While most websites online focus on things like traffic, advertising campaigns, email marketing, and web conversions, they often overlook an important element that affects everything that they’re involved in – web performance. Websites now offer a wide variety of features and functions but also tend to demand more resources. As a result, users are faced with long loading times, confusing user interfaces, and overall poor browsing experiences.
Many website owners are aware of this to a certain degree but can’t find convincing reasons to do something about it. So the question that begs to be asked is: why invest in web performance?
A Positive Web Performance Retains Users
At the end of the day, the best way to build a valuable site is to build a user base that comes back again and again. Whether it’s a web app, blog, or shopping site, web performance affects the user’s decision to come back. Users understand intuitively that if your website doesn’t perform well, they are only a few clicks away from a website that lives up to their expectations.
In fact, there’s strong evidence that shows that poor web performance affects user retention. The BBC found that every extra second of loading time lead to 10% higher user abandonment rates. A study by Google found that more than half of mobile sites were abandoned if the site in question took longer than three seconds to load.
Excellent Web Performance Lead to Higher Conversions
As you can imagine, abandonment rates have a direct impact on your conversion rates. Most online businesses need to have strong conversion rates whether the goal is to generate leads, actions or sales. A study by mPulse mobile found that with each additional second of loading time, the conversion rate fell at about half a percent. This means that if your conversion rate starts at three percent at 2.4 seconds of loading time, having your website take two additional seconds will decrease your conversion rate to 2 percent.
This obviously has strong implications. If you’re running advertising or marketing campaigns, you are losing thousands of dollars in advertising costs and lost revenue. Poor web performance will also impact your marketing campaigns and the results you’ll see from your strategic partnerships. Basically, you’ll never see the full extend of what your campaigns are capable of without putting a strong emphasis on web performance.
Great Web Performance Leads to a Positive User Experience
User experience should also be very important to businesses. As mentioned earlier a poor user experience leads to increased site abandonment. But user experience is more than just about the numbers. It’s an essential component of building a brand. You have to realize that the perception of your brand is made up of multiple interactions over a period time. In essence, you want to provide a great experience time and time again if you want to build a large brand following, create strong brand identity/equity, and ensure brand longevity.
What Steps to Take Next
Now that you know the impact that web performance has on your entire business, you’re probably wondering what to do next. While this is a short list, here a few things to start looking at:
– Optimize your CSS code.
– Compress large images.
– Set up your website on faster servers.
– Eliminate unnecessary scripts and functions.
– Defer loading into sections.
– Improve the UI of the mobile version of your site.
– Think about how else you can improve the user experience.
These are just a small sample of the many things you can do to improve web performance. The process of improving web performance is very technical and you’ll most likely need help. So be willing to look for expert help and make it a priority as you start growing your business and website.
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