I have seen a lot of talk lately about the effects of page load speed on SEO. Many are claiming this can have an impact on how well your web site shows up in the search results. As a result, there are many resources out there for tracking you page’s speed. We have been optimizing the page load speed of our client’s sites and testing the results to see if these claims are, in fact, true.
Our results are still inconclusive on the search engine optimization test and the link to page load speeds, but we are still studying these effects. However, I have come to another conclusion that may have more of an impact on your feelings about page load speeds. My conclusion is that, in today’s fast paced world, it never hurts to have your site load as quickly as possible. If your site loads too slowly, people are possibly going to leave before they have a chance to see or find the information you want to share. If they never find that information, they may never become a customer. If you lose too many customers, you go out of business.
I know that sounds a little dramatic and maybe it is. Still, if your site is easy to use, easy to navigate and loads quickly, you are more likely to have happier visitors. Let’s think about the society we live in. The folks at your local fast food restaurant are concerned about the amount of time it takes for you to get your food. They are so concerned that they have timers at the drive-thru windows to make sure their employees get you your food in a predetermined amount of time. Have you ever been frustrated at the amount of time you have to wait in line at one of these establishments? We all have. Go one step farther and think about whether you have ever gone to one restaurant over another because one of them is always slower than the other. Yep, me too.
It is only natural that this same attitude would apply to finding information online. How fast your page loads can have an actual effect on the visitor’s opinion of you and your company. It may not be something that is in the front of their minds, but people react to many small issues each day based on things that go on in their sub-conscious.
There are many factors in web design that affect how visitors to your site respond. Page load speed is probably not one of the most crucial, but it is important to give your potential customers the best experience possible when they browse your site. This is just one more way to make your site stand out from the crowd. And, if it turns out that it helps with SEO and placement in the search engines like Google, then that is a bonus. Tomorrow, we will show you some methods for speeding up your page load times.