Are people clicking away from your website?
The speed of a website is one of the main reasons that people click away from a website, but why?
This is easily one of the most common questions that I see pop up when searching through Facebook groups. My favourite places to hang out are blogging groups; the conversation is often about website speeds. I’m glad to see that people are talking about this because it’s essential.
The speed of your website can make or break the conversions that you are getting. In this blog post, we’ll delve into this a little more and give you some tips on how to speed up your website.
The short answer to “are people clicking away from your website” is maybe, and if you’re not sure, then why not check?
It’s common knowledge that we have short attention spans, which is apparent when we’re Googling. How many times have you looked for something and found yourself rolling your eyes at how long it’s taking.
I find this irritating when I’m in the middle of shopping or cooking, and I need a recipe to hand quickly, but the website takes an age to load. I should work on my patience for sure, but we’ve all had the same feelings.
That takes me to the second point.
How well is your website loading?
Grab your phone, tablet or laptop and go over to your website home page and see if there is any lagging, loading or stuttering. If you have a blog, pop over to that separately and check the same.
Often, when we see speed issues, it comes down to the sizes of the media (images, videos) on the pages. It would be best if you were resizing any pictures for your website to avoid speed issues. You can check out this good guide to sizing from Engine Scout for more info: https://enginescout.com.au/wordpress-image-sizes/
Why does the loading speed matter?
Say there are five plumbing businesses in your local area, all with a website, all with a similar product or service that you’re looking for.
AJ’s Plumbing is the top-ranked business on the Google list, but it doesn’t load when you click on the website. You feel that it’d be quicker to go back to Google and click the next option. AJ’s business has already lost you as a customer; all it takes is a couple of seconds.
You should also be aware that Google itself penalises slow loading websites in their ranking. This means that it’ll be more difficult for your customers to find a business on the Google listing.
Is website speed on mobile different to desktop?
You should check your website on mobile, desktop and tablet separately, which will indicate how fast the website is loading for each one. If you see a significant difference in how long it’s taking, then it’s worth delving into a little deeper.
Issues that can cause a website to be slow?
1. Coding bloat is caused by the developers of your website being too verbose in the code that they’ve used to build your website. If you’re not techy, this will be something that you could ask your developer about or get a web agency to help you find out.
2. Image sizing – As we already discussed, image and video sizes can wreak havoc with a website’s loading speed. You’ll often be able to spot this on a website when it seems to be loading an image a line at a time.
3. Texture, font and graphic overload – This sort of ties into the first point, but it’s good to mention as you might be able to spot this a little easier. As a rule of thumb, the more simple the website, the less likely it is to have loading or speed problems.
If you’ve got a website with a ton of graphical elements, animations or bespoke fonts, then you might see some issues with speed times.
4. Old or outdated themes – Again, this one is a little techy but stick with it. The website developer might have used a theme on your website; this is the bare bones of a website that the developer/designer will build upon. But, the theme used will need to be over time to make sure that it continues to work. If you haven’t had your theme updated (or you have old plugins), this can cause your website to slow down or even stop working altogether.
These are a couple of issues that might be impacting the speed of your website.
In closing, your first job is to check on your laptop, desktop, tablet and mobile to see how long it takes for your website to load. If you know you’ve got some pages with many images or animations, hop over to those pages and check them as well.
Website speed isn’t always the easiest thing to fix, especially if we have to pick apart the code on the back end to resolve the issue. Yet, you want to ensure that the website you’ve paid for is useable for your audience.
If you’ve heard from others that they can’t use your website or you’ve noticed any issues yourself, get in touch, and we’ll have a look for you. You can read more information on our hourly rates or website audits here.