How fast or slow your website loads can mean the difference between a new lead and a person who clicks away to go find another agent. To be competitive online, you need a website that loads quickly and does not keep potential leads waiting.
Why Website Speed Matters
More than 25 percent of all website users will leave a website if it takes more than four seconds to load. Nearly 50 percent won’t revisit a slow, poorly performing website.
People who visit the web on their mobile devices have even higher standards. Sixty percent of mobile users expect a mobile website to load within three second. Over 75 percent leave a mobile website that takes five seconds or longer to load.
Think about the last time you clicked or tapped on a link and had to wait for the page to load. Were you frustrated with the wait? Did you think, “I don’t have time for this” or “This isn’t worth it”? If you’re thinking it, so are your potential leads.
How to Find Out if Your Website Loads Quickly…or Not
If you’ve never thought about how fast your website loads, there’s a good chance it doesn’t. One quick test is to pull it up on your computer or mobile device. It should load instantly for you thanks to your web browser cache because you’re probably at your website all the time. And if your website loads slowly for you, imagine how slow it is for a new visitor.
Of course, going to your own website isn’t very scientific or analytic, and it doesn’t tell you how to fix anything. To do that, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to test and analyze the load speed of your website. It’s as simple as entering your website URL and waiting for a few seconds. Google comes back with a score and a report for both mobile access and desktop access. You also receive a list of what you need to do to increase your speed.
How to Optimize Your Website for Speed
To make your real estate website load and run faster, there are several things you’ll need to review and correct.
- Compress images
- Optimize CSS code
- Server response time
- Reduce plugin use
- Add caching abilities to your site
Most websites are going to get dinged for each of these items – even major websites like Apple.com or Amazon.com. But in most cases, the most impactful change you can make is at the top of the list – image optimization. Did you remember to resize your profile picture before uploading it to your website? That 4K image right off your camera is far too large a file for such a small thumbnail on your website. Use an image editor to shrink the source image down to the size it is actually displaying on your website, and you will see your PageSpeed Insights score improve immediately.
In a competitive field like real estate, the smallest details can be the difference between gaining a customer or losing the lead. Don’t let a slow loading website be the reason your nearest competitor gets the sale. Optimize your website for speed and easy use, and visitors will stick around to find out why you should be their Realtor.