So, what if your website is slow to load, or is flagged by Google as “not secure.” Yes, that is a thing now, before you ask. More on that later. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and it’s easy to see how off-putting either of those scenarios would be. Generally speaking, people expect modern day websites and apps to be fast, intuitive and user-friendly. There’s also increasing attention on how personal data is stored and used, making website security a hot topic.
Research shows that a site that stutters as it loads content is more likely to discourage people from sticking with it. In fact, a study by Akamai Group revealed that 40% of people would abandon a slow loading page, and 47% of people expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
Page speed is different to website speed, and specifically looks at how long your website pages take to load. Aside from giving people a reason to navigate away from your site, slow loading pages have another negative effect on your brand. That is, they can affect your SEO rankings.
Any self-respecting business has one eye on their SEO performance. Climbing the rankings on Google will make you easier to find, and drive traffic. But did you know that site speed is one of the factors in Google’s algorithm when it comes to ranking websites? If you want to get really technical, it’s also worth noting how search engines work. If it takes a long time for them to crawl through your pages, they’ll cover fewer of them, all linking in with how high you fall on the index.
Understanding the basics is one thing when it comes to site speed, user interaction and SEO. Putting a plan in place to keep your website as sharp as possible is another. Keeping on top of essential site maintenance will hep you stay on friendly terms with both customers and search engines.
Source, Akamai Group
So, you’ve tackled the time it takes for your pages to load, now what about security. There’s been some changes to the way Google notifies users on website security recently. If you’re using Chrome, a hard-to-miss red flag will appear on websites deemed “not secure” by the search engine. And what is this based on? It all comes down to SSL, which is a specific technology that monitors the transference of personal data between the web server and browser.
Even if your users don’t understand the reason behind the “not secure” notification, you can be sure they’ll notice the alert. Chances are, this will put them off even clicking on your site in the first place, and there goes your chance to increase traffic, not to mention the impact on your credibility as a brand.
There are some simple and essential tips for improving your site’s security and avoiding the dreaded Google red flag. Here’s a few:
Two things sure to have instant impact on any visitor to your site are page speed and security. People are both savvy to personal data breach issues, and they expect websites to be streamlined and easy to use. Google will instantly flag up unsecure sites, and your SEO rankings can be damaged by slow, inefficient pages.
You don’t have to be a technical whizz to understand these basic needs from a user’s point of view. It all comes down to creating an experience that makes people want to come back to you and use your site again and again. By making a few essential changes to how your site operates, you can encourage people to do just that.