How many times have you connected to a website that makes you wait…and wait…and wait…until it finally loads? Would you stick around long enough to wait for it to load, or click away to one of their competitor’s websites?
This scenario has happened to many of us and we rarely think anything more of it. However, as a business owner, it could mean thousands of dollars in lost revenue, as well as a damaged reputation.
Not only that, slowly-loading websites on either desktop or mobile can also cause your marketing efforts to fail, even before your customers have a chance to reach your website.
Why Website Speed is Important
These days, your customers expect to see your website load in three to four seconds. It’s simply the result of how we’ve evolved in our expectations of our digital experience. Anything more than that can result in people leaving your website, which suggests to Google that you’re not providing a good user experience.
That’s due to something called a “bounce” rate. Bounce rates are tracked by web traffic analysis software, and represents the percentage of people visiting your site, and then leaving without clicking through to anywhere else.
The bad news is that Google can see your website’s bounce rate, so it’s important to keep it as low as possible. Here are some examples of how a high bounce rate can actually hurt your online marketing efforts:
- Lower your search rankings: Slow loading pages increases the chances of users leaving your website. High bounce rates and poor conversions negatively affect your authority in Google’s algorithm, directly affecting your search rankings. Therefore, a website optimized for speed will put a website higher on the search results page.
- Affects paid search campaigns: To have a successful PPC campaign, you need a high website quality score. If Google determines that your website provides a good user experience based on them reaching your page from search keywords, your quality score will be high. Low bounce rates and high conversions also raise your quality score, making it easier for you to show up in the top two positions on Google for paid ads.
- Impacts social ads: Facebook ads operate in much the same way as Google ads, focusing on providing the best ad results for their users. They also prioritize ads that offer a positive user experience, in which website speed plays a factor. If your website loads quickly, your ads are given higher priority in the Facebook newsfeed.
- Decreases customer satisfaction: The reality of user experience is that no one wants to wait more than five seconds for a website to load. Longer load times puts your customers off before they’ve even had a chance to look at your content, and raises the chance of them clicking away to your competitor’s website. Having happy customers means staying on your website longer, lowering your bounce rate which, as we’ve seen, affects your search, PPC, and social ad results.
- Lowers conversions: If people are bouncing off your website because it takes forever to load, how will they ever have a chance to convert? Having a fast-loading website that’s easy to navigate will improve the user experience, and lead them quickly and efficiently to your conversion pages.
It’s clear that your site speed can seriously hurt your business, and impact your bottom line. The good news is that there are ways to fix the situation so you can make both your customers and Google happy.
How to optimize website speed
Here are 6 ways you can reverse the trend of a bad bounce rate and start moving up the Google search rankings:
- Develop caching strategies: Modern websites have come a long way from simple HTML coding. We’re now regularly working with dynamic features, large images, web fonts, video, and more. These elements can slow down your website load speed, especially if they’re loaded using code on every visit. You can use many different cache strategies to store frequently used queries, files, and objects in order to optimize page load speed.
- Optimizing images: Unoptimized images can severely affect your load speed. Compressing them using an image compression tool, such as Imagify, helps shrink them into smaller sizes. This helps your page load faster. You can also use the “lazy loading” technique to speed up your website, which only downloads images as they become visible on the screen, as opposed to all at once.
- Use a content delivery network (CDN): If your customers are accessing your website from international locations, the time it takes for your server to deliver content to their computer will be noticeable. CDNs help decrease loading time by storing assets in remote data centres that are closer to your customers. The result is faster delivery of your website at much better load speeds.
- Optimize hosting: Your hosting solution might be affecting site speed as well. Low-cost hosting services often use shared servers with RAM and CPU that might already be over-burdened with demand. It’s well worth upgrading or configuring your current hosting package to ensure your website always loads with efficiency.
- Remove poorly designed plugins: With thousands of plugins available for WordPress, it’s tempting to download as many as possible to give your website as many features as possible. However, many plugins weren’t very well designed, and can negatively affect website performance. Even widgets that use external code can slow down your website, so it might be more prudent to look at other options to provide the services you need without weighing down your site.
- Solve load bottlenecks: Naturally, you want to drive users to your social media channels for ongoing engagement, or track performance of your social media ad campaigns. However, tracking scripts for platforms and series such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook pixels, and Google AdSense can hinder website performance. Your developer can usewaterfall reports from GT Metrix to identify bottlenecks and develop strategies to make everything run smoothly.
It takes some technical savvy to complete most (if not all) of these tips, so be sure to ask for assistance when optimizing your website for speed. If you have any questions about the process, just drop us a line. We’re happy to answer all of your questions.
CSP Marketing Solutions
What personal information do we collect from the people that visit our blog, website or app?
