5 Reasons Why Your Veterinary Website Speed Matters
How many times have you tried to look at a website and it takes forever to load?
You probably waited a few seconds then gave up and decided to try somewhere else – the same way you would if you were waiting in a line that wasn’t moving at a store.
What do both of those instances have in common?
Both businesses lost a customer unnecessarily.
This is just one of the reasons why your website speed matters and why you should prioritize making it as fast as possible.
What Is Site Speed?
In the simplest of terms, site speed is how long your website takes to fully load on the screen.
This is true for both the homepage and all other pages on your site.
By fully loaded, this means that all of the images and text on your site are showing up properly. Sometimes big images or a heavy website theme can mean that, while the page does mostly load, some parts of it don’t.
1. User Experience
A fast website is the key to creating a positive user experience.
This is especially true when it’s a customer’s first time visiting your website as it’s your only chance to make a good first impression!
As internet users, we expect to get the information we want easily and quickly. Visitors expect your website to be fully loaded within the first 3 seconds.
Going further than that, research shows that 47% of consumers expect it to load within 2 seconds.
If your website is too slow, you run the risk of potential customers believing that your veterinary practice is unprofessional and untrustworthy as a result.
In the best-case scenario, customers will stay but will be annoyed by the slow speed.
Worst-case scenario? They will simply go elsewhere.
2. Bounce Rate
If you have lots of visitors to your website that leave before the page loads, this will harm your bounce rate.
When a visitor clicks on a link to your website and leaves before it loads (or after only viewing one page) this is considered to be a “bounce”.
When ranking a website, Google looks at the bounce rate as an indication of how useful and authoritative the content is.
A high bounce rate (somewhere generally above around 85% on a scale of 0-100%) indicates to Google that users don’t find your website helpful and therefore it won’t rank you very highly.
As bounce rate is significantly dependent on your site speed, it shows just how important it is to have a fast site!
3. Conversation Rate
The speed of your website will affect your conversion rates.
Research shows that for every additional second of load time between 0-5 seconds, conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42%.
If you’re losing a lot of visitors and have a high bounce rate, it is unlikely those people will ever turn into customers.
For a high conversion rate, your website visitors need to:
- like what you do
- feel comfortable that your business is legit and professional, and
- take the time to look around.
If your website is slow – this impacts on a visitor’s willingness or ability to do the above.
As a result, you are unlikely to attract new customers to your veterinary practice through your website.
Let’s think of it in pure numbers.
Say you have 1,000 people visiting your website every month. If your website takes 5 seconds to load, you have automatically lost 22% of those visitors before they even get to your home page.
That means you’ve potentially lost 220 visitors simply by having a website speed that isn’t fast enough!
4. Google Ranking & SEO
The speed of your site is a factor that Google takes into account when deciding where to place your website in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
The reason why Google considers it to be so important is because of how much emphasis it places on users having a positive experience on your website.
If your website loads quickly and contains useful, quality content, it will encourage Google to rank you more highly.
If you’re not already, you should make sure that reviewing your site speed is part of your SEO strategy for your website.
5. Increasing Page Views
Not only is it important that your home page loads quickly, but your other pages also need to be fast as well.
This is what encourages visitors to look around and ultimately turns them into conversions and helps to keep your bounce rate low.
This is especially important if you have a contact or sign up page that is separate from your home page. You want to encourage visitors to your veterinary practice website to contact you or to sign up with you. Getting them over to this page is therefore really important!
How Can You Improve The Speed Of Your Website?
- One way you can improve your website speed is to host your website on a high-performance cloud hosting server environment. This will help your site to be served up at blazing fast speeds.
- Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights – this will show you the current speed of your website and let you know what’s slowing it down. You can then try and make some changes yourself or pass this information to your website developer to look into and make improvements.
- Avoid having too many images or a really heavy theme on your site as this can cause significant delays in the pages loading
- Make sure that your website is “mobile-friendly”. Most of us use our phones now to access websites. It is therefore more important than ever to make sure your website loads quickly and properly on a mobile device.
- If your website is slow, speak to your host! They can help give you advice on changes you can make to speed things up.
Why Is Website Speed Important For Your Veterinary Practice?
As you can see, website speed affects everything.
As consumers, we simply expect websites to load quickly. It is therefore the key to your business being successful on the internet and is not something you can afford to overlook.
You know how great your veterinary practice is. Attract more customers to your business by making sure the website is as fast as possible!