How Page Speed Can Help Your Real Estate Website Rank Higher

the importance of page speedThree seconds. That’s how much time you have to capture your prey. According to a Kissmetrics, 40% of visitors will leave a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. And, in reality, you only have two seconds.

47% of consumers expect a web page speed to load in two seconds or less. How many visitors will you lose if your website loads too slow? How many hundreds of thousands of dollars will you miss out on?

page speed loading time

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There is the old saying …

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” – Andrew Grant

Well, your website speed is your first impression.

Your visitors make an instant judgment about your business. If your website loads fast, then you’ve made a powerful first impression. You create instant satisfaction.

It’s the psychology of persuasion. By not making the visitor wait, you’re persuading them to stick around. Visitors also view fast websites as professional and trustworthy. A slow website, on the other hand, gives off the impression that the site is unsafe and untrustworthy.

But I don’t need to tell you that — you’ve experienced it first hand. You search for something in Google, click on a result, and get met with a slow-as-slime website.

So what do you do?

Leave, go somewhere else.

And, as we all know, it’s terribly difficult for that website to get a second chance.

In fact, 79% of online shoppers who are dissatisfied with website performance say they won’t go back to that website to buy again.

That’s almost 80 visitors out of 100!

The truth is the same for real estate website visitors: slow websites kill conversions.

Again, consider the first stat I showed you: 40% of people will abandon your site if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

Let me use an example. Say 10,000 people visit your real estate website. If your site slows from three seconds to four seconds, you could lose 4,000 potential leads to something as simple as load speed.

And where do all of those potential leads go?

That’s right. To the competition.

If slow page load times are driving people away, then you’re also driving leads away. A one-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.

Does Page Speed Affect Your Google Rank?

Google has confessed that they are “obsessed” with speed.

Clearly, their mission is to make sure that the internet is full of easily accessible, useful information, coming from fast websites.

Over the years Google has released information on load speed and search rankings. Google does take website load speed into account when ranking websites, which they announced back in 2010. But, according to them, it carries only a small weight.

“While site speed is a new signal, it doesn’t carry as much weight as the relevance of a page. Currently, fewer than 1% of search queries are affected by the site speed signal.”

It basically means if your website is super slow, you’re going to be dinged. If you have an average website, though, (between one and three seconds) you should be okay.

But … here’s a catch:

“Google will reduce the number of crawlers it sends to your site if your server is slower than two seconds.”

So, if your server is slower than two seconds, Google might have a harder time pulling your latest pieces of content or updates. Which can, in turn, hurt your rankings.

You also have to take bounce rate into account.

Google considers bounce rate when ranking your website — the more often that people click to your Google results and leave within a few seconds, the more that your rankings will plummet.

And naturally, the slower your website loads, the more people who are going to bounce.

So yeah. Google cares about load speed and you should too. Here’s what you need to do to increase the speed of your website.

Mobile Page Speed

[Update] Starting July 2018, Google will use mobile page speed as ranking in their mobile search results.

Google announced in mid-January 2018, that there will be a new ranking algorithm designed for mobile search. Google is calling it “Speed Update.” For now … it’s known that only a small percentage of queries will be impacted. The impacted pages will be the ones “deliver the slowest experience to users.”

Google does recommend website owners to use the updated PageSpeed report measure page speed.

Google’s Zhiheng Wang and Doantam Phan wrote:

The “Speed Update,” as we’re calling it, will only affect pages that deliver the slowest experience to users and will only affect a small percentage of queries. It applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page. The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal, so a slow page may still rank highly if it has great, relevant content.

But … There can be an issue with the PageSpeed Insights report. Because it’s using data from the Chrome Browser, it isn’t able to gather enough data to reliably measure smaller sites. The speed portion of the report will be unavailable for those users. Optimization scores are still available, but that’s not enough to allow sites to tell if they have slow pages or not.

How to Nail Loading Speed

How fast your website loads on a visitors browser is a big deal. The longer it takes to load, the more likely a visitor will hit the “back” button and leave.

Studies have shown that your chances of keeping a visitor on your website go down big time after about 3-4 seconds. So, make sure your website is built with nice clean code from the ground up, your server is fast, and your images on your website are compressed as small as possible. We have all of that baked into our Carrot real estate websites.

Here are some different things you can do to lower your page speed time.

(Again, the Carrot Development Team is constantly monitoring our member sites so we can stay ahead on website optimizations. So they don’t need to worry and can concentrate on their real estate businesses.)

  • Enable compression (Carrot compresses every picture before we upload them to our Carrot websites and these blog posts using a free online tool called Compressor.io. That alone could drastically speed up your page loading speed.)
  • Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML
  • Reduce redirects
  • Remove render-blocking JavaScript
  • Leverage browser caching
  • Improve server response time
  • Optimize images

Take Action

Go test your page speed on Google’s free tool. If you’re in the “Green” then you’re doing really really well.

Carrot real estate websites page speed

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We hope that this has given you a better understanding of how to optimize your website page speed. We also hope this article pointed out why it can be beneficial to you to have a reputational company, such as Carrot, create your website.

There are many factors involved with having a high-performing real estate website. It’s more than just having a pretty website. It’s about having a high-performing lead generation tool.

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