Web users can be extremely hard to please. But, let’s say you’re crazy enough to want to try and keep visitors out of your website, for the sake of science. If you’re looking to absolutely piss web users off, make your webpage load times unbearable. Loading speed is among the most important factors for SEO ranking, as most experts will agree. Understanding why from a business perspective is easy.
Loading time is a critical contributor to page abandonment, since the average user is extremely impatient. According to an infographic by Kiss Metrics, a page that takes between 2 to 10 seconds to load are more likely to be abandoned about 30 percent of the time.
Wait A Second… Nope, Too Long
Google’s team of engineers recognizes the trend as well. According to Google’s Arvind Jain, web users nowadays hate the idea of waiting ‘subconsciously.’ The timeframe, according to Jain, is incredibly slim — websites have literally less than a second to load up assets before a visitor gets bored entirely. That’s 400 milliseconds, to be exact. Furthermore, people are less likely to visit a website if it is slower than a competitor by over 250 milliseconds. Take note that a millisecond is one-thousandth of a second.
Why Users Love a Responsive Web Page
Experts contend that a website’s slowness can directly affect customer perception of the website itself. For them, a slow-loading website is indicative of the company’s poor attention to its upkeep. What can they expect from such a business in a real world scenario, then?
Responsive websites also do one thing for users: it makes them feel more in control. Of course, who doesn’t like to take the reins? It’s basically hardwired into the human brain. People have the tendency to want to be in control because we seek certain things: a sense of certainty, an understanding of how things work, and making sure our surroundings stay consistent with our standards. What this means to web users and responsive websites is easy to see: a company website that values their time is an excellent choice to do business with.
Mobile Web Users are the Toughest of the Bunch
Since mobile platforms tend to be more limited in terms of hardware capability, websites tend to load slower when browsed on them. It’s a bit unfair, since mobile users are the most impatient of the lot; being on-the-go and all. Experts reveal that the most time mobile users will wait for a website to load is 6-10 seconds. That number constitutes a small 30 percent of the sample size.
If your company’s website suffers from extremely slow loading times, it’s time to fix it. The numbers speak for themselves, and blatant negligence of current trends has no place in SEO.