You’ve probably heard the maxim ‘speed is good but great haste leads to great waste’. This is a virulent affliction to online business and site loading. Since it’s learned, it can also be unlearnt. Errant assumption lies at the root of all failures in life. We need to question all assumptions maybe it’s applicable to our current situation or not.

Things are changing very fast and Google is the number 1 factor in terms of being relevant online today. There’s a popular saying ‘if you want to hide something from people, just put it on the second page of Google. This holds true to some extent. Online shoppers today are impatient. The world has become a global village; some called it a jet world. Things are becoming extremely fast. If you need any information, the first point of call to your memory is a search engine.

Aside from the first few ad’s on Google, searchers believe more on the first result page of Google than any other factor put together. In fact, statistics show that 80% of searchers users tend to stop and click at all the first result on Google page than all other pages.

There are a lot of factors that contribute to this result based on Google report. Great content, metatag, description, and headline are one of those factors. Due to our headline today, we’ll be focusing on site load time.

Why page load time

The only source of value today is time. It’s a convertible and scarcest resource we have to trade our life with. Website visitors care more about loading time than all the design, graphics, screenshots, images and so on. Queue kills sales they say!

Some years back, Google vice president, Marissa Mayer did an interesting experiment that leads to a great discovery. She asks web surfers about result page experience. The question is: would you rather see 10 or 30 results for your Google search? Many users agreed that 30 result page at once would be a nice idea. So Google implements it on some pages.

The shocking truth

Pages that displayed 30 results had a drastic drop in traffic by 20%. They compared their loading difference between 10 and 30 result pages and found that it was just half a second loading time. They just conclude that, if half of a second can make much difference in user engagement, how much would it make if you shed a second or two off the loading time? Therefore Google strongly advised webmasters to optimize their site to load in at least 1 second to avoid visitors abandoning their site due to unnecessary delays

Winning by a nose

Small difference in loading time, can lead to an enormous difference in result. Over 2 million content is being published every day in different niches and industry but the one with fast loading time can take the lead on search engine result. The difference between top ranked site and mediocre sites is not so much about the site structure. It’s often a few small things like page loading time put into consideration.

Here’s a great instance, in a horse race, the horse that wins in a race do not have many gaps from the second horse, but a nose faster. If it wins by a nose, it gets ten times the prize money of the horse that loses by a nose. The question now is: is the horse that wins by a nose ten times faster than the horse that loses by a nose? Is it 10% faster? No, it’s only a nose faster, but that translates into a 1000% in a prize.

The same thing happens online. In an online world, it’s a winner takes all approach. The site that loads faster by a nose gets 1000% in page rank, visitors, conversions, and traffic – tweet this

The old belief about page loading time

While the old belief about loading time is not much of a parameter to Google ranking factor, it can contribute to rise and fall of your site conversion rate. The great matt cutt says you shouldn’t panic about load time affecting your Google ranking. It’s just one out of 200 signals Google uses in determining ranking factor. He even submitted in 2010 that site speed will carry less weight than other key ranking factors such as site relevance, inbound links, authority, great content, in-depth articles etc. A Recent post by seomoz also support this assertion, they submitted that ‘while site speed is a new signal released by Google, it doesn’t carry as much weight as the relevancy of a page. They concurred that less than 1% of search queries are affected by site speed signal.

Speed matters to conversion rate

Nothing can be farther from the truth. The analysis above by matt cuts and seomoz is no longer as accurate as it should base on research findings. Speed is essential; it’s the cornerstone of optimization today.  A 1-second delay in page loading can lead to enormous 7% reduction in conversion. Recent study let us agree on this fact that ‘a 1-second delay can cause $2.5 million dollars in lost sales every year on an e-commerce website.

Here are some interesting discovery

  • 40% of visitors will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. – kiss metrics
  • 67% of UK shoppers said that site slowness is the top reason they abandon a purchase (
  • 51% of us shoppers felt uneasy and impatient on a site that takes fewer than 5 seconds to load (Radware).
  • 73% of mobile internet users submitted that they’ve encountered sites that were too slow to load.
  • Leading sites takes 4.9 seconds to load with in-depth usable content.
  • The sites that load faster get 1000% prize value in form of website visitors and page rank.
  • 47% of users expect your webpage to load in under 2 seconds
  • Also, whopping 57% of website visitors will abandon a page if its loading time is more than 3 seconds
  • Peak traffic time reports that over 75% of customers switch to a competitors site to buy a similar product than waiting for a site that takes too long to load.
  • In sharp contrast between website that load in 1 second and others that load in 3 seconds, website that loads in 3 seconds experience 50 % higher bounce rate, 22% reduction in page views and conversion. Conversely, when compared to a site that loads in 5 seconds, the result becomes more disgusting to a site that loads in 1 second. Website that loads in 5 seconds result in 105% higher bounce rate, 38% fewer conversion rate, and 35% lesser page views.

Therefore it’s important to ensure that page load of our website is as critical as the other factors put together based on the statistical fact cited above.

Tools and resources to check your site speed.

