Have you ever waited in line at a shop or waited in a restaurant for the waiter to take your order? As a business owner you would be aware how these small frustrations can impact on customer experience. Likewise making a visitor wait for your page to load can impact on online enquiries or purchases.
However, there are some key areas that can improve your website’s performance. Read below to see the most important improvements you can make your online customer experience the best it can be.
What seems to be the problem?
The speed of your website matters
Nobody likes to wait. According to Google, 53% of visitors abandon websites that take more than three seconds to load.
This generation of consumers is used to getting the information they need in just one click.
Even a one-second delay in load time can result in at least 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in conversions.
Customers value speed.
Your website’s layout, well-written content, and effective ads go only part way to getting the best of your website. If your site is slow, customers won’t bother waiting and despite all your efforts the customer experience will effect your website performance.
Here are a few possible reasons on why your website is slow:
- Slow web hosting
- Extra-large images
- Complex file formats
- Unnecessary redirects
- Too many plug-ins
What should you do?
Improve your website speed to reduce fall-offs.
Remember, design is not just about aesthetics. If you want conversions, you should make the path from discovery to conversion easy for your customers.
What is a good page load time?
As mentioned, customers will only wait for three seconds at most – this should be your goal.
The current average load time of websites is 7 seconds, twice as slow than the ideal. If you can speed up your website load time, you will have another edge over most of your competitors.
So, how do you do that?
Here are 5 ways to optimise your website speed and improve the overall customer experience:
1. Choose a hosting plan and provider that can meet your business needs
Remember: Your domain is basically your website’s name and Hosting is the house where your website lives.
Here are the different web hosting types you can choose from:
– Shared hosting is the least expensive and the least powerful. Small businesses usually start here. There are several websites living in a single server, and they all compete for bandwidth and computing capacity. If your website does not generate much traffic, then shared hosting is for you.
– Dedicated server hosting allows you to be the only one consuming a physical server’s resources. As a result, your speed and performance significantly increase. This is best for websites with significant traffic, complex applications, and in-house experts who can set-up, maintain, and update the server.
– Scalable Cloud-based Virtual Private Server (VPS). In this hosting model, you have your own dedicated virtual server and you only pay for what you use. This is best for businesses looking to grow over time as the hosting company adds more resources to respond to demand.
– Managed Hosting is for you if you want the bandwidth and power of a VPS or Dedicated Server, but don’t have people with skills in technical server administration. Managed hosting providers can do the initial configuration, maintenance, and upgrade on your behalf.
2. Use website images wisely
Images help provide an optimal experience to your customers by making your website guiding and more visually appealing.
If the visual content you choose is causing negative effects to your website’s performance, then you must act on it immediately.
Here is a quick guide in choosing images for your website:
- Choose images with the smallest size while retaining quality
- Crop images to follow the size you only need
- Use the JPG image type – it discards some image data without reducing the quality
- Don’t overload one page with images
- Compress your images to reduce the file size
3. Select appropriate apps or plug-ins
Apps and plug-ins are supposed to enhance the features of your website.
If done appropriately, they help improve customer experience. However, overloading your website with too many plug-ins compromises its speed.
Integrate only those that you need and add value, and keep them up-to-date to optimise your page load time.
4. Design your website on a mobile view first
Mobile-First design has been proven to result in a good website user experience.
Most customers are on the go, so a mobile-friendly version of your website is definitely a requirement.
Even before setting-up and designing your website, focus on an excellent mobile design to achieve a seamless website experience for your customers across several screens and devices.
5. Have Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)
The main benefit of CDNs is that they shorten the amount of time needed to provide your website’s content to the geographical location of your site visitors.
To explain it simply, think of your web server as the main highway, your CDNs as short-cut lanes, your website content as cars, and your site visitors’ location as the destinations.
If you don’t have CDNs, all cars will have to pass through the main highway (main webserver) to get to the different destinations (location of your site visitors). This results in traffic jams and congestion (slow website load time).
But with CDNs (short-cut lanes), cars now have the option to choose which among the lanes have the shortest distance towards their target destination. Thus, your content reaches your site visitors faster.
On top of that, CDNs also help improve your website security.
Since requests for content are routed to them first, they block attacks and prevent them from affecting your main web server, which is where you store the vulnerable files of your site.
There is much to consider to be able to optimise your website for a good customer experience.
It is more than just choosing the layout, colours, and fonts to use. Technical know-how is also crucial to make sure that you get customers to visit and stay on your website.
If you want to know your website’s performance, we can help identify where your site’s problems are and how to resolve them.
We can provide suggestions and points for improvement to make sure that you are able to deliver a seamless customer experience on your website.