When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your name, email address, phone number or other details to help you with your experience.
When do we collect information?
We collect information from you when you register on our site, subscribe to a newsletter, respond to a survey, fill out a form, Use Live Chat, Open a Support Ticket or enter information on our site.
How do we use your information?
We may use the information we collect from you when you register, make a purchase, sign up for our newsletter, respond to a survey or marketing communication, surf the website, or use certain other site features in the following ways:
- To personalize your experience and to allow us to deliver the type of content and product offerings in which you are most interested.
- To improve our website in order to better serve you.
- To allow us to better service you in responding to your customer service requests.
- To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature.
- To ask for ratings and reviews of services or products
- To follow up with them after correspondence (live chat, email or phone inquiries)
How do we protect your information?
We do not use vulnerability scanning and/or scanning to PCI standards.
We only provide articles and information. We never ask for credit card numbers.
We use regular Malware Scanning.
Your personal information is contained behind secured networks and is only accessible by a limited number of persons who have special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential. In addition, all sensitive/credit information you supply is encrypted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology.
We implement a variety of security measures when a user enters, submits, or accesses their information to maintain the safety of your personal information.
All transactions are processed through a gateway provider and are not stored or processed on our servers.
Do we use ‘cookies’?
- Help remember and process the items in the shopping cart.
- Understand and save user’s preferences for future visits.
- Keep track of advertisements.
- Compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interactions in order to offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may also use trusted third-party services that track this information on our behalf.
- You can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies. You do this through your browser settings. Since browser is a little different, look at your browser’s Help Menu to learn the correct way to modify your cookies.
If users disable cookies in their browser:
If you turn cookies off, some features will be disabled. Some of the features that make your site experience more efficient and may not function properly.
However, you will still be able to place orders.
We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your Personally Identifiable Information.
Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third-party products or services on our website. These third-party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.
Google’s advertising requirements can be summed up by Google’s Advertising Principles. They are put in place to provide a positive experience for users. https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/1316548?hl=en
We use Google AdSense Advertising on our website.
We have implemented the following:
- Remarketing with Google AdSense
- Google Display Network Impression Reporting
- Demographics and Interests Reporting
We, along with third-party vendors such as Google use first-party cookies (such as the Google Analytics cookies) and third-party cookies (such as the DoubleClick cookie) or other third-party identifiers together to compile data regarding user interactions with ad impressions and other ad service functions as they relate to our website.
Users can set preferences for how Google advertises to you using the Google Ad Settings page. Alternatively, you can opt out by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative Opt Out page or by using the Google Analytics Opt Out Browser add on.
California Online Privacy Protection Act
According to CalOPPA, we agree to the following:
Users can visit our site anonymously.
- Can change your personal information:
- By emailing us
- By calling us
How does our site handle Do Not Track signals?
We honour Do Not Track signals and Do Not Track, plant cookies, or use advertising when a Do Not Track (DNT) browser mechanism is in place.
Does our site allow third-party behavioural tracking?
It’s also important to note that we allow third-party behavioural tracking
COPPA (Children Online Privacy Protection Act)
When it comes to the collection of personal information from children under the age of 13 years old, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) puts parents in control. The Federal Trade Commission, United States’ consumer protection agency, enforces the COPPA Rule, which spells out what operators of websites and online services must do to protect children’s privacy and safety online. We do not specifically market to children under the age of 13 years old.
Fair Information Practices
The Fair Information Practices Principles form the backbone of privacy law in the United States and the concepts they include have played a significant role in the development of data protection laws around the globe. Understanding the Fair Information Practice Principles and how they should be implemented is critical to comply with the various privacy laws that protect personal information.
In order to be in line with Fair Information Practices we will take the following responsive action, should a data breach occur:
We will notify you via email
- Within 7 business days
We also agree to the Individual Redress Principle which requires that individuals have the right to legally pursue enforceable rights against data collectors and processors who fail to adhere to the law. This principle requires not only that individuals have enforceable rights against data users, but also that individuals have recourse to courts or government agencies to investigate and/or prosecute non-compliance by data processors.
CAN SPAM Act
The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have emails stopped from being sent to them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.
We collect your email address in order to:
- Send information, respond to inquiries, and/or other requests or questions
- Market to our mailing list or continue to send emails to our clients after the original transaction has occurred.
To be in accordance with CANSPAM, we agree to the following:
- Not use false or misleading subjects or email addresses.
- Identify the message as an advertisement in some reasonable way.
- Include the physical address of our business or site headquarters.
- Monitor third-party email marketing services for compliance, if one is used.
- Honor opt-out/unsubscribe requests quickly.
- Allow users to unsubscribe by using the link at the bottom of each email.
If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, you can email us at [email protected] and we will promptly remove you from ALL correspondence.