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What are the benefits of reducing your site’s load speed?

20 April 2018
People synchronising their watches | What are the benefits of reducing your site's load speed? | Neon

Time is money, so the saying goes, but when it comes to the internet that’s doubly true. High-speed connection, public wi-fi and the continued growth of smartphones have combined to fundamentally change our expectations of online experiences.

Any website is available to us anytime, anywhere, so we don’t just want to be able to get what we’re looking for in seconds, we demand it. Anything longer and we lose interest, drop out and take our business elsewhere.

With 86% of UK digital shoppers making a purchase through their mobile device and eCommerce generating sales worth around £31.42 billion in 2017, this is a major problem that risks costing sales. Time really is money, but how much money? Here are some key stats…

How long are sites taking to load?

Far too long. On average, sites are taking between 8 and 12 seconds to load, with the finance sector having the fastest sites in the UK (8 seconds) and the automotive industry having the slowest (12.3 seconds).

Load speeds by country and industry | What are the benefits of reducing your site's load speed? | Neon

Why is this a problem?

Users are demanding speed. 53% of people visiting a mobile website drop off if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

This only gets worse as load speed lingers. The probability of a bounce increases to 90% if a site takes up to five seconds to load and 123% if it takes up to 10 seconds.

People expect a consistent and seamless experience across every interaction they have with a brand. They don’t see your desktop site, your mobile site, your apps, or your store separately. There is “no line” between offline and online. It’s a non-line world.

Matt Bush, UK Agency Director at Google

How common is the issue?

Much more than many expect. 73% of mobile internet users say they’ve encountered a website that they felt was too slow to load.

And it’s not just loading speed that causes problems – other issues are causing problems too. 51% of people are finding sites that crash or freeze, 48% are finding sites that are badly formatted, and 38% are finding sites that simply aren’t available.

Does it impact conversions?

In a big way. With customers expecting to find what they’re looking for fast and without friction, studies have found that even a one-second delay on a mobile device can impact conversions by up to 20%.

This poor first impression lasts and even spreads. 79% of online shoppers say that they wouldn’t return to a site that didn’t load in a “satisfactory” time, and around 44% said that they would tell friends of their frustrations.

Why are sites slow to load?

As the internet has matured, websites have grown to feature multiple elements, images, videos and other functions they need to load. This adds to the ‘weight’ of a site, and it has risen dramatically: from 929KB in 2011 to 3,034KB in 2017.

Optimising images, using caching and taking advantage of technology such as Accelerated Mobile Pages can all help in speeding your site up, and if you’d like to find out more about how we can help you, get in touch.

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