Does Page Load Time Really Affect Bounce Rate?

Few things are more annoying than a slow-loading web page. But when does a user’s aggravation cross over to serious frustration and eventual abandonment? It’s been widely reported that all websites should strive to have a page load time of two seconds or less. However, that’s not always feasible. So, how important is this two-second benchmark? Let’s examine a few ways that page load time affects bounce rate and if it’s something you and your organization should really be concerned with.

Does Page Load Time Really Affect Bounce Rate?

What is Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate refers to the percent of your site visitors who try to visit your web page and then don’t stick around before the page fully loads. This measurement was the precursor to the newer term of “engagement;” it was one of a handful of ways to see if people were engaging with your content. Per Visitor Insights, when a page load takes longer than 2 seconds, more than 35% of site visitors will abandon the site.

Why Does Bounce Rate Matter?

You don’t want to lose over one-third of your site visitors before they even have a chance to see your website. That could translate easily into missed sales, a loss of leads, or just overall disappointment with your brand. However, since 2016, website size has increased by 900kb and the amount of video being used has increased by 300 percent. It’s the ultimate catch 22: these two factors can lead to slow page load time, but in order for your company to be competitive, you’ve got to have a good-looking website displaying the most engaging user experience.

What Can You Do?

If you need more interactive content on your page, even though it may result in slower load times, what can you do to ensure your site visitors stick around? Well, it’s not just load times that matter to engagement. In fact, almost 80 percent of site visitors report they are satisfied with slower websites. That is, as long as the site provides an engaging experience. Website content, messaging, and functionality all work together to create a satisfactory website visit. Make sure your website looks good and reads well, contains no broken links, and that any video content is interesting. The worst user experience is waiting for a video to load only to discover it adds nothing to the user experience.

Speed is important online, but sacrificing quality for speed won’t get you far. When examining your page load time, think about what you want your users to take away from visiting your site. Shoot for the two second load time; but if you don’t quite make it, just make sure your website is worth the wait. For more information on how to make your website better than ever, please contact Energyhill today.