The curse of slow loading times

There are two very good reasons why you need to prioritise your website's loading time:

  1. Users like site speed.

  2. So does Google.

Of course, when it comes to creating a website for your travel business, it can feel like there are 101 things to think about, but don't let loading times slide to the bottom of the priority pile. After all, you can have the most beautifully designed site in the world, but if users are clicking off before they can experience it and Google are making it harder to find, well, then it's pretty much going to waste.

Analytics and marketing gurus, Kissmetrics, revealed that when it comes to website loading times, every second counts. The average user simply does not have the time or patience to stick around for a page that's taking too long to load, meaning the slower the response time, the higher the rate of page abandonment. So, how does that translate in their stats?

An overwhelming 73% of mobile internet users stated they had encountered a website they felt was too slow to load whilst 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. Even just a one-second delay in page response time was found to result in a 7% reduction in conversions. If there was ever any doubt that speed matters, we believe we can put that to rest.

Additionally, when it comes to that all-important Google ranking and the elusive factors they use to determine it, we can't be 100% sure how much of an issue site speed is, bit we know it is definitely a ranking signal because the search engine has announced it on their blog in the past. One such post states: "Faster sites create happy users and we've seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there."

Google wants its users to be happy, and so should you.

There are a variety of online tools you can use to test the speed of your site, such as Page Speed Online, which offers helpful suggestions to increase your loading times. Bear in mind that these suggestions are likely to be technical - so ensure you have your web developer on hand to put the ideas into practice. Whether it's optimising your images, reducing your files with GZIP compression or adopting some snazzy plug-ins through your content management system, there are ways and means to get your website up to speed.

Seeing as we have something of a need for speed when it comes to travel websites, we have been working on how best to provide our clients with lightning fast search results. One of our latest innovations, Inline Search Results, offers a radical upgrade which will supercharge your website performance to give your customers instant results. With this new feature, search results which may have previously taken 20 seconds to appear, now appear in as quickly as three. Speed up your site and win the confidence of your customers as you see them all the way through to their booking.