An average internet user has a need for speed because they are spoiled for choice. The attention spans are shortened and the window of opportunity to engage the customer closes fast. There is only one worse thing than the page that does not load: the one that takes forever to do so.  Hence, shaving off a second or two
 of your loading time could have a decisive effect on the overall success of your website as well as on one of the most important indicators that make or break it – the conversion rates.

At full speed

It seems that there is no clear correlation between a page loading time and search engine ranking. Be that as it may, the speed of the website still has a crucial role to play.
Namely,
the research shows that a bulk of users expect the page to load within two seconds. In case that does not happen, people move on and seek other ways of acquiring information or consuming content. Some people claim that three seconds is a sweet spot, and if you fail to hit it, you lose half of your potential customers.

Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that the mobile platforms have surpassed the desktop and now account for the majority of global search traffic. Not surprisingly, people are even less patient when they use the Internet on the go. They want seamless experience and pages that adjust to mobile screens efficiently.

Yet, there is no definite answer to the million-dollar question of how long a page should take to load. This depends on specific business goals, the industry sector you operate in, and the makeup of your website. For instance, in competitive, performance industries most companies aim at two seconds or less.

The bar is raised

The speed has a strong impact on the user experience and key performance indicators such as bounce and conversion rates, as well as engagement and consumer satisfaction. The slower the load time, the more the website lags behind the competition. The websites that are meant to drive a lot of traffic cannot afford to neglect performance optimization, since a single second can make a huge difference.

One study found that a 100-millisecond delay in page rendering decreased Amazon sales by 1%. Other experts have established that every second of loading time can improve conversion rates by 3%. The initial optimization is always more consequential, while the effect decreases as loading time shrinks further. In other words, you have more to gain and lose the slower your site is.

Some organizations may not be able to profit from keeping the speed at the top-notch level. Generally, it is always advisable to pay close attention to your ROI and factors that affect it, such as the volume of traffic. As we’ve already mentioned, the higher the traffic – the more money you lose for every extra millisecond in loading times.

Making it snappy

The first thing you should do is measure how are your pages holding up and test them from various locations around the world. Experts also argue that most websites should focus on front-end components rather than the web server and database infrastructure. This is not to say, however, that the back-end aspect is irrelevant.

Web hosting is one of the most overlooked pieces of the puzzle. The users access files and run programs from a remote server (computer), which needs to be fast enough. After all, a server has to execute code, serve files and run database queries. The good news is that there are many cloud solutions and shared web hostings for WordPress that provide free domain, support around the clock, and dedicated resources.  

As for front-end strategy, it encompasses Flash, JavaScript, CSS, images and other resources, and yields great results as it addresses elements that are loaded by a user’s browser. Bloated content and large page sizes are among the top issues that need to be resolved. Fortunately, there are efficient tactics like HTTP compression that do the trick.

Apart from those, many webmasters and owners strive to reduce the number of requests a browser needs to make and the distance to the website. All these tweaks reduce the page’s load time and ultimately enhance your sales and marketing pipelines. The list of tools and best practices goes on, so educate yourself and empower your pages to perform well on all digital fronts.

Step up

For better or worse, in the digital realm everyone wants everything instantly. Shabby speed is not tolerated, and why would it be? It is all about user experience and user satisfaction – the elements that are pivotal for any website’s success.  

A growing body of research supports opulent benefits that one can reap from improving the page loading time. Moreover, the load time could have an effect on rankings in the future as well. So, investing time and money in optimizing a website pays dividends later. Do not miss the chance to accomplish significant benefits in terms of conversion rates and reinforce the bottom line.