Your audience’s online journey has become more essential to your marketing strategy than ever. An organized, attractive, and informative website is the #1 marketing resource for businesses in the home services industry.
The primary goal of any and every website is to turn people searching for a service into customers. User experience is the key to a successful website, which is why it needs to be tested on a consistent basis.
How Page Load Speed Effects User Behavior
Desktop and mobile users allow little time for a webpage to load.
Below are some statistics that show a visitor’s likelihood to “bounce,” which means leaving your website without viewing any other pages or clicking any buttons.
As a page load time goes from:
- 1s to 3s the probability of bounce increases by 32%
- 1s to 5s the probability of bounce increases by 90%
- 1s to 6s the probability of bounce increases by 106%
- 1s to 10s the probability of bounce increases by 123%
Google’s ranking algorithm incorporated page load speed in 2010 on desktops and 2018 on mobile. In 2021, Google rolled out their Page Experience Update, which included page loading speed, particularly focused on how long it takes the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) to load.
LCP is one of three qualifications that make up Google’s Core Web Vitals report (CWV). If a URL’s CWV report has a ‘Poor’ or ‘Needs Improvement’ status, it is considered Failed criteria under Google Search’s ranking algorithm.
The idea behind those ranking updates is that Google wants to provide every online user with the fastest online experience. If your Website is too slow, Google will leave you behind.
What is Defined as ‘Slow’ for Page Load Speeds?
According to Google, a page that is ‘very slow’ takes longer than 10 seconds to fully load, but Google Search actually prefers a Website to load in under 3 seconds to be considered ‘quick.’
With the active rollout of the CWV report, you now must consider Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) as a factor. LCP is a user-friendly metric for measuring loading performance and is marked at the point when a page’s main content has loaded.
To find out how your Website measures up, Google PageSpeed Insights is a free tool that can provide you with metrics as well as suggestions for how to lower your page load time. Speaking of’
How Can Page Load Speed Be Improved?
You may find it more helpful to have a professional Web developer decrease your load speed, but there are 3 simple strategies ways you can employ to speed your Website up a bit:
Optimize Your Photos
High-quality images can really help a business show off your work in great detail, but too much quality and detail is possible. The larger (and clearer) the image is, the larger the file, which takes more time to download.
Find a middle ground where the photo is sized correctly and compressed but is still visually appealing with quality resolution.
You can also use your favorite photo editing software, or a free online service, to resize or scale down the file size of your website’s images. Optimizing photos is an excellent starting point for speeding up your load time.
Keep Your Layout Simple
Some business owners have long lists of Website features they’ve seen on other sites that they would like included on their own. We’re big fans of creativity, but we often remind businesses that simplicity is best when it comes to Website design.
Every time you feature something like an interactive map, a rotating slideshow, or a video, you tack on an additional ‘request’ that the Internet must make to display the site. One or two features won’t hurt you by much, but too many can be a big risk.
When putting together your Homepage, only identify the necessary information you want your visitors to see. You will prevent your page from becoming too busy and decrease the time a user has to wait for your Website to load.
Make Sure Your Web Hosting Plan Still Meets Your Standards
Perhaps you’ve tried some of these strategies before, yet they haven’t worked. Your Web hosting plan (typically a yearly payment made to keep your site and its files on the Internet) should be the next area you examine. It’s possible you’ve added numerous pages, galleries, and other content that may be too much for your initial hosting plan.
Make sure your hosting plan matches what your company looks like today. You must be mindful of both your desktop and mobile load speeds to effectively retain prospects.
If prospects are not staying on your site due to a long load speed, then what’s the point of all the digital marketing efforts you invest in to show on Page One with Google Search?
Reach out to a Socius representative for help improving your website’s user experience.