Most business owners are just becoming aware of the importance a quick loading website has on your online presence, yet many don’t know just how vital it is. We hear the question all the time: “How much money am I losing due to slow website speed?” The answer, unfortunately, is much more than you think.
Just think of it this way: how do you feel when you visit a poorly-performing website? Are you willing to wait around while a slow site loads? Are you less than impressed when elements fail to appear? If you are, you’re not alone. According to recent surveys, nearly 90% of customers say they are less likely to return to a website after a bad experience. More than 75% of people reported leaving a slow-loading website for a competitor’s site.
To improve the user’s browser experience, Google has reportedly made site speed a factor when it comes to ranking websites. This means that a slow website may no longer show up at all for those valuable keywords that your business relies on.
So, is there a way to calculate how much business you could be losing due to a slow website? To find the cost, use this formula:
(Monthly Traffic * Est. Visitor Loss) * Conversion Rate = Est. Conversion Loss
Let’s say, for example, you convert 5% of your traffic, your traffic is 10,000, and you’re losing 10% of your visitors:
(10,000 * 0.10) * 0.05 = 50
If 20% of your website conversions become cases and the average case is worth $10,000, then:
(Conversions * Case Rate) * Average Case Value = Est. Speed Cost
(50 * 0.20) * 10,000 = $100,000
Cost due to slow website = $100,000 per month
So, now that you know how much money you might be losing due to slow site speed, how do find out what’s causing it, and more importantly, how do you fix it? First, make sure that the company that manages and hosts your site performs a site speed test to identify any issues that might be slowing it down.
Your provider will likely run a basic site speed and maybe more detailed load time tests. We’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of the most important reasons your site is loading slowly.
When a browser makes a request to download your site, it must load every JS/CSS file before the site can be shown, or be rendered. For this reason, it’s recommended to combine external CSS files when possible. Switching to inline JS and CSS can also help some websites. However, many have seen the best results deferring JS until the rest of the webpage is viewable.
A CDN allows you to host your website on a network of physically spread out servers, diminishing the time it takes for distant visitors to load your site. By using just one main server for all your traffic, you are adding unnecessary load time to your website.
You can also load some of your websites code, like jQuery, on a CDN just like you would with other media. Popular solutions like Cloudflare will work for the majority of websites.
Your database holds all the information needed for your site to work. The files in your database can vary from logs to plugins or theme files and folders that can accumulate over time. This excess, or “overhead,” can cause database queries to increase load time. If the overhead goes unoptimized too long, your visitors could start experiencing server time-out errors.
Server maintenance is an important factor to keeping your site at top speed. This is something your website managing/hosting company should do regularly, as it only takes access to the phpMyAdmin tool to start optimizing your tables.
As cameras continue to get better, image and video files will continue to get larger. Hosting high resolution images and video on your site can make it look more clean-cut, but it could also be slowing down your site. Luckily there are many ways you can optimize your images via compression.
Some plugins for your site help you compress images that are delaying your load speed. There’s also free online tools like TinyJPG that accomplish the same thing. Compressing video files is more complicated and not recommended. For this reason, hosting them externally on sites like Vimeo or YouTube are commonly the most efficient solutions.
If you’re ready to get your site up to speed, contact The Search Engine Guys today. Our web designers have the expertise to boost your site’s speed so you can retain more of your income. Contact us at (512) 394-7234 or online to get off to the races.
You have probably visited a company’s website and never completely understand what the business offered or what they were selling. A company can spend a significant amount of time developing a well-designed website or writing tons of content, but you may not understand what it is they do. Far too often, the company has overlooked a crucial component – the message that they need to communicate.
Improving your company’s messaging can make all the difference between getting leads for your business or scaring off visitors. It takes time for a business to develop content, however, it is not effective if it neglects to clearly showcase what you’re offering. Communicating what you do and what separates you from your competitors is something that you must get right from the get-go to attract new business, or it may cost you potential revenue.
Your website must solve a problem and create value for potential clients. You have a short window of time to convince visitors to your site that the service or product you offer is what they are looking for or need. If the audience can’t understand your message or understand the website content, they will leave in matter of seconds and move on to another business.
Communicating your company’s message isn’t always easy. Most business owners make the mistake of believing that visitors to their site view the business the same way they do. Remember that visitors don’t know your business inside-and-out, and you need to showcase what you do in the clearest way possible.
There are three relevant questions to ask about your website’s messaging, which include:
It’s important to communicate the value your business creates for your market. Although this may sound obvious, sometimes this is overlooked. You need to think about how you would pitch your business to a total stranger in an elevator. When you meet someone for the first time and describe your business, do you use similar words as your company’s home page? It may be wise to ask people who are not familiar with your business to read your homepage and then ask them to explain what your business is about.
