Some of the general elements you should consider during the process of your website development range from its structure to its compatibility with multiple devices, user interface (UI), visibility to search engines, response rate, and speed!.
By website speed, I am referring to how fast the pages of your website loads and the time it takes for your website to respond to every single command that is given or subsequent action that is taken by a user who is scrolling through its pages.
It is easy for you to know your website speed. All you need to do is to use one of the various independent online applications or tools that can quickly review your site or WordPress speed within some minutes and subsequently provide you with a detailed report into your page speed insights for both desktop and mobile devices.
If it is not within the site speed of optimization, you can then rectify or use the services of an expert to implement some steps such as optimizing your website photos, installing high-quality plugins e.g. WP Rocket, cleaning up your site’s unnecessary databases, etc.
These are just some many steps that can be used to increase your website speed in order to ensure:
1. Higher ranking on search engine result pages (S.E.R. P):
One of the top-ranking factors of search engines is how fast your website loads. They take this into consideration during the crawling of your site, to enable proper indexing based on several key performance indicators.
During this indexing process of your site, you want to be on the algorithm’s good grace by taking the appropriate steps to ensure that your website is operating within the benchmark speed of within or under two seconds.
A study showed that web users are most likely to leave a website if it takes over three seconds to load or come up. This means that your target speed should be somewhere within 1second to 2second, which is the optimum load window imperative to achieving favorable rankings by the search engines.
The preference given by the algorithm of the search engine to sites with faster loading time is also a key component of SEO. This is because it gives your website a higher ranking In its organic search results.
When your website is among the top results on the result pages, it increases the likelihood of web users and visitors who are searching for a particular product or service, to click on your website, read your content, probably convert or make a return.
2. Increase in user experience:
Positive user experience on your website is an important aspect to take into consideration and one way to do it is by having a faster web page load time.
You want to ensure that every single web visitor on your website enjoys a smooth and nuisance free moment when browsing on your website.
Although other factors such as ensuring your website is mobile friendly and compatible with multiple devices. You can also improve overall user experience on your website by implementing navigational components such as brighter icons, larger buttons, adequate spacing between buttons, etc. This will help web visitors to find what they need quickly and efficiently without getting frustrated having to look around.
Also, to enhance the user experience on your website, make sure that your website has links to alternative options so that a user can easily return to their initial page or taken to one that is most likely to solve their problems or query.
Having a faster website makes it easy for web visitors to take all the necessary actions on your website in an easy and convenient manner. When you have a website that loads slowly, your users will have to wait and might not want to waste valuable time doing that. The longer they wait, the faster they will lose interest and leave to check out another website. Meaning that you just lost a potential customer.
3. Reduction in Bounce rate:
Bounce rate is the percentage of users or web visitors that leave your website within a relatively short time, without clicking through or interacting with other pages. Your website’s bounce rate has a negative impact on your ability to capture a user’s interest and eventually prompt a sale, especially if you have an e-commerce store.
A 2019 statistical report revealed that about 70% of web users acknowledge page speed as a top criterion which impacts or influences their decision making on the respective webpages.
This decision can be to leave- increasing your bounce rate, or to stay- which decreases your bounce rate and increases the likelihood of the web visitor converting.
Not every shopper online has the patience to wait for over 3 seconds for your product page to come up, they are browsing at a go, to make a purchase and get the best deals on products or services. Therefore, your pages must load quickly and also have provisions for alternative options, similar to what the user may want.
Even though your website’s bounce rate is an important element for determining how well your site is performing, it is not on it’s own a major element.
This is because the average time a user spends on your webpage also matters. The more time a user spends on a specific page before leaving shows that they were most likely captivated by your content and you can use this to your advantage. But to do this, your website speed has to be within the optimum load time.
4. Increase in conversion rates:
Conversion rate is the number of web visitors or users who visit your website and the percentage of these individuals who go on to make a purchase. Conversion is basically a measure of individuals who transform from regular visitors to return customers.
Various factors play a role in conversion rates, one of which is the speed of your WordPress site amongst a host of others such as a strong call to action or marketing campaign.
When your WordPress site page load speed has been optimized, it can give you an opportunity to convert all your traffic to sales. Reason being that your site will be recognized as having put in place the necessary provisions for a smooth user experience and may then be ranked favorably and put amongst the top organic search results.
This equals more organic traffic that will be sent your way majority of whom will be able to make a purchase on time or go through every single category and section without delays, prompting a reduction in exit rates and increasing high return rate in case a user is not willing to buy something at that instant.
A high return rate also has the potential to generate sales but you should remember that a potent and convincing marketing strategy has to be in place too.
Therefore a faster website speed plays a pivotal role in generating profitable leads, increasing your sales, promoting high return rates amongst customers and visitors who are confident that they know they will not spend more than 3seconds to make a payment or wait for subsequent verification.
5. Increase in website quality:
A fast website makes a first impression to the web visitor that sufficient efforts and resources have been put into providing them with an interface on which they could effortlessly access all the relevant information they need.
It all comes down to the notion your prospective visitors always have regarding your website. Users have a tendency to conclude that faster websites are more reliable, trustworthy, and professional.
6. A robust advantage over your competition:
No doubt, you are in a saturated environment, where everyone is doing the same thing yet implementing strategic techniques to outdo and outperform rival brands.
A faster website can help to keep you at the top of your game and on the winning end of the spectrum because you get to gain and retain a huge chunk of the market share.
7. An Improved brand image in the long term:
If you have a faster page load time, previous web visitors who had a pleasurable experience on your site will refer your web platform to others. Over time these positive reviews and feedback will boost your credibility and brand image in the long term
Your Website is your main sales personnel, therefore, you need to ensure that it is up and running at maximum functionality. You need to make sure that your website follows the 2 ½ seconds rule- which states that if you cannot communicate to a web user or visitor within two and a half seconds, who you are, what you do, how they can contact you, or move to the next step, then they are most likely to hit the back or exit button.