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5 Ways a Slow Website Can Damage Your Online Business

5 Ways a Slow Website Can Damage Your Online Business

A recent research study conducted by Aberdeen Group revealed that a 1-second delay in web page loading could reduce customer satisfaction levels by 16%, website page views by 11%, and conversion rates by 7%.

Curious about how this could impact abusiness’s bottom line? Here’s an example – for anonline E-commerce retailer generating a daily revenue of $100,000, a 1-seconddelay in webpage loading can potentially losesales of $2.5 million in a single year!

Whilethe proverb “slow and steady” makes for a good life motto, the rules of theonline world are vastly different. When it comes towebsite loading speed – every millisecond matters! While a fast website canpropel your business ahead of your competitors, a slow-loading website canfrustrate online visitors and make them look for alternatives.

Let’slook at some interesting statistics on how slow-running websites have wreaked havoc onbusiness revenue. As early as 2006, search engine company, Google reported a 20% drop in search engine traffic for every half-second delay insearch-results while Amazon reported that every 100 milliseconds oflatency impacted their sales by 1% almost 10 years ago. Today, the need forspeed is much, much higher.

Instanceslike this only highlight the undeniable impactof a sluggish website on revenues. Whether you arerunning an online retail shop or any other business, a slow business websitecan dampen various aspects of your business.

Business Impactof a Slow Website

Withthe advent of globalisation and technology advancement, all business and notjust E-commerce companies and big corporations must have an online web presenceto reach their customers.

In fact, most prospective customerssearch for a local business or service through search engines. A March 2017survey reveals that over 80% of the surveyed respondents used a search engineto find a local business!

Butmerely creating a website is never enough. The speed of your business websiteis also a major factor in determining customer experience and loyalty.

Hereare some industry statistics about corporations who have boosted their businessreturns by improving their website speeds by a few seconds –

Retailbusiness, Walmart recorded a 2% increase in their conversion rate for every1-second improvement in their web page loading time. Similarly, the number of downloads forthe popular Internet browser, Firefox improved by over 15% when its company,Mozilla increased its page speed by just 2.2 seconds. That’s an additionaldownload of 5 million each year for a 1.1-secondimprovement!

Thisdata goes a long way to prove that for an average entrepreneur, a fast businesswebsite can reap in rich business dividends, including increased user traction.A slow website, on the other hand, can adversely impact the business in multiple ways. In this article, we look at 5 waysyour slow website can harm your business.

1.    Impact on Sales

If you’re notfully convinced how a slow website can impactconversions and sales, here are a few statisticsthat will change your mind:

Ecommerce website builder, Mobify recorded a 1.11% increasein sales conversions after improving their websiteload time by just 100 milliseconds. That translated into an increase in annualsales of $380,000. Similarly, the company increased its conversion rate by1.55% by optimising its checkout page (by 100 milliseconds) resulting inadditional sales worth $530,000!

A recent researchstudy also reveals that as many as 79% of online visitors never revisit slow orunderperforming websites, while 44% of those users share their negativeexperience with other potential users.

Allthese facts suggest that unsatisfied customers or those who abandon yourwebsite are hardly likely to buy any of the offered products or services, whichcan directly reduce your sales volume and revenue. Missing out on such a largenumber of prospective customers can certainly create an adverse impact on yoursales and conversions.

2. Impact on WebTraffic

The online mediacompany, Netflix that consumes 15% of the Internet traffic globally recorded a43% drop in outbound traffic after performing a basic compression on itswebsite’s bandwidth.

Fasterwebsite loading encourages more online users to spend more time on yourwebsites, resulting in more conversions and more traffic to be directed to yourwebsite.

Notice the sharp decline in traffic

Image source – https://sites.google.com/site/recoverfrompenalty/

On the other hand, websites with a loading time of more than 3 seconds lose 40% of their traffic.

Another disturbing fact is that automated bots today comprise over 50% of the overall web traffic. The popular French E-commerce website, PriceMinister-Rakuten found that a shocking 75% of its website traffic came from bots. Bots can reduce your website’s overall processing power, increase the load time significantly, and even cause website shutdown, thus negatively impacting your revenues and costs.

