Patience, they say, is a virtue — unless, that is, you’re a consumer searching the web. In today’s hyper-kinetic, always-on society, people expect speedy results from their Internet activities. And, as this infographic from Econsultancy.com shows, if they don’t get them, they just as quickly go elsewhere:
And time definitely is money — as in money lost. According to researchers at Aberdeen Group, a 1-second delay in load time translates into a 7% loss in conversions. Simply put, your practice website is your digital front door: If potential patients find entering difficult or prone to delay, they’re unlikely to come back.
1. Run the numbers
To get a baseline sense of how fast or slow your website loads, click on the Site Speed tab (under Content) in Google Analytics. To get a sense of how it compares to other sites, free tools like Pingdom will not only analyze your site but tell you how it stacks up compared to others.
2. Work with your webmaster
There are many ways to speed up load times, some of which are easily implemented (skip the flashy graphics) and others that require a working knowledge of advanced programming tools. You don’t need to know how to write code yourself but your webmaster should be able to show you what he or she is doing to keep your site sleek and speedy.
3. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile
Once upon a time, mobile users accepted that their phones would be slower than their desktop computers but that’s changing. In 2009, 58% of users said they expected sites to load as fast on their mobile devices as they do on their desktop, according to a study by Compuware. By last year, that number had jumped to 71%. Furthermore, 75% of users will abandon a mobile site if they have to wait 5 seconds and 46% won’t return to a site that performs poorly.