How important is it to make sure your website loads quickly? Do a few seconds actually make a difference when it comes to site visitors staying on your site and eventually converting to leads and sales?

The answer is a resounding “yes”. You need to invest time with website speed optimisation and making sure your site speed is adequate. Not only does it affect leads and sales conversions, but it also affects search rankings and overall user experience.

Let’s take a look at seven reasons why your website speed matters.

First Impressions Are Everything

Your site visitors respond to first impressions exactly like people do offline. If your website loads too slowly, the first impression felt by potential leads and customers is one that screams out warning signals.

A slow site makes people think that your site and business are untrustworthy and unsafe. This is deadly to your ability to get the conversions you’re looking for. Once a visitor gets this first impression, they will leave the site and never return.

A fast-loading website, on the other hand, presents an entirely different first impression. In that case, it makes your site visitor an immediately happy potential customer.

If your website loads quickly, the first impression is one that inspires trust, efficiency and confidence. You’ll never get the opportunity to overcome a bad first impression so make sure your website loads fast.

People Have Short Attention Spans

In today’s world, people expect instant results. The attention span of the average person is quite short. If they don’t sense that they will quickly benefit by being on your site, they will leave in no time.

Not only are attention spans short, but people want immediate answers to their questions. It doesn’t matter if a visitor is using a desktop computer, a laptop, a mobile phone or a tablet.

Use yourself as a case study when thinking through the importance of overcoming short attention spans and the need for fast results.

Don’t you leave sites that load slowly because you don’t want to wait another second to get your answer? You might be a little more lenient with authority websites like Facebook or Google, but not with an unknown site, correct?

Your website visitors won’t wait long either. You’re better off focusing on website speed optimisation immediately.

Website Engagement is Critical

At the end of the day, you’ll never experience the lead and sales conversions you’re looking for if you don’t get the opportunity to explain what you do and why you’re the best option for your prospects.

The only way to accomplish that goal on a site is to keep website visitor engagement time at a high level. Positive user experience results and that means engagement improves.

Always keep in mind that a frustrated person loses interest in you. A happy person wants to stick around, learn more and eventually buy from you.

Conversions Are at Stake

If you’re not careful, you can severely hamper your conversions simply by having a website that loads too slowly. A mere one second delay in loading time can end up in a seven percent decrease in conversions.

As you can see, site speed is incredibly important to your bottom line. If a one second delay can cause such problems, imagine how much revenue you’re losing if your site is delayed by only four or five seconds because you didn’t take the time to fix it.

A Slower Site Affects Rankings

Most of your traffic is probably coming from Google searches. Know that Google is focused on speed. It wants to rank websites that deliver answers to their users as quickly as possible.

If your server is too slow, Google lowers how many crawlers it sends to your website. This means that your next blog post may not get picked up and ranked at all, let alone ranked highly.

Now, your slow website isn’t only causing visitors to leave frustrated, it’s also causing Google to send less overall visitors to it.

Visitors Feel Less Control Over Their Experience

It’s basic psychology for humans to feel calmer and more satisfied when they feel as though they have control over their situations and experiences.

This is another reason why it’s important that you invest time improving your site speed. A slow loading website makes a person feel as though they are losing control. As soon as they get that feeling, they will leave the situation by leaving your site.

Your Business Suffers From Long-Term Decreases in Referrals

You now know that a fast loading site is critical in terms of avoiding an immediate drop-off in site visitors. That is the instant bad effect that happens. The long-term effect is that it prevents your business from benefiting when it comes to word-of-mouth growth.

Poor user experience on your site slowly leads to a situation where your customers stop referring you and your business out to others. A slow site leads people to lose faith in your company.

Another factor is that you’ll lose the ability to gain natural backlinks. No one wants to link to a slow site. Less natural backlinks leads to a decrease in overall rankings, as well.

Find Out if Your Site is Too Slow

Here are tools that will help you understand where your site needs help with speed:

Your website speed is critical to the success of your business. Don’t allow this issue to lessen your opportunities for higher search rankings, improved user engagement, more leads and higher sales conversions.

Find out how fast your site is currently and then take the necessary steps to make improvements. Long-term business growth will result once you attract more site visitors that convert to more sales.