When trying to save money business owners tend to focus on two things when they select a web design team: aesthetics an (above all else!) cost. Unfortunately, the combination usually means outsourced and/or inexperienced developers. It almost always means zero attention to critical performance issues, including site speed.
Page load time should now be your developer’s top priority. Why? Because it is an essential element of user experience – and ignoring it will seriously handicap your site’s chances of success.
Why Should You Care About Site Speed?
The most straightforward answer is that site speed impacts user experience and your ranking in Google’s search results. If an important page on your site loads at a snail’s pace, it can negatively affect:
- Your search rankings
- Site bounce rate
- Page views
Increased Page Speed Helps With Crawling
You probably know that Google is by far the most popular search engine in the U.S. and worldwide. Site speed is one of the biggest advantages for a website during Google’s routine crawls and indexing. Google’s set bandwidth ultimately means that its crawls can be limited by your page speed.
Essentially, the faster your page speed, the more pages Google will crawl and index. As Google indexes more pages from your site, your pages will have a greater chance to rank well in Google’s search results.
The Impact of Site Performance on Consumer Behavior
It’s a well-known fact that consumers always want ‘more’. This eternal search doesn’t stop at your website. Your user experience needs to provide more of what your consumers want out of your brand. The most effective way to do so is through effective optimization of your page’s speed.
Many sites lose potential customers simply because visitors don’t want to wait for thei slow pages to load. A well optimized page will keep guests on your site and help you avoid the 2 second patience break that might drive them away to your competitors. The process of getting visitors to read and take action on your site all starts with how fast you pages load.
Common Mistakes That Slow Pages Down
A split second can mean the difference between a conversion or a bounce. Don’t let time and money slip through your fingers because of these common mistakes made by DIY web designers.
Image and Font Optimization
Take the time to ensure that your site is well optimized from the inside out. Font size and poor image optimization are little issues that quickly add up.
Slapping an image on your site just because it looks good – ignoring image size – can actually damage your site by increasing your load time. That means higher bounce rates.
The same can be said for web fonts. While they add to the aesthetics of your site, the character doesn’t matter when your pages are too slow to keep potential customers interested. The fonts you select for your site are comprised of numerous glyphs. Fonts function based on the complexity of each glyph’s vector paths and the number of glyphs in each font. Left unchecked, a flashy font can be tough for a browser to render on its own. This issue results in render blocking and blocked text painting that delays the performance of critical pages.
The extra steps of image and font optimization not only ensure that your site has a unique, professional look and feel but can also boost rendering, which helps get your page speed up to snuff.