Have you ever had a conversation with a slow talker? Someone who takes their time answering your questions?
Regular talker – ‘Do you want milk in your coffee?’
Slow talker – …
Regular talker – …
Slow talker – …
Regular talker – …
Slow talker – ‘….Yeah.’
Regular talker – repeatedly slams head on desk.
Is it frustrating right? You try to be patient, but when they’ve spent 7 minutes thinking about whether or not they like Taylor Swift’s new music video, you’ve lost all interest and the will to live.
This is precisely what it’s like when people visit your website and experience slow page load speed. It’s like having a conversation with someone who seems to never properly start a sentence.
Here are five reasons why your page load speed matters…
1. Page load speed is the first impression you get to make on a potential client or customer
If a potential customer clicks on your site and finds it slower than a stoned sloth, they’re not going to hang around. Also, guess what? You only get one chance to impress them. Universally, everyone hates waiting. We hate waiting for car parks; we hate waiting for food, we hate waiting for doctors. The fastest way to make a potential customer hate you is to make them wait.
Hot tip: No one notices fast page load speed, they only see slow ones. The same thing applies to punctuality and good manners. No one notices their presence, but they notice their absence. Like when you’re in the shower, and there’s a towel there, you don’t think about it but if there ISN’T a towel there you’re very naked and wet. See what I’m saying?
2. Google likes websites with fast page load speed
Google uses the PageSpeed metric for ranking in their algorithm. So if yours is good, they’ll favour you in their SEO ranking. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Why would they promote a page that takes too long to load and people click away from it? That doesn’t help anyone. It’s the speedy, snappy sites that get the excellent Google juice so make sure yours is performing at its optimum level.
Speaking of Google and all their cheeky ranking tricks, having a slow page load speed also lowers your Adwords score which means you get saddled with poorer ad placement and higher cost per click. For SEO reasons, prioritising your page load speed is a no-brainer.
3. People have short attention spans
This article in Time magazine shows that the average attention span is down from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds now. You want to know what’s scary about that? That’s one second below the notoriously flighty attention span of a goldfish. We officially can’t concentrate for longer than an animal with a brain the size of a pea. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot we can do about that except cater to it… with lightning fast page load speed. If humans can’t concentrate on something exciting for 8 seconds, they’re sure as hell not going to focus while they’re waiting for your page to load.
Exciting fact alert: Did you know that the collective noun for goldfish is a ‘troubling’? Sounds a touch ominous don’t you think? Something cuter would be more appropriate like a ‘wiggling’ of goldfish or a ‘pot’ of goldfish.
4. The internet (and most likely your business) are global
Internet infrastructure is different all over the world which means your website needs to have the fastest page load speed possible to be able to jump through all the internet hoops in different countries.
So if your primary customer base is in a country with rubbish internet (Like Australia or Kazakhstan), you need to make sure your page load speed is as fast as possible to deal with the dodgy internet in those countries.
5. Engagement is worth more than eyes
Any marketing expert worth their salt will tell you engagement is king in the advertising world. No one wants eyeballs anymore; they want engagement and conversation. So if your page load speed is taking its sweet ass time, you’re losing that vital moment to engage with your customer properly. The first 5 seconds that someone is on your site should be spent convincing them to hang around, not showing them a static loading screen that makes them check if their internet is broken.