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Why a slow website will strangle your success

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You’ll probably be aware there’s a direct correlation between the loading time of your website and bounce rate; which means the number of people that leave your site prematurely without purchasing anything.

Similar to a high street store, people online will naturally browse a few different stores – the first step, therefore, is to be found and attract people to your site.  This is where SEO comes in.

Once they’re through the door, your job now is to engage them and direct their attention toward products that might be of interest.  In general, the more time a user spends in your store the greater the chance they’ll spend money – which is why high street brands tend to invest so much in visual merchandising.

A high bounce rate means that whilst a website has high traffic, it has very low engagement, and therefore people simply don’t buy anything.  This would be a high bounce rate.  When it comes to a website, it’s very easy to leave a store, as it’s simply a click of the mouse.  If you’re website is slow to load people are simply too impatient to wait around.

Having a high bounce rate will cripple your online business success.  It has been found that over  50% of potential customers will leave your website if the site takes more than 3 seconds to load.

In an increasingly impatient world, particularly online, where people are bombarded with content choices and overwhelmed with options from a multitude of service providers, ensuring an optimum load speed of your website is just as important as branding.

Website design is both an art and science.  Whilst the visual design of a website might not seem like it would have much effect on load speed but effective website design is absolutely critical to ensuring fast loading pages.

User Experience (UX) design, on the other hand might not technically improve the speed of your website – it will increase the speed at which users navigate and understand how to find information.  This will lead to an improvement on a number of key metrics including engagement, bounce rate, and so on.

When we think about user experience design, we often think to web design, however it’s not just about aesthetic design – it is equally to do with functionality.

In the early stages of web development, it can be hard to get the feedback necessary to consider the flow of how users will interact with your website – which is where looking at many other websites and seeing common themes within their content architecture and user experience; then modelling these principles into your own website.  It’s also important to get as much feedback from as many different people as possible in terms of the ease of use of the planned design and whether they interact with the structure in the way you imagine them too.

In summary, speed is absolutely critical to your online success as is the user experience of the website you are creating — you want to ensure that the page loads quickly and clearly directs people to relevant content; just like how a supermarket aisle makes it clear where shoppers can get what it is they’re looking for.

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