Website generally weighs around 130 kb as a rule of thumb. The size is inclusive of images, scripts and style sheets, font etc. nearly 50% of web users expect a site to load in less than 2 seconds reported Alkamai and Gomez. As far as human mind is concerned, anything that can appear quicker than 100 milliseconds is considered instant. This shows that customers can clearly distinguish any delays that occur between 100 – 300-millisecond ranges. When a site loads slower than these, they tend to leave the site for no apparent logical reason let alone 7 seconds load time. This supports the notion why 75% of users switch within 4 seconds.

To accelerate website sped, here are some tools to check your site status since a problem discovered is half solved.

  1. Use pingdom’s speed test tool – this tool is used to check current page load time. Just hover over the site and type in your desired URL as indicated below and it’ll give you the page speed. It also allows for multiple locations.
  1. Page speed online – split mobile and desktop. This tool analyzes a page speed and gives insight on the grade of 100. It grades sites based on optimization and user experience and suggests possible recommendations. It’s developed by Google and it categorizes sites into three, namely: Good, needs work or poor.
  1. Webpage test tool – you can take the test further to compare your site speed with that of your competitor’s site. This will allow you to know how you fare in your niche. Spot this problem so that solutions can be found to unearth the limit quicker. A tool like info is a great tool. Just insert the two URL into the boxes and then click the go button. Next is to see the result.

If your results are not encouraging enough, here is the way out

How to optimize page loading

  1. Delete unused plugin

Plugins are extensions that enhance the functionality of a site. It’s a lot like useful applications in your smartphones downloaded on play store to make your site function more. In most cases, most of the plugins are not worth it. We do not need them if we take a cursory look at it. To free up more bandwidth and space if you are a WordPress user, then delete unused plugins to boost the speed of your site.

  1. Reduce large sized images – large sized and high-resolution images slow down the loading speed of a site ten times when compared to normal images. It affects page loading drastically. As a blogger, we tend to fall in love with colorful images and graphics (which is good), without considering the aftermath effect it has on our site. There’s a discovery on using many images in one blog post which holds true because human being is relatively visuals. The author later submits that we should use at least one image for every 350 words to break down the content into easy and friendly tone based on research findings. But what if the images are large sized? It causes a lot of damages to the site. The effect of 1 or more images in a post has not yet been discovered. The basic rule of thumb is to use at least one image in a post. Simple! If you are pretty serious about your site speed, image reduction should be of utmost priority.

Use GTMetrix tool to examine how your website fare in this respect and compress the image size using any editing software online to alleviate white spaces and unnecessary jargons. You can also compress all images in your dashboard without losing its quality by using Google’s image compressor ‘pagespeed’ plugin. Thereafter, you can modify the compressed images to adjust them properly for your website standard. Don’t forget quality images still matter. It enhances slippery slide in readability.

  1. Host your site with a trusted hosting company –There are many gobbledygook hosting companies out there that are looking for another victim to prey on. Your website is your online presence; therefore handpicking the best one will do you well in the long run. Inefficient hosting solutions slow down your website and kill your business. Avoid them before they kill your business. An outstanding hosting company will ensure that the loading speed of your site is fast and it loads within 1 second.

    If your website is hosted on an overcrowded server, your Google page ranking will suffer for it. Although choosing an efficient hosting company might be tricky. If you’ve fallen prey on the hand of a mediocre hosting company, it’s your job to switch. Watch out for the red pointers and do the needed changes as far as possible.

    Employ the kwink analysis

    A good technique to determine whether a hosting company is giving you stress or not is to practice detoxification; the KWINK analysis. Just ask yourself ‘knowing what I now know about this hosting company, if I haven’t hosted my site with them before, will I go ahead and host it now? If your answer is no, then ask the follow-up question: how can I get rid of them and how fast?

    One way to determine if something gives problem is what I called stress. If they give you stress, then they are subject to extinction.


    Customer focused site is the best form of sites online today. Research findings suggest that one happy customer tells 3 others while one unhappy customer tells 11 others. This means that bad news travel very fast. An unhappy customer/user experience on a site is almost 4 times greater than a satisfied customer. That’s why sites like Google, Amazon, Facebook makes it a job to improve their user experience on a daily basis. They add many features that make their site robust yet not being blind on the basis i.e. page loading.

    Remember the best time to optimize your site speed is probably a year ago and the next best time is now. If you are not tech savvy, you can employ a developer to help you out – of course, the investment will later result in high yield. The money is not lost.

    After all the extensive statistics and explanation cited above, you must act now on your site. If you don’t act when you have the chance of victory, you’ll surely have to act when you have no chance at all. Now is the watchword of the wise. Your competitors are working every day to eat you alive by optimizing their own site. Don’t let that happen to you.


Adeshina Lawal is a successful freelance writer at He loves to guide his fellow writers with actionable tips to enhance their writing career. He’s also a content strategist and blogging expert that helps individuals and companies get result in lesser time. You can reach him on his twitter account or through his site here. When he’s not writing, he reads a lot of blogs and marketing sites to discover new ways to get result and apply it to his own life. He believes it’s worthless to pour new wine in old wineskin. Strategy is better than energy. Result and rewards are what counts.

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