How Important Is Website Speed for My Business in 2020?
The first few seconds a visitor spends on your website is critical. That’s why it’s also critical to have your website performing at its best during these precious seconds. Let’s take a closer look at why website speed matters so much.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Why Is Website Speed Important?
- 2 What Does Page Load Time and Website Load Times Really Mean?
- 3 Real-World Website Load Times in 2020
- 4 How Fast Does My Website Need to Load in 2020?
- 5 Website Speed: An Opportunity to Leave Your Competitors in the Dust
Why Is Website Speed Important?
There are many factors as to why a visitor chooses one website over another. But as we’ll see below, none of it matters if the website doesn’t load before your visitors lose their patience.
1. Users Expect Fast Websites
Users have come to expect immediate results when browsing the web:
- Your website has to be fast so visitors stay on your website to complete both their own (and your) goal before bouncing (leaving your website before interacting with it).
- If your website is faster than your competitors, users tend to perceive you as more professional than your competitors.
2. New Technology Requires Better Performance
- More and more users are on mobile devices—often on unreliable mobile networks. This means that websites need to be even faster than before. One might think the average user is on the latest smartphone—but in fact, the average user device is a $200 device [Source: idc.com].
- With websites having more features than ever before, paying close attention to performance becomes even more important.
3. Search Engines Factor Website Speed When Ranking Your Website
- Search engines, like Google, accommodates users’ expectations by factoring website speed into how your website ranks among your competitors. Your website speed plays an important role when it comes to how you rank in search results. [Source: Google Webmasters]
Mobile First Search Indexing
As of 2019, Google puts more emphasis on how websites perform on mobile devices rather than desktop devices. This means that fast performance no longer is a nice-to-have, but an absolute necessity. [Source: Google Webmaster Central Blog]
What Does Page Load Time and Website Load Times Really Mean?
The term page load or website load time can be subject to interpretation. Before getting into some hard numbers, let’s take a moment to define the metric with the biggest real-world impact:
- “Time To Interactive” (TTI). The time before a web page has displayed useful content, and the page is ready to respond to user interactions (during a visitor’s first visit to a website).
Real-World Website Load Times in 2020
Before looking at exactly how website speed can impact your business, let’s look at some real-world loading times for some context.
I wanted some updated data, so I set out to do some research on my own. I tested the Time To Interactive (TTI) on 150 randomly selected local businesses in Vancouver, WA. The only criteria is that they are operational businesses. The tests are averages from loading the websites on a mobile device, using Google’s Lighthouse Audit Tool.
Here’s what I found:
- The average load time (TTI) for the 150 business websites is 10.22 seconds.
- The median load time (TTI) for the 150 business websites is 9 seconds.
- 70% of the websites have a load time of more than 6 seconds.
- 41% of the websites had a load time of more than 10 seconds.
- 20% of the websites have a load time of more than 15 seconds.
- 8% of the websites have a load time of more than 20 seconds.
But what do these numbers mean for businesses? Let’s find out below.
How Fast Does My Website Need to Load in 2020?
If My Website Loads in Less Than 3 Seconds
You have a fast website. But even within this span, we start to see the effects of load times.
- Akamai found that with every 100 ms delay in website load time, conversion rates are hurt by 7%.
- The BBC reports that they lose 10% of visitors for every second a page takes to load.
- Walmart saw a 1% increase in revenue for every 100 ms improvement in page load.
If My Website Takes More Than 3 Seconds to Load
- If a website takes 3 seconds to load, the probability of a user leaving before interacting increases by 32%.
- Even after 3 seconds, users start to lose attention and get a feeling that something is wrong.
If My Website Takes More Than 5 Seconds to Load
- If a website takes 5 seconds to load, the probability of a user leaving before interacting increases by 90%.
If My Website Takes More Than 6 Seconds to Load
- As page load time passes seven seconds, the probability of a mobile site visitor leaving your site without interacting with it increases by 106%.
If My Website Takes More Than 10 Seconds to Load
- Your users have started to forget what they came for and they go on to the next thing on their mind.
- If your website takes 10 seconds to load, the probability of a user leaving before interacting increases by 123%.
Website Speed: An Opportunity to Leave Your Competitors in the Dust
Looking at the numbers above, surely this sounds like an opportunity to get a leg up on the competition? The answer is a big yes. Those in the know can benefit from this insight, and we’re here to help you build the speedy website your business deserves. It might even be what gets you that number one spot in the search results.
In an upcoming post, we’ll take a look at some of the many measures that can be taken to get up to 2020 speed requirements.