Sometimes there is a simple answer to a problem that is hard to identify because of its obviousness. Why haven’t your leads been converting? Are you marketing methods dull? Why haven’t any of your posts been shared? Is your writing bland? Of course, you should be experimenting with plenty of different solutions, and seeking to improve your business in every possible area, but there is a common denominator you may not have considered. Speed. No, not the stuff in Breaking Bad, the kind that makes your website load and run effectively. Nowadays, you just got to have it. Even if all of your other ducks are in order, without speed, you’ll fall way behind, making it difficult to launch a recovery.
Patience, Young Jedi
Sure, it’s a virtue. Yes, it will get you far in life. But counting on your web viewers and readers to demonstrate patience is like asking a big, blue monster not to eat your cookies. Don’t count on it. You surf the web. You know how it goes. Any kind of delay can result in you closing the web page and moving on to the next one. Even if you’re genuinely interested in the content, the media age has culminated in the Internet, creating a sense of right-now entitlement, for better or for worse. If you want to compete in this fast-paced environment, you’ve got to play the game at the right speed.
Rank it to the Bank
Page loading speed is a factor in Google’s algorithms. Even if it’s just a small factor, every little bit helps when it comes to ranking. Anyway, faster loading time ensures a better user experience, and that is what Google, and you, should be preoccupied with regardless of page rank. And better user experiences mean better sales. The more time a user spends on your website, the more likely they are to take an interest in your products or services. You want your viewers clicking through your pages and receiving instant gratification. You don’t want their emotional flow interrupted by a slow-loading dam.
Remember desktops? Those large, cumbersome computers that above and below your desk simultaneously, buzzing and whirring as you first connected to the magical world of the Web? Some people still have these ancient devices, but more and more Internet users use laptop computers, and increasingly connect to the Web with mobile phones and tablets. These mobile users expect the same fast loading times to which they’ve become accustomed.
Easy Does It
So what can you do to ensure that your websites are quick and accessible to desktop and mobile user alike? Make your website navigation simple yet sleek. Take it easy with graphics, music, and plugins. Instead, feature your content and make it the star of the show. Make sure there are no compatibility issues with any apps you’re utilizing. And whatever you do, don’t overload your pages with ads. Of course, you need to monetize, and paid advertisements are an excellent resource. But there is a law of diminishing returns at work here. Too many ads will both overwhelm your viewers and slow down your site, a lose-lose situation in the long run. You’ll have to test and experiment to discover the right amount of advertising for your site.
There are many tools available to diagnose your website speed and fix problems. Check out Pingdom to get started.
Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.
Follow Adam on Twitter: @thebizguy