How Your Slow Website Burns A Hole in Your Pocket
People have probably been complaining about “the fast pace of modern life” since the Stone Age, but the fact remains that customers are impatient. We want fast food, short queues and fewer red lights. Whether this is rational is irrelevant to your website: you can’t expect your customers to inconvenience themselves just so that you can make a sale.
Especially if a portion of your business relies on online sales, your competitors are only a click away. In some recent research, it was found that a full three quarters of customers have chosen another online vendor due to slow loading times, while a similar number would not return to a web page that has frustrated them in the past. Even worse, Google now uses load time as a ranking factor when it comes to determining a site’s search engine ranking – so you could be losing customers you’ve never even had.
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Examine the User Experience
Of course, you should be proud of your website’s design. Presumably you’ve spent some time and money on getting it exactly where you want it, it has some pretty pictures and other nice stuff.
But, have you tested it on users with a different perspective? How quickly the landing page loads is not the only thing to consider (though it is important: 25% of browsers will leave a page that’s still loading after only four seconds). How many clicks does it actually require to perform a transaction, or find a piece of information? At a minimum, if a multi-stage process is required, give the user a visual representation of how far along they are.
The most successful web designers do not focus only on coding, but also on the psychology and needs of their users. Letting them wait makes them feel unappreciated and can only harm your conversion rate.