The importance of the website loading speed

Reading Time: 4 mins. 09/05/2018

Find out why the loading speed of the web is so important in the digital strategy of any hotel brand.
We all know that browsing habits have changed radically over the last decade and we find users with increasing expectations and with very little patience when it comes to finding what they’re looking for and expecting for the webs to load in less than a second. This is the 'I want it now!' era.
That is why controlling the loading speed of the website should be one of the key factors that we can’t ignorewithin the digital strategy of distribution of hotels.
The speed of loading is essential to offer an optimal user experience and avoid having a high bounce rate (users who enter our website and leave without doing any action), which is very penalized by Google as it understands that the relevance of the website is low.
And not only affects SEO positioning, but the loading speed will directly affect the conversion rate. And nothing better than facts to prove it:
  • 1 second delay in loading time results in a 7% loss in conversion, 27% from mobile devices
  • Amazon estimates that 1sec of delay in loading could cost up to 1.6 billion dollars in annual sales.
  • According to Google, slowing the loading speed four tenths of a second would result in a decrease of 8 million in the volume of searches.

According to Google itself the maximum waiting time for most users to load a website is 3 seconds.
If your website exceeds that time, chances are that the user leaves the page before it loads, and results in an increase of the so-called bounce rate.
As mentioned, the loading speed will also affect the organic positioning of the website. Given that search engines have a limited time to crawl a web, we must ensure that each page loads in the shortest time possible so that the engine can reach a higher number of pages.
To find out the loading speed of our website, we can use various tools. Pingdom and Woorank are the most complete, but we must pay to get their services. Our recommended best option is Page Speed Insightsthe Google tool, which is free and one of the most complete. Through Page Speed Insights we can check how the web is loaded in both their desktop and mobile versions, as well as the performance rating.
And, what can be done to optimize the loading speed of our website? There are three basic factors that we must take into account,which should be perfectly controlled:
1. Hosting. Choosing a suitable hosting for the website is the first step that must be taken and one of the most important. We must bear in mind that the hosting service that you choose can greatly influence on the speed of loading. The website is hosted on servers that are usually shared by others, which can cause a high consumption of resources and slow down the loading time of the webistes. Thus, the hosting company should be well analyzed, and the decision shouldn’t be based only on the price, because, as in everything, cheap can become expensive.
2. Optimize the images. Images can greatly reduce the loading speed of a web page. Therefore, it’s important to optimize and compress them. As obvious as it seems, in many cases it’s not taken into account and is a key factor to achieve a proper loading speed.
It is important to bear in mind that the most widespread screen resolution is 1366x768, so it’s not necessary to upload high resolution images since it would be inefficient.
It is also important to indicate the image dimensions to the browser. Otherwise, the web page will be built twice, first with the text and then will begin loading the images, slowing down the loading process. When the dimensions of the image are specified, the browser knows the size first and uses the information to shape the page without having to rebuild it.
3. Broken links. Broken links result in 404/410 errors. These errors would cause many requests to the server, thus increasing the waiting time and excessive consumption of data transfer. You can use tools such as Broken Link to check for this sort of errors and solve them.