But all that work could go to waste if any of your pages take their sweet time to load.
Even if you think the wait is worth it, the reality is that everyone expects a website to load quickly.
Like, really quickly. Did you know that for every extra second of load time, 4-5% of visitors to your site give up and look elsewhere?
If your page takes 5 seconds to load, you could be throwing away 1/4 of your business.
If you’ve got any sluggish pages on your site, you’ll want to diagnose what’s slowing them down and get rid of any roadblocks to business.
Keep reading to find out what could be killing your load speed, and how you can get your site back in the fast lane for optimum user experience.
Why Optimization Really Matters
Improving your website’s load times is about more than just getting people to stick around. It can affect the core of your online business.
Higher search rankings
Google puts sites that load faster up higher in search results. So even if your content and everything else is SEO-friendly, slow load times could be killing you.
And Facebook is following the same tack. You’re more likely to see links in your feed that load more quickly, especially on mobile.
Site speed equals sales
It’s estimated that for every 100ms it takes for your site to load, you lose 1% in sales revenue.
Now think about this stat the other way around. For every 100ms faster your website is over the competition’s, your sales could go up by 1%.
For example, when we gave our client Steuben Press a complete website overhaul to optimize for everything from the user experience, to sales flow, and load times, they saw an increase in requests for quotes of 240%.
Why is My Site So Slow?
So what’s slowing down your site? More often than not, one of the biggest contributors to slow load times are large image files.
There’s no doubt that great images add a lot of value to your website. But those high-definition pictures will go to waste if they take forever to load.
How to Optimize Your Images
Optimizing images on your website is the practice of minimizing the amount of data that are required for the images show up properly.
You can do this by resizing and compressing them to fit the needs of your website while making them load as quickly as possible.
Tips for Optimizing Images to Improve Load Times
Now that we understand the importance of page load time and how image size can negatively affect it, let’s look at a few tips for optimizing those images.
- If you’ve got a 3000x2000 pixel image but it’s going to be displayed as 300x200 on your site, why waste time loading the entire image?
- Resize the image to the size you want it to show up on your site.
- You can use a tool like tinyjpg.com or tinypng.com to resize, or your web developer or site builder may have tools for this.
- Compression helps make the image smaller in terms of data, while not making it look much different visually.
- You can compress an image to be a jpeg, gif, or png file,
- Jpeg is the go-to for most images on the web. You can use tinyjpg.com to compress your images into jpegs.
Use Web Fonts:
- Instead of making an image with text in the exact font you want, consider using web fonts.
- These will load faster and automatically re-format for screen size, browser, zooming, and other factors, making them more user-friendly.
Use CSS Effects:
- It’s possible to use CSS effects to achieve shadows, gradients, and other visuals while also saving a lot on page size.
- This technique is a little more advanced, but if you’ve got a solid web developer, they can help you out.
Did You Know? Big Images Can Affect Email Success Rates
Giant images can affect more than just your site success. They can affect your email delivery and click-through rate, too.
Any email over 100KB in size is likely to have problems getting through spam filters. That means all that work you put into your email campaigns goes directly into the trash.
Even if it the email does get delivered, you still want to make it load as quickly as possible.
That’s because 65% of emails are now opened on mobile devices. And depending on the type of cell network (LTE, 4G, 3G, e.g.) and the user’s location, it may take longer than normal to load anyway.
Couple that with the fact that 1/3 of e-commerce sales happen on mobiles, and you’ve got either a recipe for success or a recipe for failure—depending on how fast your email and site loads up.
When we optimized email content for our client Save Home Heat, for example, their site’s traffic from emails went up by 35%!
Speed Towards Success
You’ve got a great business. Your service or product is something that people want and need.
But your business can’t help people who don’t know about it.
A successful web marketing strategy starts with great content, but it ends with slow site speeds.
Don’t let your users pass your business so they can stay in the fast lane. If web design and slow load times are keeping your business from speeding to success online, BKMedia can help.
Our design and development experts have over a decade of experience in digital marketing. We can bring your online business up to speed with the competition.