Websites are one of the most important digital assets a business owner can possess. A well-designed website allows a business owner to inform potential customers about their products/services in an easy-to-digest manner. Approximately 70% of the businesses in the United States have a website in place. Some business owners think that a website is something they can launch and forget. In reality, this digital asset needs maintenance to stay functional. 

Consumers and search engines will consider many factors when visiting a website for the first time. Among the most important things your website needs to be successful is fast page loading speeds. Here is some important information about page speeds, why they matter and how to improve them. 

What is Page Speed?

The term page speed refers to the rate that your website loads the various elements on individual pages. This speed is calculated by measuring the speed it takes from the time a page address is entered until it is fully rendered. You need to realize that site speed and page speed aren’t interchangeable terms. 

Reasons Why Page Speed Matters

Slow page speeds can have a direct impact on your ability to convert visitors into actual customers. In most cases, slow page load speeds will increase your bounce rate. The bounce rate refers to how long a visitor spends on your website before leaving. Higher bounce rates indicate that visitors to your website are encountering something they don’t like. The average Internet user is extremely impatient and will only wait a few seconds for a website page to load before leaving. 

Popular search engines like Google will also test your page load speeds when crawling your website. If these speeds are slow, it can affect your rank on search engine results pages. Ideally, you want the pages on your website to load around three seconds or less. 

Elements That Can Reduce Page Speed

Testing your website with the help of tools like Google PageSpeed Insights is a great way to uncover problems early on. Once you detect page load speeds, you have to address them right away to avoid driving potential customers away. There are two main things that can cause page speed issues. 

Coding Problems

The average website is constructed with hundreds of lines of code. Regardless of how experienced a web developer is, they can make mistakes when writing the code for a new domain. Over time, these coding errors can slow down a website. The only way to get these coding errors fixed is by working with an experienced developer who has the right tools for the job at hand. With their assistance, you can find and fix the errors in your website’s code. 

Media Loading Issues

Adding pictures and videos to a website is a great way to make it more appealing. In some cases, abnormally large image/video file sizes can create page loading problems. Luckily, there are several programs that allow you to shrink image/video file sizes to make them easier for your website server to load. 

By fixing your page loading problems, you can improve your ability to drive traffic to your domain and convert visitors into paying customers.