3. Impact onSearch Engine Ranking

Withlow sales and fewer visitors driving traffic to your website, is your websitespeed also responsible for lower visibility? You may wonder how your slow websiteimpacts your ranking on popular search engines. Here’s how –

Website(or web page) speed is a major factor in determining Google rankings forboth desktop and mobile searches. While many other factors also determine the Googlesearch engine ranking, slow website speed can placeyour business at a lower ranking as compared to your competitors. Googlereduces the ranking of slow-loading websites as it adversely impacts the userexperience.

A faster website improves the user experience and engagementresulting in users spending more time on your website pages. This, in turn,improves page views and search engine optimisation (or SEO), resulting in a better search engine ranking.

4. Impact onMobile Users

Is your businesswebsite optimised for use on mobile phones? Well, the following statisticssuggest it should be –

According toStatista, the number of global smartphone users is projected to reach over 2.87billion by the year 2020. This 2018 statistics by Stone Temple found that over58% of the website visits globally were made from mobile phones, while mobiledevices accounted for 42% of the total time spent by online users.

Justlike Internet browsing on the desktop, website speed is an equally, if not moreimportant factor for mobile users also. Google reports that 53% of mobile phone users leave a web page if ittakes more than 3 seconds to load on their smartphone.

Anestimated 60% of mobile phone users expect a website to loadwithin 3 seconds on their mobile phones. As compared to desktop users, mobilephone users (in particular, online shoppers) have a lower attention span andpatience levels. This explains why, from July 2018, Google has made website speed a ranking factor for online searches made from smartphones.

Allthe above facts mean that slow website loading on mobile phones can also bedetrimental to your business. A common reason for this is that most websitesare optimised for efficient performance on a desktop computer but not at thesame level on a mobile device. In addition to poor website speeds, online usersare less likely to engage with companies with poorly designed mobile websites.

5. Impact on UserEngagement and Experience

For asuccessful business website, you may want to maximise user engagement andprovide them with an exceptional experience. In simple terms, user engagementis measured by how much time online users spend on your website going through thepublished content, posting comments, and interacting with your business viavarious call-to-actions.

One of the simplest and mosteffective ways of improving user engagement is through faster website and webpage loading. We have seen how even a mere one-seconddelay in any page load can have a negative impact on theoverall user engagement and experience.

Fast-loadingwebsites contribute towards business success as they leverage on human traitssuch as information storage, attention span and emotional behaviour, to encourage visitors to make repeat purchases andeven recommend the business to other potential users.

Now, that we haveseen the far-reaching impact that website speed can have on your business, it’stime to answer a simple yet pertinent question.

How Fast Should Your Website Be?

A research studyconducted by Geoff Kenyon comparing average load speed of any website asagainst other website speed revealed the following interesting results:

Website load speed Faster than
5 seconds 25% of other websites
2.9 seconds 50% of other websites
1.7 seconds 75% of other websites
0.8 seconds 94% of other websites

On average, thefastest websites usually take less than 1 second to load while the slowestwebsites take more than 4 seconds to load up on any browser. This buffer timeof the website also depends on the type of service that you are offering. Forexample, a loading time of 2 seconds is nominal for any online E-commerce website, while a search engine like Google must load its results in 400milliseconds (or 0.4 seconds). For any other informational website, page loadsshould not be more than 4-5 seconds.

As a rule ofthumb, for most websites, the interval range of 2-3 seconds is considered anormal and acceptable load-time.


One of thebiggest reasons why websites often slow down is because the site is hacked.We’d suggest you scan your site using a WordPresssecurity plugin and in case yoursite is hacked, clean it using the same plugin.

A slow-loading website can bedetrimental to the overall success of business across domains, geographies, and scale. By reducingyour website loading time even by a few seconds, you can directly improve yourbusiness sales, website traffic, search engine ranking, and customerengagement, including that of mobile phone users. With the growing onlinecompetition for global business enterprises, deploying a fast-loading websiteon desktop computers and mobile phones is now critical to grab the attention of online customers and to keep them comingback.

Doyou agree with us on the points that we have raised about how website speed canimpact a business enterprise? Or have we missed out on anything? We would loveto hear your feedback. Share your valuable comments on this article in thesection below.

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