The Site Speed, User Satisfaction & Usability Connection
Slow site speed is an increasing challenge across many channels with respect to design, development and ultimately – the bottom line of a company. The stakes have been raised even further with importance heavily weighing on user experience design and development when it comes to load speed and user satisfaction. Understanding the aspects being affected and how they impact conversions will lead to steps taken in site speed optimization.
Page speed has one of the most direct connections to usability making the issue clear: if a website takes longer than a user expects it to load, they will abandon the pursuit.
Site users provide the data backing. Improved levels of satisfaction are present when a site loads quickly and alternately, a dissatisfaction if a page load is longer than they expect it to be. Longer load times, even at a rate of a one second delay can be an huge issue affecting the financial stability of a company, particularly for ecommerce. At this one second delay ratio, a commerce site doing 50k daily would lose approximately $1.5 million in sales annually – all for something that could be avoided with optimization.
The time of a user is at a minimum, particularly for mobile. Their time is limited and they need to accomplish their task quickly. Whether it’s ordering an everyday item or finding a service provider – they are driven to make the connection. They will not have the patience to wait for the requested information to load, and as the ecommerce market grows, their options for alternate (faster sources) are vast.
Site speed is generally not on the top of the list when thinking about search engine optimization – but it should be. Page load speed is an integral factor for Google with respect to user satisfaction – of which importance is heavily placed for rankings.
Faster load time can (and will) lead to reduced bounce rates and increased time spent on pages. In these cases, a site is viewed as being more pleasurable to visit and bringing more value to the user – all of these aspects bring the SEO of a site further up the ranks. As a result, with faster load speed, indexation is improved. This optimization of the index aspect is beneficial for ecommerce sites with many products, resulting in better visibility for a wide variety of products.
There are many actions that can be taken as first steps to optimize a site for load speed. Installing Plugins that may be available for multimedia and extensions is a great place to begin. Running speed tests will indicate spots that need improvement and provide suggestions that can help to build a strategy. Working with a development team to build a plan of optimization for all aspects surrounding load time (UX, UI, SEO) is a smart investment for both commerce and presentational sites.
Every visitor to a site is a potential customer, and with respect to load times and usability- the cash is on the table. If not already doing so, help to increase your company’s bottom line by leveraging all opportunities for site speed optimization. Users have high expectations for their experience and it is important to exceed their needs.