3 Reasons Why Site Speed is an SMB’s Most Important Metric
If there is one thing almost everyone living in the ‘first world’ agrees on, it’s the sheer frustration of a slow-loading website. For SMBs working tirelessly to break into the market, this can be the grim reaper of all their efforts. To put things in perspective, in 2016, experts found the threshold for eCommerce website acceptability is 2 seconds!
While site speed may sound like a trivial factor at first mention, the importance cannot be overstated, especially for SMBs. Competition in today’s marketplace is tougher than it has ever been. The constant goal is to provide an experience that people cannot get anywhere else.
On top of the significant impact on UX, here are three crucial reasons why site speed should be at the very top of your priority list.
1. SEO Advantages
The search engines have an undying mission to provide users with the best and most convenient online experiences. Although the finer details of Google’s ranking algorithms remain famously quiet, one thing we know for sure is that speed plays a factor in where websites place on the SERPs.
HubSpot found that three-fourths of Google searchers never go past page one of the results. That being said, nearly all SEO experts will tell you their never-ending challenge is to get their clients on page one. This is perhaps the most instrumental way to improve online visibility.
As an SMB, you need all the online exposure you can get. There is nothing in the world that justifies a slow website hurting your search rankings. Google has an easy-to-use surface level tool, aptly named PageSpeed Insights, which allows you to test your site speed across all devices.
This is one of the first steps to take in optimizing performance. SEO is a critical factor in the marketing mix of an SMB. There can be absolutely no technical issues standing in the way of improving your rankings.
2. Conversion Rates and Engagement
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how great your website is or how compelling the content may be. If the platform takes more than a few seconds to load, most online consumers have no problem in moving onto the next one and never looking back. There have been a myriad of studies conducted over the years that compare loading times against conversion rates. Throughout all the results, one thing is blatantly apparent: slow website speed kills conversions.
Any further wait beyond a couple seconds will turn people off before they even see what you have to offer. Even the biggest and most respected companies in the world face this issue. Several years back, Shopzilla revealed how they cut down their page speed by three seconds. As a result, they saw an increase in page views by 25% and a 12% boost in revenue!
Path To Conversion
If you run an SMB, you need to do everything to ensure the path to conversion is as quick and easy as possible. This is an essential element in expanding your customer base.
Your CMS (content management system) or e-commerce platform plays a critical role here. DIY web builder platforms like Duda, which claims to be the only “Google Preferred” Website Builder, can make help sites provide an incredibly fast and painless user experience. On their blog, CTO Amir Glatt explained how SMBs that don’t have a lot of hosting power can still deliver superior value, by lowering start render time by up to 23%.
Further, mobile page speed is an area in which consumers have VERY high expectations and should be designed to fit the mold. According to a 2016 study conducted by Google, 77% of websites take more than 10 seconds to load on mobile. Therefore, a thoroughly optimized platform puts you at a huge advantage. This is in relation to engagement functions such as click-to-calls, form submissions, click-to-email, and much more.
Your company website is the face of your brand. It’s the central hub of your marketing strategy, image, and revenue. Slow site speed can compromise this more than anything else.
3. Indication of Quality
Above all else, the loading speed forms a “first impression” in the minds of your visitors. As many will attest, first impressions are everything in today’s business landscape.
Site speed can be attributed to a number of different factors. However, many consumers will jump to the conclusion that it is simply a result of poor quality. One of the most common causes is a shoddy web host. If visitors jump to this conclusion, they will likely infer that interacting with your business is not entirely safe. Given that the rate of cyber attacks is on the rise, this is a first impression SMBs cannot afford to make.
If a company website is poor quality, many will assume the rest of the company follows suit. It all comes down to psychology. People tend to judge faster websites as more reliable and professional. SMBs need to exhibit these qualities at every opportunity to showcase that their superiority against the looming competition.
Monitoring End-User Experience
To get a more in-depth idea of how your site performs, Monitis provides top-to-bottom insights for how your website relates to the end-user experience.
In many cases, optimizing site speed is not a black and white task. Businesses need to get ALL the details about what’s bogging pages down and what they can do to ensure a seamless UX. Monitis reveals all this vital information in regards to the website, servers, network, customer connections, and more.
Again, everyone wants quick and responsive websites. In order to make it happen, content creators, developers, marketers and IT specialists need to coordinate their efforts to ensure there are no hiccups that could potentially bog down the platform. Whether it be file sizes, content length, formatting, coding requirements or security, you need to get experts working in tandem.
This is where quality control comes in. A task management and collaboration solution like Workzone are built for this purpose.
The project dashboard is designed such that each goal or task can be clearly laid out from start to finish. The parties involved can easily break down workloads, share files, communicate, and monitor progress and results. Communication is easy to manage so that employees working on inter-departmental tasks are on the same page every step of the way.
For SMBs working to make a name for themselves, building a reputation for having a stellar and trustworthy platform is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle.
Over to You
Site speed may very well be the most critical metric in determining the life or death of a business. The explanation for a website’s speed can come down to a tiny tweak, or be a result of a wide range of factors. Page speed is a vital component in getting people to engage with your business online. In order to keep web rankings and UX healthy, this area needs to be consistently monitored and optimized accordingly.
Featured image: Copyright: ‘https://www.123rf.com/profile_rawpixel‘ / 123RF Stock Photo
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