Have you experienced the technical difficulties of pages not loading and strange error codes appearing in their place when clicking through to a website? Did it fill you with confidence about using that site or did it put you off returning? Chances are the latter.
Slow Page Load Speeds Are A Killer!
Today’s savvy internet user is less forgiving than even a few years ago. A web page that takes longer than 2 seconds to load is considered unsatisfactory by more than half of internet users. And that dissatisfaction hurts the reputation of that site.
Think about it. You find what you’re looking for on Google, click the listing and then, right before your eyes, it disappears and a horrible looking 404 page appears, leaving you banging your head on your desk and praying to the Gods of the internet (theindependent.co.uk is a case in point for me when accessing from an ipad! Grr).
If your site sells products or provides information that prospects want, then they need to have confidence in you. If they can’t access your site, even temporarily, it can seriously affect your bottom line. An unreliable site can ruin a business because people move on to other sites all too quickly.
Not all problems are related to the businesses end of the connection. Sometimes, especially with those using older equipment, they don’t update to the latest browser version, maybe have an old version of Flash, etc, and this can be a partial cause. But most of the time people will assume it is the businesses fault. As such it iss vital to run regular diagnostic tests on your website.
What kind of Site Performance/SEO diagnostic tests?
Well for one, when was the last time you went to your Google Webmaster Tools and checked your 404 error report? When was the last time you ran a speed test with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool? When was the last time you checked your sitewide crawlability? Have you checked how Google fetches and renders your site on a mobile device recently in Webmaster tools?
These kind of check should be performed at least monthly to ensure everything is running smoothly. Site speed, user time on site and mobile responsive template designs, for example, are all SEO ranking factors. But, more importantly, they are user turnoff points and, if not seen and addressed, can quickly do damage to your brand.
Performance is everything when selling your business online. Get in the habit of running a sitewide diagnostic test at least once a month.
- Over the past two decades, as the online world has experienced exponential growth, websites have become increasingly complex.
- Web pages have evolved from simple HTML pages with a few graphics to responsive, personalized pages that focus on the user experience.
- In tandem with the growing sophistication of websites, customers’ quality standards have also matured.
“Consumers and search engines alike have high expectations for websites, so unchecked problems and errors can have a big impact on SEO and content performance.”