SEO, Speed and Conversions – The Harsh Reality

“It’s official: Google announced that page speed will be a ranking factor in its mobile-first index. But what does that mean? There’s no beating around the bush anymore: you should work on making your site as fast and accessible as possible. Don’t wait, do it now. I mean it.”

Basically, the faster your website loads, the more likely a user will stay on it, which ultimately means, better and higher conversion ratios.  The biggest mistake most site owners make is they sacrifice sanity for vanity.  What I mean here is, they want the site to be pretty, not functional, and normally this version of pretty is something they have in their heads, it’s not actually based on any sort of reality or research.

With every managed WordPress speed and optimisation package, the first thing we do is add hotjar.  This gives us a much better idea of what the clients are doing once they hit your website and allows us to make intelligent decisions based on fact which we can constantly tweak as we go along, once we have new data.

“Google’s latest research shows that the chance of a bounce increases 32% when the page load time goes from 1s to 3s. 1s to 5s increases the chance to 90% and if your site takes up to 10s to load, the chance of a bounce increases to 123%. That’s incredible. For search engines, better results and performance is a sign of a healthy site that pleases customers and therefore should be rewarded with a higher ranking.”

These stats are not only from Google, according to surveys done by Akamai and Gomez.com, nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds. 79% of web shoppers who have trouble with website performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again and around 44% of them would tell a friend if they had a poor experience shopping online.

Always start with the basics, understand where your site is experiencing its bottlenecks and work on them first.  In most cases, this is your hosting, Optimised WordPress hosting goes a long way towards starting the journey for speed.  When you start out on your web adventure, if you are like most users, hosting is one of the smallest, least important aspects of your online experience, but the reality is often very different.  Your host is the first thing your web visitors gets to experience about you as a company. Ultimately, this reflects on your business and your ability to trade online.

Kissmetrics have an awesome infographic to the right of this page (or possibly at the bottom if you are on a mobile device)

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