Do Website Page Loading Times Really Mean Anything?

If you have research website designs and search engine optimization on the internet, you must have seen people putting a lot of emphasis on page load times. So, does it r…

If you have research website designs and search engine optimization on the internet, you must have seen people putting a lot of emphasis on page load times. So, does it really matter for a website to load faster? Can a couple of seconds in page loading time really make that big of a difference? The simple answer to the question is yes. Page loading time is one of the metrics used by Google to rank a website in its results. While it might not be the most important metric, it is one of the more important ones. Not to mention, anything that contributes to an improved SEO ranking should not be ignored.

Effects of Page Loading Time for a Website

There is a reason why experts will always recommend professional website designs for small and starting businesses. According to the statistics on page loading times, you could lose your conversions by up to 7% if your page loads only one second late. This same delay can cause your page views to go down by 11%. If you become a business that makes millions every month, this delay could cost you over a million dollars every year in terms of sales. So, even if the SEO side of page loading time is not compelling enough for you, the lost sales should definitely sound the alarm.

The example of GQ Magazine is a great one to understand the importance of page load times. They increased their website traffic by 5 million by reducing their initial page load time of 7 seconds down to just 1.5 seconds. In addition to that, they were able to convince their visitors to stay longer on the website by making this basic improvement. Median time for their visitor-stay on the website was 5.9 minutes before the page load time was reduced, and it went up to 7.8 minutes after making the change. What this proves is that page load times also help reduce the bounce rate of your traffic.

Another study done on the same subject showed that most internet users would ideally expect a website to open within 2 to 3 seconds. Any website that takes longer to load than 3 seconds sees a huge abandon rate. A great number of online shoppers quote website loading time in combination with user experience as their reason for purchasing or not purchasing something from a particular website. This should be pretty clear by now that your page loading time contributes big time towards user experience – the new point of focus for all website designers today.

How to Improve Website Loading Time?

There are many things that are affecting your website loading time. First, you want your JavaScript, CSS, HTML and any other elements of website design to be compressed. There are many tools you can use to compress these files. Furthermore, you will need to do some trimming in order to make the code smaller and scrap the code that is not being used. Your website design should be simple, uncluttered and user friendly. Use of images and videos should be done wisely i.e. keeping them light and SEO friendly.

Your choice of website host also matters a lot here. You might have a perfectly optimized website but your servers could be causing your website to load slowly. If you are an international business with people landing on your website from various parts of the world, you might also want to use CDN services. Other suggestions include putting your stylesheets on top and scripts at the bottom. However, these things are best taken care of by your website design company.