With the current hectic lives people lead, there is nearly no extra time in many individuals’ schedules to wait for a slow website to load. We are impatient by nature, and simply waiting in situations where it could be avoided is a major cause of frustration. Having new users frustrated with a slow site is not a good impression and could lead to as much as 40% of them simply leaving and choosing to use your competitors’ sites instead. As a rule of thumb, you should be aiming for 3-5 second load times on your pages.
Google has been using site speed as a ranking signal for nearly a decade now and it continues to play a significant role in where your website shows up in the search result rankings. The internet giant has stated that the primary focus of its operation is improving user experiences. Slow sites lead to negative user experiences, thus showing the engine’s algorithm that better alternatives exist, causing the slow site to drop in SERP (i.e. Search Engine Results Page) rankings.
Your users’ experiences and SEO are not the only things that will get affected by a slow website. If you run an online business, having a fast site could either make it or break it. The retail giants Amazon and Walmart have run tests and concluded that an even 100ms site loading delay will result in a 1% revenue loss. Although one percent loss may not seem as much, Amazon’s revenue last year was $232.9 billion, meaning that they would have lost $2.39 billion. Nearly everyone can agree that Amazon is a well-established and reputable company. If customers are not willing to wait for just an extra tenth of a second for Amazon, what about all the other less recognizable sites?
The days of dial-up internet are gone and along with them the internet users' patience. Having a slow loading site can and will cause the users to lose interest and turn to faster alternatives. Having a well-optimized site is essential for building a good reputation on the internet and growing its visibility in search engines.