While it may not be easy to describe your business in a brief elevator pitch, you can ask this question to narrow down the focus of your business content and to help visitors see the value your business creates.
Working in a competitive world brings challenges. Regardless of how unique or unusual our product or service is, there may already a similar product or service that is offered elsewhere. If you are unable to communicate on your website how your business is different from your competitors, potential clientele may assume your business offers nothing different and lose interest. You need to highlight the strengths of your services or products on your website homepage and make it stand out.
It is also important to refresh content on a regular basis. Adding new content that includes the latest information about your company and your brand is important attracting more customers and drawing in more business. Remember that the content on your site is also a reflection of your brand and its principles.
Not only should the message on your website communicate the value the business creates and what makes you stand out, messaging also plays a crucial role in establishing credibility for your business and turning visitors into clients.
Some websites lure visitors with clever messaging, but they fail to deliver on their promises. Your message must set the right expectations and convince potential clients that you will deliver the products and services as stated on your business site.
By effectively communicating what your business offers, how you differ from the competition, and setting and delivering on expectations, you can demonstrate your company’s value to visitors and boost business based upon the message and content listed on your website.
The more content you have, the better the website, but don’t forget that the focus is on quality above quantity. Your business content and messaging can only be useful if your audience finds the information on your web site insightful and valuable in the long run.
Here are the two main reasons you should make sure your website is mobile friendly:
To test if Google considers your website to be “mobile friendly” click here.
Keep in mind that if you have a great website and don’t want to go through the process of re-designing it from scratch, we are able to convert your website into a responsive theme. Depending on your design, some or many elements may need to change… but we can often maintain the overall look and feel of your design.
If you would like to explore a new responsive website, or converting your existing website to a responsive theme – call us at 800.267.1704 and one of our account managers will help you determine your options.
It surprises me that there are websites out there that do not consider and incorporate conversion into the fabric of the design. It’s one thing to have a website that is pretty. It’s another thing to have a website that subtly persuades people to read, click, and buy (or submit contact information through a form).
Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind if you are thinking about building a website where the intent is to turn visitors into customers.
Unless the visitor is doing research, most people coming to the site actually do not have much time. Walls of text can turn them away. If the visitor knows what they want and is particularly motivated, it is likely that he or she would rather call or email to connect with a human being before making a decision. Thus, a phone number, email form, or some other form of contact must be less than one click away from any landing page. It should be clear and easy to find.
If your product or service has won any awards or accolades, show it off. Even if these awards are not that big of a deal in your industry, you’ve got to remember that your visitor likely does not know this. Accolades show that your company is a leader in the industry, is respected by peers, and is involved in your industry’s community.
In my opinion, the best customers are informed ones; customers who understand the value and complexity of your product or service. An informed customer asks pointed, perceptive, and inquisitive questions because they want to understand the impact that your company will have. If you have answers to these questions, you become an authority on the topic, you build trust with your consumer, and, hopefully, loyalty through his or her purchase. Information on your industry should be delivered in an easy-to-digest manner with headlines that pique the person’s interest and appeal to both novice and more experienced customers.
The best “don’t take my word for it” tool is the testimonial. It’s even better if it is displayed on a third party website like Yelp, Google, Avvo, Angie’s List, CitySearch, etc. This gives you a vote of confidence from a previous customer who went above and beyond to give you a good review. If one hundred people have given you a 5-star rating, what are the chances that this person will have a bad experience?
Remember, even if your website is on the first page of search results, there are other businesses right next to you doing everything they can to get the customer before you do. The last thing you want to get in your way is a website that doesn’t do a good enough job of putting your best foot forward. It may be beautiful, but it’s of no use to the visitor if it is simply a work of art.
To learn more about designing websites for conversion, give us a call (512) 394-7234.
To contact the author, emails can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello world. True to the cliché that “the philosopher who erects palaces of thought, tends to live in the shack next door” at any given moment our own company website is always the lowest priority especially in relation to our client’s ongoing needs. Nevertheless, we rallied and feel our new website tells a more accurate story about who we are and what we’re about. We will miss the green penguins, cows and elephants and promise, in their absence, to not take ourselves too seriously.
We are hosting our Internet talk radio show today at 4pm CST. You can tune in by clicking this link http://www.blogtalkradio.com/joedevine
We will be discussing how to create web sites that convert. A little hint, it is not always the prettiest site, it is the site that hits the four major buying habits of a consumer. If you are unaware of these buying habits or how to create a web site that touches on these habits, tune in today!