Web Design & Development
As web technology evolves, it allows people everywhere to find and distribute information faster and faster. One side effect of this quicker, easier access to information is that people’s attention spans are shrinking. This means that a website that loads slowly can have some pretty dramatic consequences, namely in two specific areas:
Website Viewers: I can think of several times recently that I visited a website and it didn't load within a few seconds. Each time, I gave up, clicked the 'Back' button in my browser, and kept going on with my life (as I am sure most other people do too). Because many people now find most of the information, products, and services they need online, website loading speed should be a huge concern for business owners. If you have a dated website that loads slowly and frustrates users into leaving, you are losing these customers. Even if it’s just one person per week, that’s at least 52 potential customers—and all the revenue they would bring—that you’re missing out on each year!
Google: Google has recently added a 'Page Loading Time' module to their webmaster tools application and Google Analytics. Their main objective behind this is to keep the most relevant sites ranked the highest in their search results. One method they use to determine relevance is called the "Bounce Rate," which indicates what percentage of people arrive at your website and then immediately leave. For example, if 73% of people who click the top search result for "Plumbers in Columbia, SC," leave the website immediately, Google doesn’t want that site at the top of the search results because it is probably not relevant to what they're searching for.
Now, step back and think about what this means to you as a business owner. Not only are you having visitors quickly flee your website (possibly due to slow load times), but your placement in Google searches may be dropping as well! Both represent potential revenue that is being lost due to a website that wasn’t developed to load quickly and correctly.
How can businesses keep themselves from losing customers this way? Well, one major factor is using a quality web design company to build the site correctly, from the ground up. After all, as more and more users hop onto the internet to look for your business, you may want to think twice about having your friend's cousin's brother create your website!