on desktops and laptops but pretty disastrous when people attempt to view them on the move through their tablet or mobile phone.

So, your aim is to match the need for an attractive, engaging and useful website with that of a quick download. To increase speed, it pays to look at reducing the file size of images, and lose any extra ‘bells and whistles’ if they do not add any real value to the user. Remember, you can probably keep some of these features on the desktop version of your website, but optimisation for other devices is all about creating a great user-experience!

Speed is a key area where business is won or lost. In a world where everyone seems to be in a constant rush hour you need your website to keep up with your users.

Need help increasing the speed of your website, or still looking to make your website mobile optimised? Get in touch with the professional web team at SponsoredLinX on 1300 859 600.