Crack the code for better results from your website
Is waiting for your website to load like waiting for paint to dry? Not super exciting for you, but you’re used to it and some days it’s not too bad…
Now imagine what it’s like for your customers – or rather, DON’T! Because by the time you’ve realised how off-putting a slow loading site can be, they’ve already left. What you may not realise is how badly that slow loading website is affecting not just your customer experience, but can be really damaging to your brand.
In 2017, a study by Google (https://think.storage.googleapis.com/docs/mobile-page-speed-new-industry-benchmarks.pdf) of almost one million websites revealed that over 50% of visitors will leave a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load!
I’ve been running my business over twenty years and we’ve created thousands of websites that have served millions of people all over the world. Yet I remember when I started out, it was considered marketing gospel that you had a mere eight seconds to grab your potential customers’ attention – count that out load to yourself and tell me if you’d still be waiting for that website to load? No, because back then eight seconds was pretty quick. Now, it’s a lifetime – especially if you’re aiming at the mobile market which (let’s face it) we all are. A sharp-loading site that’s mobile-ready is what you want to aim for but remember; this is all about your customer’s experience on your website. Get that wrong, for any reason, and they’re gone.
It’s not about simplifying your design either – the secret is all in the code.
The problem is nothing to do with that fabulous design you have had created. It’s not because you have too many products on one page, or you’ve added that embedded feed from your social media channels. It’s not even that you’ve written too much copy! I can tell you one thing I know, above all else; when it comes to web design, it can look as elegant, complex or fancy as you please – if the code behind the site is messy and badly put-together, that page will not load quickly. And your customers are not going to wait.
What’s worse, this could seriously impact on your position in Google.
If people regularly click through to your site, then click out again, you earn yourself a high “bounce rate” in Google’s eyes – and that means they could label yours as a site people don’t find interesting or relevant, leading them to let you slip down the listings.
So when you’re testing your site, or when hiring a new website developer, always ask about your page load speed, and by that I don’t just mean your homepage – I mean your whole site. Start with the basics: have the images have been optimized? If you have a content management system to make further changes to the site yourself – how will the site handle larger images you upload later? Has this all been coded in to your new website?
We took on a site last year for an incredible training company who taught Sales and Customer Service skills at the highest level. Specialising in Banks and Financial Services companies, their target audience were very much time-poor and wanted great results quickly – but our client’s existing website was painfully slow to load and had a crazy high bounce rate (over 70%) as a result. Yet, they were happy with the way it looked and the information was all up to date, so we were commissioned to tidy it all up and optimise the code to be faster loading and to load the key information before everything else. The result was astonishing. Within 90 days the bounce rate was below 20% and traffic to the site had tripled.
It may sound odd coming from a design agency but, when you’re testing your website, don’t just look at the design. Think about what’s behind it and don’t be afraid to ask how that will ultimately help you to rank well in search engines, has it been optimised for page speed, how will it load on mobile? This testing is a key part of our unique, tried and tested five step process; our Rapid Growth System for website success, because we know the importance of this. Not only to please the gods of Google (!) but to deliver a great user experience to your customer – happy customers stay longer and are more likely to make a purchase. If you’d like to find out more, or have a free strategy session with me to talk about what we could do to improve your website, and the results it delivers – go to www.fatpromotions.co.uk and you can book an appointment or schedule a callback, I’d be really happy to speak to you.
In the meantime, don’t get caught up in the code, but don’t wait for the page to load 😉
Want 5 easy ways to make more money using skills you already have? Grab your FREE copy of my eBook, Leverage Your Expertise Online, today: www.fatpromotions.co.uk/leverage and discover how to create new income streams by unlocking the hidden profit in your business through your website.