Your Website is Slow and it’s Affecting Your Search Traffic

Article By LDA Interactive Staff

Website speed is and always has been critical to the success of a website.  Don’t think that just because the infrastructure in the US is improving and our home/mobile internet speeds are improving that this no longer applies. According to Kiss Metrics, “40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load”.  As if you didn’t have enough pressure from consumers, Google and other search engines will even penalize you for a slow loading website and you can read more here.  Combine these two together and you have decreased organic traffic and conversions.

How is my website speed calculated?

Your site speed is essentially how quickly users are able to see and interact with content on your website.  The scores might be broken into the visible area in the browser (above the fold) as well as how fast the entire page loads. Usually  There are factors which affect your site speed that are related to:
  • Website Programming
  • Domain Name Servers
  • Website Hosting

There are numerous tools that you can use to measure this, and their scores are weighted and the metrics used can vary.  Typically these tools will look at how quickly your page(s) are loaded in different: operating systems, devices, browsers, and locations.  Many choose one standard screen resolution they are analyzing.  The load time for various events/elements of the page will be logged, things such as:

  • Image Loading Speed, Optimization, use of CDN
  • Deferring of JavaScript
  • Use of Caching
  • Minification of CSS and HTML
  • HTTP Requests
  • DNS Lookups
  • Number of requests
Equally important is also the time to first byte (TTFB).  This is the time is takes from when a user makes an HTTP request to your web server till when the first byte of data is received by their browser.

How can I test my website speed?

There is a plethora of tools available that are a quick Google away.  I happen to favor GTmetrix, but I’ve also included a list of some others:

  1. GTmetrix
  2. Google Page Speed Insights
  3. Pingdom
  4. WebPageTest
  5. UpTrends
  6. DareBoost
  7. GiftOfSpeed
Most tools you simple enter in your website URL you wish to analyze.  Some have configurations for resolution, location to ping from, and so on.  GTmetrix saves your searches and has historical charts which is nice to monitor your performance over time in the event a recent change might have caused a negative impact.
What is a good speed?

I think it goes without saying that the faster the better.  Some will run into limitations of their current hosting plan and the platform the website was built on.  Regardless, with the right hosting plan + setup, and properly optimized website, you can achieve a good result. If at all possible I would try to keep it under 4 seconds.  Here are some interesting stats from a study that Moz did.

  • If your site loads in 5 seconds it is faster than approximately 25% of the web
  • If your site loads in 2.9 seconds it is faster than approximately 50% of the web
  • If your site loads in 1.7 seconds it is faster than approximately 75% of the web
  • If your site loads in 0.8 seconds it is faster than approximately 94% of the web

What if my website is slow?

You aren’t the only one.  Most website owners aren’t even aware of the importance of site speed.  But, now it’s time for you to do something.  If you are tech savvy you can try addressing some of the main issues that were flagged in your site speed report.  Otherwise I would suggest contact a business or technology professional that has expertise in this area.  Unfortunately, not all website development companies are optimizing the websites they build before they deliver them to their clients.  If that is the case for you, find someone else who can help.  Feel free to reach out to us for a consult at 213.342.1770 or send a message from our contact form.
The research for this article was done by a staff writer for LDA Interactive, a Los Angeles based web design agency.  Contact LDA at or call (213) 342-1770 for a website consultation from one of our specialists.