Staying on top of the latest tricks and trends is an important part of being a web designer – and one such trend that’s been skyrocketing in popularity lately is optimized web design.
Designers have realized that having their sites load faster will result in higher conversions for their clients’ sites. And an increase in conversion usually means a boost in revenue for their clients’ businesses.
The bottom line? Web designers who understand how important site speed is are likely to stay ahead of the game, because they’ll be better at answering their clients’ needs.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at site speed – and why it’s so important. Read on!
What is site speed, exactly?
Site speed refers to the time it takes a user’s web browser to download all of the elements on your website. It’s critical in web design. Why? Because Google has stated that site speed will be one of their major ranking factors in future updates – just look up Core Web Vitals and you’ll understand, especially as it’s now fully rolled out (mid 2021).
For many years, sites have been using infographics and images to attract visitors and increase engagement. web designers soon realized that these elements take longer for the average user’s internet connection to download, which has made it harder for them to completely see their content as quickly as they want to (which means lower conversions).
web designers started inserting more text to make up for this slow-loading issue – but then realized that large blocks of text can be intimidating and difficult to read on smaller devices like mobile phones; we’ve all encountered the trouble of having to pinch and zoom our way around certain parts of web pages before (and some users don’t bother and leave the site entirely – which isn’t great news).
Fortunately, there are several different ways you can improve your website’s overall performance.
Why is site speed important?
As you may already know, site speed can have an indirect effect on your SEO by affecting bounce rate and time spent on-site. Additionally, Google has stated that they are beginning to incorporate page load time into its search results algorithm. So, although site speed isn’t currently one of the top rankings factors, it’s still important for any modern business to understand how site performance affects key metrics like conversions and revenue.
But SEO aside, why should designers put the pedal to the metal when it comes to speed?
- It increases web conversions
Conversion is the name given to the action the user takes on your website. If you want users to sign up or download something, this is a conversion.
You should always aim to increase your website conversion figures – so long as it’s for an action that makes sense! Optimizing site speed can help do this, and web conversion studies show that loading times play a huge part in whether people decide to complete their desired course of action.
An extra one-second delay on-page download time cost Amazon $1.6 billion during 2012 alone. web designers must design web pages that load in a maximum of two seconds on all devices if they want their customers to have the best possible conversion figures.
2. It increases your client’s revenue
Web design should never be solely focused on aesthetics or usability alone; other factors play an important role, including site speed. According to A/B testing company KISSmetrics, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. If your page takes longer than 5 seconds, there is an even greater chance for visitors to jump to another website.
Put simply – If you’re not taking into consideration the speed at which your web pages load, you could be missing out on potential business opportunities. You might also be driving away existing customers or creating barriers to conversion.
This isn’t great news for your clients, or for you. Web designers are responsible for their clients’ web sites’ performance, which is directly linked to revenue.
3. It boosts your website’s SEO
The faster your web pages load, the better they’ll rank in search engine results. According to webCEO’s analysis of 1 million Google search results, websites ranked among the first 50 results have a loading time that averaged 3 seconds – considerably less than other sites ranking further down the list that.
Google penalises slow-loading sites by decreasing their rankings, meaning it’ll take your web page longer to appear in the search results.
Some browsers block search engine crawlers by default. If users are unable to access web pages, they won’t be able to find them through search engines – thus decreasing web traffic dramatically for web designers who fail to realise site speed is an important element of web design.
4. It reduces website bounce rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of web site visitors who, after visiting only one web page, leave the web site without looking at any other web pages.
This implies that a slow loading web site decreases customer satisfaction levels, which leads to high bounce rates.
One of the most important elements in creating a successful web design is understanding that time is of the essence. Your potential customers are impatient, and if they land on your web site and it’s not functioning properly or takes too long to load, they’ll click away – costing you valuable customers.
For optimal web design, web designers should aim to create a digital environment where all aspects work together seamlessly in order to create a pleasurable experience for their users. And website speed plays a large part in that.
That’s why it’s crucial web designers and marketers focus on website speed and performance. Your web design will lead or fail based on this one element alone. So web designers, take heed: don’t let slow website speed kill your conversions!