Did you know that the average attention span of people is only 8 seconds? In 2015, Microsoft conducted a study including surveying of 2,000 people and monitoring the brain activity of 112 additional people using electroencephalograms. The study found that the average human attention span is declining rapidly and at eight seconds, making it shorter than that of goldfish at nine seconds. In the year 2000, we had an average attention span of 12 seconds.
So how does this impact small businesses like yours and mine? You may have never thought of it – but a slow-loading website can be your biggest threat. As a business owner, your ultimate goal for having a website is to increase brand awareness and drive sales. Unfortunately, all of the traffic you are getting – either through organic or paid advertisement – will not save a slow site.
Research shows that a one-second delay in site loading time will lead to a 7 percent loss in conversion; for e-commerce giant Amazon, a one-second delay will result in a loss of $1.6 billion annually.
Furthermore, an Aberdeen Group study shows that one-second delay in page loading time will result in 16% increase in customer dissatisfaction. Another research shows that 96% of customers will not complain when dissatisfied with a business and 91% will not come back.
So What should you do about it?
Improve your website speed. Pretty much every statistic measuring the impact of website speed points to the fact that faster is better; increasing your website speed will increase your traffic, online engagement and, most importantly, conversions. A study by Gomez that monitored real user activity from 33 major retailers found that decreasing page load time from eight to two seconds increases conversions by 74 percent.
If you are curious how your website fares on a speed test, head over to the Pingdom Website Speed Test and Google PageSpeed Insights. Both tools are reliable sources of testing how fast or slow your website loads. We recommend using both tools together to get a better gauge of where your website stands. You can use the page load time on Pingdom and see if you can get under 2 seconds. 2 seconds is what many industry professionals use as a benchmark as to whether a website is performing well or not with speed test.
Website optimization is a strategy a business can employ to improve the online user experience which results in greater engagement and increased sales. Spend some time and resources into optimizing your website for speed and watch the engagement metrics like pages per session and average session duration increase over period of time.