Since 2010, when Google announced page speed is a major influencing factor when determining website rank position, the online world has raced to achieve optimum speeds. Achieving ideal page loading speeds is a multi-level process. While there are literally dozens of on-page components responsible for determining overall speed and functionality, the root of website speed isn’t an element you control.
Rather, the ultimate deciding factor of website speed rests in the hands of your hosting provider. Even if you have a highly optimized website, low-quality servers and a slow hosting provider speed can result in a sluggish site that’s frowned upon by visitors and Google.
When you’re searching for a web hosting provider, take a moment and consider the following impacts your decision has on current and future website success. Also, start with a baseline. Run a speed test to determine what elements are slowing down your site and if there would be a benefit of faster hosting.
Impact #1 | SERP Ranking (Google Visibility)
Although speed and performance has remained a major concern for website owners since 2010, the game will once again change in July 2018. During a press conference in January 2018, Google announced their plan to release an algorithm update designed to further enhance the role of speed and performance when determining website rank.
Therefore, the biggest impact a low-quality, slow-performing web hosting provider has on your website is SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking. For many websites, this impact not only reduces organic search traffic, but also potential income. Learn more about SEO and page speed here.
Impact #2 | Conversion Rates
Without a solid and stable hosting provider, your conversion rate is going to suffer. The two main reasons for this negative impact are:
- Lack of Trust – Most potential customers view a slow or unstable website as a potential security threat.
- Lack of Visibility – Since Google calls upon speed and availability to determine ranking, a slow site suffers from low conversion simply because it’s not prominently located within the first page of their target keyword(s).
Impact #3 | Visitor Bounce Rate
Bounce rate refers to the amount of time a visitor spends on your site before exiting. It should go without saying that your goal as a website owner is to foster the lowest bounce rate possible. While there are many elements that go into crafting a low exit percentage, the most important of these is speed and stability.
How do you know if your web hosting provider speed is hurting or helping your bounce rate? Take a look at these ideal bounce rate percentages. If yours are less even though you’ve optimized your site and offer high-quality content, the issue may be your hosting provider:
- Content-Heavy Websites (Informational Sites) – 40 to 60% Bounce Rate
- Blogs (Personal or Professional) – 70 to 98% Bounce Rate
- eCommerce Websites – 20 to 40% Bounce Rate
- Landing Page (Generic) – 70 to 90% Bounce Rate
Impact #4 | User Dwell Time
This impact closely relates to bounce rate. Essentially, Dwell Time refers to the literal amount of time a single user stays on your site before exiting. Whether you’re selling a product or generating leads, your goal must be to increase this duration.
Unfortunately, web hosts who do not support fast or stable websites will prove detrimental to meeting this goal.