The consequences of having a slow website
Multiple studies conducted by authoritative organizations show that the slower the web application, the less traffic, SERP ratings and conversions it gets — while drop offs increase.
To draw an analogy — people are leaving the queue to your digital office premises before your staff even gets a chance to greet them.
Every second costs a fortune.
If you are interested in statistics and studies, here are a few: a study from NNgroup about the need for speed and this one is from Google the All-father about industry benchmarks.
Page speed is a ranking factor in SERP
As the top player in the search business, Google the Incredible prefers to serve websites that load faster. Why? Because this company is in the business of delivering search results ASAP and more than anything else (apart from cash) it wants to make their users happy and engaged.
People who get search results faster seem to be happier.
Those who don’t get results fast enough, abandon Google. The tech giant doesn’t want that to happen, does it? So, it makes sense for them to favor websites that are faster. Because that helps both their business and us — their users.
The search engine is also keen on providing valuable content but, assuming the two competing resources are equally helpful and relevant, the one that loads faster will become more preferable and thus appear more frequently climbing the ever-elusive ad-filled SERP ladder.
It goes without saying that the further down the search engine results your company offer is the lower the probability your prospects will find you. To put it differently — those who appear on the first page get most of the traffic.
Drop offs are more frequent on poorly performing websites
People are getting exposed to thousands of different websites these days. Some are lightning-fast, while some appear to be slower than a chillin’ turtle.
It’s a no-brainer to skip the longer waiting times of a web page especially when the content hasn't proven its value yet. With so many crappy, copy-paste websites out there user expectations are very low when it comes to a new, unheard-of website.
There is a bit of a hassle that nobody really wants to go through. How keen are you to wait for a web page to load particularly if it’s an unfamiliar one?
There is always an enticing tickling that grows with every passing second that beckons us to look for other options — available at the tap of our fingers.
Visitors drop off when they identify the snail pattern — “This website is too slow. Forget about it. On to the next!” Users don’t want to put up with slow websites.
Next time you browse the Internet, notice your own reaction toward loading speeds. Think about it — perhaps your prospects have similar feelings towards your company website. Would you prefer them to drop off midway or would you rather do something about the ways to increase your page speed?
Slow websites have an impact on environment
You might think this to be somewhat of a stretch but bear with me. The longer it takes to load the website, the more electricity is consumed by the devices, servers and intermediary infrastructure.
If a website has nine and three quarters of visitors per month, then it’s a nuisance. But if the website serves tens of thousands of people on a regular basis, then you should consider the impact.
If you personally or your company is environmentally conscious you should act upon making your website load faster.
There are websites out there that just drain the battery: humongous billboard-size images, HD quality videos, constantly changing ads, event listening scripts and so forth. It makes the CPU run faster consuming more electricity. It also takes its toll on the battery life. Lithium battery production isn’t exactly the environmentally friendliest endeavor. There’s absolutely no need for a new battery when you could make use of your existing one.
The bottom line is this — your company can make an impact on a global scale by investing money into website performance optimization. Should I say that you can also communicate this to your prospects and clients?
Why is my company website slow and how to fix it?
Slow loading websites are problematic for businesses. There are multiple reasons why a company website might be performing poorly. The main factor of course is a work of a cursory web developer. But it isn’t the primary or the only reason. Many times companies either cannot afford to pay for good quality web development services or don’t think it’s important.
15 reasons why website is slow
- Uncompressed files. Website files could and should be deflated, gzipped and otherwise compressed so that users don't have to download more data than necessary.
- No responsive images. Devices with smaller screens such as smart phones should be able to download a smaller version of the same image.
- Old-format images. The images on your website should be created in next-gen formats such as WebP. Those formats provide better compression and quality.
- Absence of SVGs. Some graphic elements can and should be created in SVG rather than forcing the browser to make request fetching each and every image that represents a shape.
- Outdated HTML. The current standard is HTML5 and browsers as well as search engines expect websites to have the required structure and markup.
- Proximity. The further the bulk of your users from the physical location of your server, the longer it will take for web pages to load.
- No CDN. Sometimes it makes sense to distribute static files via content distribution networks. This helps to reduce the waiting and loading time for users in different locations around the world.
- Eager loading. Some content such as images should be lazy-loaded. This means that certain portions of the page are loaded only when needed. This reduces the size of the page and makes it load faster.
- Too many requests. Some resources can be bundled together; some elements shouldn't be loaded at all. There are ways how to improve website performance by optimizing the number of requests.
- Big chunks of code. It is possible to split the code into smaller chunks and load them when the user is going to use them. This is yet another way to make web pages load faster.
