Ever been to a website that took forever to load? How long did you wait before you left?
Less than 7 seconds?
Perhaps you didn't even wait that long.
According to one study, when pages take more than 3 seconds to load, 57% of users will abandon the site.
It goes without saying then that site speed is a critical factor that impacts your ranking in the search engines and also your sales.
Studies from the Aberdeen Group show that 40% of people abandon websites take more than 30 secs to load - therefore a 1 sec delay can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
So if an e-commerce site is making $100,000 a day, a 1 sec delay could potentially cost $2.5m in lost sales every year.
Furthermore, almost half of all shoppers say that slow pages during checkout make them worry that the transaction has failed.
Businesses who have moved to faster hosting providers have improved both rankings in Google and sales.
Google also confirmed that they have made page speed a ranking factor in a blog post some time back. Bear in mind though that page speed is just one of about 200 factors that determine's a website's position in the search engines. And while it may only affect a small proportion of websites, it doesn't mean it should be ignored.
Google's aim is to provide end users with the best possible user experience. That's because satisfying end users keeps them loyal to Google and this protects Google's advertising revenue which generated over $43.6b in 2012.
Conversely, it also provides your customer (or visitor) with a better experience. Giving users a better experience will help you make more money.
If fact, Google is so serious about the end user experience, they have recently launched a new Page Speed Service that you can use to improve your website speed.
There is a limited free trial on offer so now is a good time to try it out. The service is invite only, but you can sign up to receive and invitation. If your website is sluggish, then we recommend signing up to the service.
If you still skeptical, you run a free test to see how your website speed will be improved if you use this new service. We tried it on a couple of websites and saw a 47% reduction in page load time on one of the websites we tested.
You can even use a service like Pingdom to monitor the load speed of your websites and learn how to make it faster.