In today’s digital world, your website is often the first introduction that potential customers have to your business. That’s why website performance is more important than you might think. Consider it from this perspective…
You’re at the mall ready to go cash in a bunch of gift cards and buy some new shoes.
You walk in the front door, and all you hear is loud, obnoxious music.
There’s a long line at the register, which you know will end up taking longer to pay for the shoes than it did to pick them out.
So now your entire shopping experience is ruined because of how slow the process is and how much joy was sucked out of the experience.
That’s what it’s like visiting a slow website. It’s the first impression you give to your potential customers or readers.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your website is running at peak performance. Here are three specific reasons why website performance needs to be a high priority.
1. Website Performance Impacts SEO
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is how Google determines your rank in search results. There are many factors included in your Google ranking, and a website’s performance is an important one.
The faster your website loads, the higher Google will rank it. And since higher rankings lead to more organic traffic, this can have a big impact on your bottom line.
When I first built my blog, I had 2 goals (aside from the content itself): fast website and clean design.
When I made those two things a priority, I started getting organic traffic from all over the world. It went from zero visitors per month to 200 visitors per month purely by the website being fast and focusing on a niche topic.
2. Website Performance Impacts User Experience
Another important reason why website performance is so important is because it impacts user experience.
Think back to my example of walking into a loud store with a long checkout line.
If your website takes too long to load, users are likely to get frustrated and go elsewhere. The same thing applies when there are random errors on your site.
When was the last time you pretended you were a customer and tried to buy something from your website? Or try to submit a “contact us” form?
These types of key “call to actions” or CTA’s need to be tested on a regular basis, especially after you upgrade a piece of your website like a simple WordPress or plugin update.
If users have a bad experience on your site, they’re unlikely to come back. And that’s not a customer you want to miss.
3. Website Performance Impacts Conversion Rates
Your website’s performance also has a direct impact on conversion rates. If users have to wait too long for your site to load, they’re less likely to stick around long enough to make a purchase or sign up for your newsletter.
This matters even more when they’re trying to check out with your flagship product or service in their cart, and the website times out as they enter their credit card details.
Being a website guy, I know how to reload the page, save my information, and retry it quickly without getting too annoyed.
But for your average customer, how long are they willing to wait? And is there a competitor around the corner who can fulfill their order or their need faster?
Now the real question… How to Fix it?
Don’t fret too much on how to fix performance issues on your website because some of the “fixes” are quite straightforward. Gidds Media is also available to help if you hit a wall too.
Even though we specialize in websites running on WordPress, these same concepts can apply to almost any website.
Tip #1 – Website Theme
The theme of your website can either make or break it for you. If your website theme is flashy with all of these cool animations, your laptop users will likely love you for it. Your mobile users on the other hand will quickly leave and go find someone else to buy from.
Why? Because the same features and functionalities get included whether you’re on a device with fast internet (laptop) or mobile users who need a fast website.
That’s why you need a website theme optimized for speed and performance. And if you’re not sure, check out the reviews of your website theme.
For Gidds Media, we actually use a WordPress theme called Astra. It’s proven very fast and uses the Elementor page builder to make pages and blog posts easy to build or modify.
Tip #2 – Website Hosting
Another often overlooked factor in the speed of your website is the website hosting company you use.
To be very candid, I struggled with this one for a little while because I thought I could maneuver and “code” my way towards a fast website, regardless of what hosting company I chose. That’s just not the case.
A slow website is game changer for your growth as a business. In the same way, a fast, high-performing website is a game changer for your growth as a business.
I went from building my own servers on AWS (very complicated) to Bluehost (very simple). And then I tried a company called Flywheel, which is ran by WP Engine. Flywheel made things setting up a website, but the performance was still mediocre for the price I was paying.
A friend of mine mentioned Cloudways one day, and I literally had 4 websites moved to it within a week. That’s how impressed I was!
It was easy to setup a server and get WordPress running for me to start using it. Here’s a shameless plug for Cloudways with a discount code if you’re interested in trying it.
Like most things, if you put a search in Google for something you’re interested in, you’ll get thousands if not millions of opinions on how something should be done. This article is just our two cents on why website performance is so critical for your business to thrive, grow and get in front of the right customers.
If anything that was said sparks your interest, feel free to leave a comment about it below. And if there’s something we can help you with, we’d be honored to jump on a call and discuss. You can schedule a consultation in just a few clicks.