- Full code. The code and some of the files like JS and CSS can be minified. Smaller size files load faster speeding up the website.
- Excessive plugins. Some third-party plugins aren't built with a performance in mind. Too many plugins that are fighting for resources can be detrimental to you web app’s performance.
- Unnecessary redirects. If there are too many redirects it has a negative effect on the loading speed making the website load slower.
- Convoluted code. Junior developers and many third-party plugins have a lot of unused, redundant code available just in case. A proper code clean-up can help reduce the website loading speed as well.
To know more about website performance optimization services follow this link.
How do I optimize my website for performance?
First, you would want to make an analysis of your website to find out where the possible bottleneck is. The most common problems are third-party plugins and images. The website speed test along with PageInsights should reveal most of the issues.
Second, you’d want to hire a professional web developer who knows how to optimize your website’s performance.
Sometimes it doesn't make much sense for small businesses to do any optimization at all. Use this calculate to estimate if your company is losing any money due to slow speed.
How much does a slow website cost your business?
It’s math time. Let’s assume a hypothetical business website gets the following amount of traffic and has these metrics. We will use this data to estimate the costs in two different scenarios. We’ll set some variables:
RV — returning visitors per day (are OK with waiting) = 40%;
NV — new visitors = 60%;
ANV — acquired new visitors = NV/2 = 30%;
AV = RV+NV;
BC — bounce constant = 10%;
CR — conversion rate (visitor to customer) = 2%;
T — time = 365 days;
AC — average cheque (purchase) = 50 USD;
SB — speed benchmark = 3 seconds;
AS — actual website load speed = 8 seconds;
CAC — customer acquisition cost;
CPC — cost per click = 2 USD;
L — losses.
You can easily substitute these numbers with the ones relevant to your website and calculate in parallel as we go through these examples.
Slow website has a negative effect on online advertising
Scenario number one — your company drives traffic to the website by advertising on search engines and social media. Our hypothetical website loads within 8 seconds (AS) while the benchmark is 3 seconds (SB).
People are generally OK with waiting for 3 seconds but what happens next is that with every second past this SB threshold another 10% of visitors drop off (leave). So (8s minus 3s) in 5 seconds 50% of new visitors will leave.
Out of a 1000 visitors (AV) 40% are returning visitors, so, they might be OK with waiting because they know what to expect. But half (50%) of the remaining new visitors (NV) will leave our website. Imagine you own a coffee shop and half of the new people that had entered the store decide to go somewhere else after waiting for 8 seconds. That’s crazy!
How much does it cost to acquire a customer for your website?
In our case we’ve taken the 2 USD cost per click (CPC) index which is not that unusual for most competitive US industries. If we were to calculate the customer acquisition cost (CAC) based on only one parameter, the CPC, we’d calculate it based on total clicks purchased divided by users that didn’t bounce.
Mind you, that we are not looking at the amount of purchases made or conversions, only at the amount of people who had decided to wait for the web page to load.
So 2 USD times 300 total acquired new visitors (ANV) equal to 600 USD marketing budget per day; divide this by 150 acquired new visitors that didn’t bounce (50% of ANV).
The CAC is 4 USD per person per day — twice as much as the CPC.
This means that by allowing your website to be slow your company is throwing away 150 x 2 x 365 = 109 500 USD per year. Use this full formula to calculate your marketing losses if your website’s AS > SB > 3s:
L (losses) = 300 x (8s-3s) x 0.1 x 2 x 365 = 109 500 USD per year
That’s a year worth of salary of a highly skilled employee. Who’d dare to say that the website performance optimization is a ridiculous concept? Imagine what you could do with this extra money now that you are becoming aware of the loading speed issue.
How does a slow website speed affect the business without online ads?
The second scenario to look into is when the company doesn’t spend a dime on online advertising. In this case there are no Losses involved. But there is something else though — opportunity costs (OC).
It doesn’t matter what type of industry you’re in, what kind of business model you have — any business relies on getting paid. Every person who have visited your website and left before the page has loaded is a missed opportunity. And you can calculate that.
The conversion rate from our example is 2% (CR). From a 1000 visitors (AV) per day the company is supposed to sell to 20 people (CR). The average cheque is 50 USD (AC). The average daily revenue should be 1000 USD.
Due to the fact that the website loads 8 seconds (AS) the company loses 300 new visitors daily and thus the total amount of users that interact with the website is 700. The conversion rate is the same, so, instead of getting 1000 USD per day, the company sells to 14 people making 700x0.02x50 = 700 USD.
