How Website Speed Impacts Your Revenue

There are many ingredients that go into delivering an ideal online user experience. Design, for example, can make an immediate impact on your audience’s perception of your business.

However, few factors are quite so critical as loading speed. We’ve talked about Core Web Vitals before and how they impact overall website performance and search engine rankings. Among these metrics, loading speed is one of the easiest to measure and arguably has the most tangible impact on the effectiveness of your online presence.

So, let’s go over website speed, why it’s important, and what you can do to improve it.

How loading time affects the user experience

Let’s start out by establishing the importance of website speed to your audience. In one study, nearly 70% of consumers indicated that they take loading time into consideration when deciding to buy. If 7 out of every 10 of your potential customers care strongly about this issue, then obviously you have to as well.

Now put yourself in the shoes of an online shopper. You’re looking for a gift for a parent and open a retailer’s website, excited to have found the perfect present. However, as you follow the link, you find a blank screen for five seconds. As you attempt to navigate through different pages afterwards, each click requires a similar wait. With every passing minute, frustration mounts until, finally, you decide to look elsewhere.

Websites such as this make for a negative user experience, which in turn reduces customer interest. As frustration mounts, your business is less and less likely to realize successful conversions. And that’s only if your audience sticks around long enough to make such a decision. If it takes too long for your website to load, higher bounce rates will send your audience elsewhere immediately.

loading speed website
The homepage loading times of various automotive brands in Bahrain.

How loading time affects businesses

For most organizations with an online presence, the purpose of a website is two-fold: boosting overall conversions and online sales. Even if the people visiting your site don’t end up making a purchase, they will learn about your organization.

As such, the impression with which customers leave your website will absolutely dictate whether or not they make contact. That means that even businesses that want to primarily operate in person need to deliver a smooth online experience. Doing so means ensuring that their websites load quickly to ensure that potential shoppers don’t go elsewhere.

And when it comes to sales, consider your own experiences. When you’re buying a product and the website stalls or loads slowly as you move through the process, how likely are you to see the process through? Unless that business has cornered the market somehow, a slow website is going to lose sales regardless of product quality.

Keep in mind as well that the impact of page speed is not exclusive to sales numbers. In 2021, Google made loading times an official part of its key ranking factors. As a result, the search engine is now more likely to promote websites that load quickly. So, if you offer a slower digital experience, your business risks sacrificing visibility and access to your desired audience.

Looking at the data

The logical connection between lengthy loading times and reductions in sales and a lower user experience seems obvious. But we’re not going to ask you to take this on faith or even take our word for it.

Fortunately, the data makes a fairly compelling case.

Website speed drives and bounce rate

Studies going back to 2018 have shown that bounce rates ramp up quickly as the average loading time increases. For laptop and desktop users, there is a rapid escalation in the number of people who simply abandon a site once the loading time hits 4 seconds. Whereas the rate only climbs from 7% for websites that load within 1 second to 11% for those that require 3 seconds, once the delay hits 4 seconds, the bounce rate more than doubles to 24%. By the point that a website takes 7 seconds to load, more than half of users will leave before engaging.

Meanwhile, mobile users are an incredibly valuable subset of your audience and are even more likely to abandon a slow-loading site. As Googlehas shown, raising the delay for users from 1 to 3 seconds makes them 32% more likely to leave. A 5-second loading time has a 90% higher bound rate than a 1-second loading time. This drastic gap demonstrates the vast difference in the user experience when website speed changes.

The impact on conversation rates

Obviously, if users are leaving your website very early in the process, it’s going to have a negative impact on your final sales numbers. But what does the data show with regards to successful conversions?

As with bounce rates, there is a clear correlation between slower website speeds and lower conversion rates. For B2B sites, a site that completes the loading process within 1 second converts leads three times more frequently than those that require 5 seconds. B2C experienced only a slightly lower difference, with a 1-second loading time leading to 2.5 times the number of e-commerce conversions.

In addition goal conversions only show a similar disparity between fast and slow websites. Those resources that load within 1 second see a goal conversion rate of approximately 40%. When the loading time rises to 2 seconds, conversions drop to 34%. An additional increase to a 3-second loading time results in a further decrease in conversion rate to 29%.

Reputational impacts

To this point, we’ve looked primarily at the practical numbers that will directly and clearly impact your revenue. However, a lengthy waiting period doesn’t just result purely in the temporary loss of converted leads. Often enough, consumers who attempt to interact with a website, only to find that it loads too slowly, will refuse to return. This kind of reputational damage can have longer term impacts, as your business loses the potential for multiple sales across an extended period of time.

What does this look like exactly?

  • Nearly 70% of survey respondents claimed that loading speed factors into their decision to make a purchase.
  • 45.4% become less likely to buy.
  • 36.8% are less likely to even return to the website at all.
  • 11.9% would be likely to tell their friends about the experience.
  • More than half of respondents are willing to give up animations or videos to improve load speed.

    So, we can see that loading times are a major factor into general customer decision making related to purchases. However, a large number of those consumers that would be less likely to buy through a slow website will also likely never return. And while only a small number would communicate this to other shoppers, this can still cause a substantial drag on your sales numbers.

    Of particular note is that last point. While design is an important part of the sales process, it arguably is not paramount. It would seem that many customers would trade some more engaging visual elements for a faster and smoother buying journey. This means that it might not be an “either-or” situation as you can likely appeal to a larger audience with faster loading times.

  • Optimizing website loading

    Now, we’ve covered the various reasons that website speed is of such importance to businesses with an online presence. But what exactly can you do about it?

    There are a number of different techniques that you can use. First, let’s focus on our two primary recommendations as a starting point.

    Improving image use

    While many consumers have expressed a willingness to forgo high-quality imagery in favor of performance, that isn’t the only option. Though change is necessary, you won’t need to outright remove high-quality graphics. Instead, you should look into whether or not your visuals have been properly compressed. Often, this is the difference between a page that loads smoothly and one that is overly bulky.

    Many times, businesses use excessive resolution settings in order to ensure high-quality visuals. However, that doesn’t mean that your audience will use the right settings to properly experience these visuals. In that case, you’ll have nothing but a dense element that causes delays and frustration. Instead, you need to find the right resolution and compress your images effectively to avoid adding to your loading times without delivering proper design value.

    Finally, look into the size of your images as well as the file type to match each of these to the needs of your website.


    Redundancy is a common challenge across all businesses and industries. As such, it should be no surprise that it poses an issue when it comes to website speed. Many websites possess excessive and redundant data such as code comments, white space, and unused code. Because browsers possess a limit on parallel network requests, these factors restrict how quickly your site can load.

    Minification is the process by which these redundancies are removed. By doing so, you can streamline the loading process by optimizing the size of JavaScript and CSS files. While the result is more difficult for people to read, browsers will not have similar problems. And if developers need to work with these files, tools exist to make them more legible.

    We assisted in improving the page speed of Land Rover and Jaguar.

    Final thoughts

    If your business wants to get its value for the investment in its website, loading speed needs to be a priority. This will substantially dictate the quality of the user experience, which will in turn affect the likelihood of successful conversions. Considering this, it’s essential to take action and ensure that as much of your website’s design is optimized to load as quickly as possible.

    To do so, start by using tools to measure loading speed from the perspective of your users. Afterwards, review your visuals to ensure that they aren’t slowing the process down excessively. In addition, it’s important to have developers review the code in order to find inefficient factors that could be removed.

    In this way, you can deliver a smooth customer experience that will decrease your bounce rate, drive more conversions, and improve the reputation of your business.

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