We’re in an age of fast. Fast food, fast cars, and now, fast websites. When was the last time you thought about your site’s speed?
Most of us don’t have a ton of patience. If you do, I commend you, but for the rest of us, we want our websites to load in 3 seconds or less. Anything longer than this is proven to adversely impact the results you get from your site.
Here are a few ways website speed affects your real estate marketing game:
How many times have you left a site because the page just isn’t loading quickly enough? For me, this is an issue I struggle with regularly. I’ll admit it, I’ll go back to the Google and find a new website if I have to wait more than a few seconds for the one I’m on to load. But, so will most other people.
The truth is that 40% of visitors will leave a site if it does not load within 3 seconds, and 80% of visitors won’t bother returning. Up this latency to 5 seconds, and you’re looking at abandonment rates of about 74%.
As a real estate professional (and by virtue, a marketer) in the digital world, you are always thinking up ways to increase traffic to your site. But, your efforts are fruitless if you can’t get people to say on it long enough for it to load. Increasing your website’s speed will help you get those opportunities that you are missing out on every time someone abandons ship.
Getting potential customers to your site is a small victory, but it’s keeping them there that turns them from opportunities to full blown converts. User engagement on your site impacts a host of your marketing metrics. For instance, the longer the page load time, the higher the bounce rates and the lower the average time spent on that page. Bottom line: If your page takes too long, your users will get frustrated, and will be less likely to engage and ultimately convert.
In fact, according to a study by the Aberdeen Group, a 1-second delay in page load time leads to 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in conversions. And this is just for 1 second; imagine how much worse these metrics would be for a 5 or 10-second delay!
Typically, when you think of website SEO, you may come up with a whole list of contributing factors, including keyword optimization, inbound linking, metadata and many more. Is site speed on that list? It should be. Google indicates that the speed of your website directly affects its ranking.
Slow page load speed can also adversely affect the way that search engines index your site. Crawlers can crawl fewer pages for a slow site than they could for a faster website. This means that all of the pages on your site may not be accurately indexed, affecting your site’s ranking as a whole.
You might be wondering how you can tell how fast (or slow) your website actually is. Here are a few tools that you can use to diagnose page speed for your site:
Test your page load time from 4 random places around the world. This tool provides detailed reports on how long each element on your page takes to load, helping you identify areas to improve.
Test the speed of your website from across the world. You’ll get information including resource loading waterfall charts, Page Speed optimization checks and suggestions for improvements.
This is a Google extension that can be used with both Chrome and FireFox. When you enter a URL the tool will give you a score telling you how optimized your page is for speed, and help you identify the issues that are slowing down your site. This tool does not directly tell you your page load time.
Compare your website speed to your competitors to see how you can out perform them!
Get your website up to speed. Every second that you can shave off of your website page load time will help you improve traffic, engagement and SEO. You visitors will not only feel more confident in and happy with your site, they will be more likely to recommend you!