Don’t forget about your user experience. It’s vital to your online presence.
Website speed is important for two key reasons:
1. It’ll affect your user’s experience directly, and;
2. It’ll affect your performance in the search engines directly.
On the first point, Smashing Magazine redesigned their website to be much, much faster – around 400-500 milliseconds faster – and this dramatically improved the usability of their website; bounce rates are now lower, time on page is up and people click around more. If your website takes an age to load, you can safely bet that it isn’t engaging your visitors.
On the second point, site speed is a metric that Google uses to establish where a website should rank in the results pages. The reason for this is simple – Google only wants to offer searchers high quality web pages. If a website is slow-loading, it isn’t a high quality website.
Find out how to make your website faster in our very own guide.
The way that people access websites has changed; the desktop computer is no longer the main instrument used – mobile devices are. If your website is not mobile-friendly – for example, if the navigation can’t be accessed without zooming in and likewise when reading content – you are not catering to the mass market. In fact, you’re losing out big time.
Responsive web design is the answer to this. A responsive website benefits mobile users because the mobile interaction – swiping and tapping instead of clicking – is fully supported, and vice versa when somebody accesses your website on a desktop computer; web pages automatically resize to the size of the display they’re viewed on. The only problem is, many business owners had their website redesigned before this trend was prevalent. That means you may need to make a significant investment to get your website up to date.
The importance of mobile-first design is, in many ways, akin to site speed. Like site speed, mobile-friendliness affects your user’s experience and it’ll affect your performance in the search engines. For this reason, site speed and mobile design go hand-in-hand to create a sublime user experience – exploit them and you’ll have the perfect online presence.
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