I know, I know… another blog post from yours truly, banging on about site speed! You could be forgiven for thinking everything is about to get quite technical and just a little bit pedantic (because it is) but stick with me!
We all know site speed is an important part of SEO, contributes to user experience and has been gaining prominence as a search engine ranking factor over the last few years. But did you know that even if you don’t include any SEO activity as part of your digital marketing strategy, you could still benefit from improving the speed of your site?
Let’s crunch the numbers
When it comes to underlining the importance of site speed for any website, there are 3 stats that really stand out:
- 37% of visitors bounce when your site takes 5 seconds to load (Source: Pingdom)
- 70% of customers say site speed impacts their purchasing decisions (Source: Search Engine Journal)
- A 1-second delay results in a 7% drop in conversions (Source: Small SEO Tools and Strangeloop)
Those are some pretty significant stats, stemming from a single feature of your site. Considered solely against organic traffic, the importance of improving site speed couldn’t be clearer: a faster site is better for visitors, which is better for you.
Now consider that site speed affects ALL inbound marketing channels, and you will start to understand the opportunity that increased performance offers.
Get more out of your paid marketing
If paid marketing – such as PPC, Display or Social advertising – forms part of your digital marketing strategy, you’re more than likely paying to deliver visitors to your website in one form or another.
Attracting visitors to your site is just one half of the equation though. Based on the stats above, you could potentially lose 37% of your visitors to bounces, even though they have legitimately clicked your ad and cost you money. You’re then potentially leaving conversions down to chance if the rest of your sales funnel isn’t optimised for speed.
In summary: By improving your site speed, you could potentially achieve better results from your paid advertising without having to increase your ad budget!
It’s not just paid marketing either. Any form of marketing that pushes traffic to your website, be it organic social or email marketing, could see improvements if site speed issues are addressed.
What can you do?
The first thing you need to do is test your site for speed issues, this will help you determine whether any actions are required and the priority of fixing issues. The good news is testing sites is relatively quick, with actionable results often available in a very short period of time. What’s more, the most common site speed issues are often fairly simple to fix, with improvements usually affecting the entire site at once.
- If you only use a few landing pages, you can use Google’s Pagespeed Insights tool to test these and any other pages in your conversion funnel
- Screaming Frog has a Pagespeed Insights integration that allows you to bulk-test your entire site to identify widespread issues
- The most common issue for site speed is image sizes, which can be fixed fairly easily on WordPress sites with the Smush Pro plugin
If you’re not particularly tech-savvy, you may need help from your development team to implement improvements, particularly where the issues are code-based or require careful application to get right. We particularly recommend prioritising tasks by how much impact they have on load times, but your devs will be able to advise further.
If you’re not sure how to test your site or implement changes, don’t worry. Our team of SEO specialists have had years of practice diagnosing speed issues and providing actionable recommendations, so why not get in touch with us on 0845 485 4713 and make your website work harder for you?