The opportunity cost is staggering: (1000-700) USD x 365 days = 109 500 USD per annum. The formula to calculate the opportunity cost is this:
OC = ((1000 x 0.02) — (400+600 x (8s-3s) x 0.1) x 0.02) x 50 x 365 = 109 500 USD per year
How can a slow website impact your business?
If you believe in the concept of the opportunity cost and your company also spends money on advertising, you can add up both of them to get an entrepreneurial shock — in our case study — a walloping 220 000 USD of cash passing by annually due to a website being loaded five seconds slower than the bloody benchmark!
With all your marketing teams and advertising efforts you’d still feel like performing in a town square during the storm: no people, no money and significantly less health the next day. If only the band knew that there are stables nearby and its master knows how to get to the neighboring Sunnyvale town fast.
But no one in the world will make you believe any of this unless you test this at your own company. Do the research yourself, run the tests. Marketing is all about getting solid data and aligning that to your gut feeling. Then taking action.
How to fix a slow website?
Is there a cheap solution to the problem of slow loading websites — a plug ’n’ play solution of sorts? Well, yes indeed, there is. There are ways to speed up your website in a way that would cost you around a hundred bucks. If your company still runs the business website on WordPress, there are plugins that you can procure that are supposed to ‘help’. Or you could hire a ‘fifty-dollar-expert’ from CL, Fiverr or Freelancer and see what they’d come up with.
These are the types of pseudo-solutions for folks who want an illusion of a solved problem; those who are thinking along the lines of “anything goes as long as it’s cheap”.
If you are more of a serious type of an entrepreneur or a prudent business leader — someone who is considerate, patient, interested in meaningful actions and cares about the outcome — then there is a solution for you as well.
Even though it would definitely cost more than 100 USD, it is significantly less than the amounts businesses are losing on a regular basis.
How can I increase my website speed?
It takes time to analyze web pages, images, videos, scripts, processes and identify ways of tackling the problem. But it’s doable and totally worth it. The best way to get this problem resolved is to hire a competent web developer. This person should be able to analyze your website and propose a few options how the particular issues should be handled.
There isn't a one-fits-all solution. A professional web developer will advise you on available options but it will be your call based on your concerns, timeline and budget.
If you want to stop losing money due to poor website performance, you might want to consider contacting awezzom team to help you solve this problem with slow loading web pages.
What other website-related issues cause businesses to miss out on their business objectives?
Is there anything else apart from website speed that makes your company lose money? Of course there is, but that’s a different topic because it also requires a thorough explanation. Some of the most common problems business websites have are:
- Cluttered space
- Shallow content
- Vague value proposition
- Poor visual hierarchy
- Terrible user experience
- Complex user interface
- Outdated design
- Slow website
Read why it’s important to refresh your business website’s design and become a more prudent decision maker.
What are the benefits of having a well-optimized website performance?
By improving the website loading speed you are decreasing the number of bounces, insuring a better ranking score in search engine results, making your visitors happier, ensuring your marketing spending is more efficient and creating more business opportunities for your company simultaneously. All in all, I think, it’s worth doing it.
The website that loads within a 3-second threshold has more chances of rising to the top of search results because companies like Google would favor a fast loading website. Having a slow website that loads longer than the industry benchmark is bad for your business.
Does website speed affect your company’s bottom line?
By allowing your web application to be slow, you are voluntarily increasing your customer acquisition costs. Can your business afford to make the website load faster and stop losing customers? Absolutely! As long as the website generates money, you will most definitely be able to afford the web performance optimization.
Does it mean that if your website is faster than all your competitors’ web applications even by a fracture of a second your company would be #1 in search results? No, not at all. But if your web pages load within the 3 second threshold and your rivals’ pages aren’t, then you have a competitive advantage as far as Google the Almighty is concerned.
What factors affect the speed of a website?
What are the consequences of having a slow website?
The consequences of not having your website performance optimized are pretty much straightforward — your business will continue to waste money on online advertising, paying for clicks just to let people abandon the process midway. You will miss many business opportunities, and your competitors will eventually catch up and get the upper hand.
How to test website performance?
To check your website speed for free you can visit GTmetrix. You can also use this tool to perform a page speed check on multiple pages at once — Experte. You don’t need to register or pay on either of the resources. It’s awesome. Test your home page and the most important sales pages, then substitute the "AS" (actual load speed) in the formula with a page speed result.
There are many web development companies out there that could help with fixing the website loading speed issue but there is only one that is truly awezzom. I guess you already know which one that is.
Use this free online web costs calculator to estimate how much money your business loses due to slow website speed.
The awezzom question of the day:
Are we losing any prospects due to slow website speed?