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For every business, time is money, but that can be true for customers too. Customers that are in a rush, or browsing while on the move don’t have time to wait for your website or other features to load. They might only have a short amount of time and thus they need to make sure every second is not wasted. You would think that with the advent of smartphones and Google prioritizing mobile friendly websites that this would be a no brainer. Yet, so many small businesses don’t realize how long waiting times make people just swipe or click away. And yet, the standard of what can be deemed ‘too long’ is also changing. Maybe 5 years ago it could take 5 seconds to load up a page and seen as normal. Now, 5 seconds is just too long. Inherently, you should be up to speed with what kind of technology you’re using as well.
Focus on priority content
Take for example your business blog, you don’t want certain pieces of content to load slower than others. Sometimes you have catchy slogans, titles and first paragraphs or sentences that are designed to capture the reader so they don’t click away so easily. Well, you need to give your main content priority when it comes to the loading que. If you have videos and text together, you need to choose which one is going to be more eye catching and thus order them correctly. Maybe you think your blog content is more important than any visuals, thus images and videos will need to load after the text. This also comes down to any ads you’re running on the webpage. If you have a video or PPC ad in the banner, you need to decide whether to load the ads first or the content. In other words, you need to formulate a queue so you have a better chance of keeping the consumer on the page for the initial few seconds.
Speed is essential
Speed is often the savior in many forms of life. The speed of your transactions, decision making, problem solving and also webpage loadings is vital to success. Take a look at Pagespeedplus.com where you can learn how the speed of your web pages can be calculated and improved. Sometimes the homepage loads faster because it’s going to be the main page in the results of search engines. However you may also need to keep a high standard for your ‘browse products’ page. Although it’s understandable that this kind of page will be slower because of the amount of links and images. However, this page will always be added to thus the page will load slower and slower. Using bulk testing you can see which pages aren’t loading as fast as you’d like them to.
Allow quick access
For businesses that allow users to create accounts and profiles, you will have a sign in or log in bar on the homepage or pretty much every webpage. However users that just want to log in to comment on a post in the forums, comment on a blog post or just generally sign in so they can use their account to shop, should not be left waiting for the log/sign in bar to load. Therefore this is also something you must take into account when designing the bar itself. Your page might load from the top down, or just individually but the login bar must be one of the first in the line. You might also want to allow the bar to be inside of another item such as a profile picture. This adds another step to the process even though the profile picture may be the first thing that loads up. However if you put the login bar as a separate item to load, this can mean you need to sacrifice content in the loading que. It’s good practice to therefore make the login bar top priority for only some pages because after all, it may only be used by those that are regular customers.
Speed is absolutely essential when it comes to loading times. Pages that are not set up for mobiles will not keep that browsing commuting consumer on your website for long. It’s even easier to swipe away than it is to go back on a desktop computer. It’s also within your best interest to make sure you have a content priority queue. Only the most important content that you believe will keep customers on the page for longer should be loading up first.