We live in a world of instant gratification. This fast paced existence has caused our attention span to shrink pretty fast. Research indicates that the average internet user has an attention span of only 8.25 seconds.
When translated to the online digital marketing business world that means you have fewer than ten seconds to make a lasting impression on someone who’s visiting your website before they get bored and move on.Time is literally money because with each passing second you’re at risk of losing a potential customer if your website speed is slow.
What exactly is website speed?
Website speed is exactly what it sounds like – it’s the measurement of how quickly your website loads in response to a web request. It’s also an extremely important part of user experience because faster sites create happy users and happy users will spend more time on your website.
Why it’s important for business
One can never over emphasize the importance of speed in business. With the ever changing landscape of digital marketing, companies have to do whatever it takes to stay relevant. This also applies to website speed because in today’s digital world a website is an extension of your brand.
Here are a few reasons why speed matters…
- Keeping up with the competition
Since the beginning of time businesses have always been in close competition with regard to business marketing and customer acquisition. Everyone is constantly doing their utmost to prove that they are the best.The same concept applies to website speed – if you can’t keep things moving fast (or loading fast in this instance), your competitors will.
- Your target audience will expect it
With the prominent role and impact of social media in our daily lives consumers are always on the lookout for the next big thing. Audiences are consuming changing trends and breaking news at fast pace that’s second to none. Because of this brands / businesses must work quickly to satisfy this need because audiences will move on to a new brand, product or service without a second thought. It’s also worth noting that as your brand meets expectations, you set a precedent which makes speed all the more necessary.
- Culture of speed
So far, we’ve managed to make maintaining website speed sound extremely tedious and exhausting. But it’s a hugely beneficial practice that businesses need to embrace. When brandsmove quicklythey naturally evolve faster too. Once this becomes the norm it’s easier to maintain, thereby creating a culture of speedwhere standards for speed are just as high – if not higher – than those of consumers.
How to optimize your website speed
Websites that don’t load quickly are penalized by Google resulting in a negative effect on your website ranking and subsequently your site traffic.
Here are a few ways to optimize the speed of your website.
If your brand has a global reach you will have users visiting your website from around the world. But the location or origin of your websiteand the proximity to a user could have an effect on speed.To optimize speed for users from different locations you can set up your website on a content delivery network.This means that your website will be housed in multiple locations.When user requests your website it will be loaded from a location closest to them.
- Carefully consider your hosting provider
When you choose a company to host your website you need to consider what services they offer as part of the hosting deal.Available bandwidth, guaranteed up-time (which means a guarantee that servers won’t constantly be down) are important factors to consider. Your website isn’t going to load very quickly if your bandwidth is limited or your serves are down. Finding a reliable provider can make or break the speed of your website.
- Optimize Images
If the images on your website are too large it will have a negative effect on how fast your website loads. This is a quick fix as a simple image resize can make all the difference.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a large corporation, a small business or a freelance journalist – website speed is a crucial factor in growing your business and evolving as a brand. If you’re uncertain about the process of website optimization there are a variety of digital marketing courses available to help your website reach its full potential.