A two-second delay to your website’s page load time can cause bounce rates to skyrocket by up to 103%. Slow loading pages can kill your business with 54% of mobile users abandoning a page if it takes more than a couple of seconds to load.
There are plenty of ways you can improve your website’s speed, but using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) is one of the quickest ways you can give your website the boost it needs.
What Is a CDN?
A CDN is a group of servers located in different locations around the world. These servers store static content like HTML, images, and videos.
The job of a CDN is to cache static content from your website across multiple locations. It then delivers the content to your website visitors via the closest server to their location.
Let’s say your website is hosted on a UK server but the majority of your website visitors are from the US; a CDN can deliver your static website content to them via a US server. This means they can view your website’s content quicker than if it had to travel from a UK server.
Why Do You Need a CDN?
Typically when you start a website, you’ll be hosting it on a shared server. This means you share your server with other people. When a user visits your website, they get redirected to your host’s server which is located in the global region you’ve chosen (most hosts allow you to choose your data center).
Every time a user accesses your website, they go via that single shared server. So if you have a lot of website traffic or other websites that share the same server do, it’s quite easy for it to become overwhelmed.
Although there are multiple types of web hosting services, using a CDN can help relieve some of the stress on your server without you having to change web hosts.
Advantages of Having a CDN
Having a CDN can make a big difference in how your website performs and it can improve user experience. Here are a few of the biggest benefits of having a CDN:
- Speed: It’s well known that using a CDN can increase your website’s speeds and loading times. Speed is a factor in both how your website is ranked by search engines like Google and user retention.
- User Experience: A faster website will naturally lead to an improved user experience. Once your website takes longer than two seconds to load, research shows your visitors will leave your site and go elsewhere. With a CDN in place, you’ll see decreased bounce rates and an increase in how long people stay on your site.
- Server Load: If your website experiences a lot of traffic, a CDN can help to distribute the load on your server, meaning your server will be more reliable and responsive.
How Site Speed can Affect Conversions
So far we’ve talked a lot about speed. We know that faster loading websites make people happy, but how can that affect conversions?
79% of customers said they wouldn’t return to a website with poor performance. This has a direct impact on potential conversions. Almost half of all consumers will abandon a web page if it takes more than three seconds to load. This means you could lose up to half of your visitors before they get a chance to browse your website.
Store giant, Walmart, reported an increase in conversions after they made improvements to their website’s speed. They had previously concluded that visitors who converted experienced web pages that loaded two times faster than those who didn’t convert.
After optimizing their website’s speed, they found that for every one second of improved site speed, they experienced a 2% increase in conversions. Incremental revenue also increased by up to 1% for every 100ms of site speed improvement.
It’s pretty conclusive that increasing your site speed can have a huge impact on conversions, even with an improvement of one second. When it comes to page loading speeds, every second counts (literally). Investing in a CDN can reduce the time it takes for your website to load and deliver information to your website visitors.
Site Speed Improvements can Influence Visibility
With Google taking site and page speed into consideration when ranking sites, load times can influence how people can find your website through a search engine.
Back in 2015, mobile searches outranked the number of desktop searches. This statistic has only continued to grow year on year. This indicates that it’s essential to ensure your website’s mobile experience is as good as desktop (if not more so).
Prior to Google’s mobile-first index, search rankings only took desktop into consideration in terms of SEO. It didn’t matter if a website offered a poor mobile experience as it could still rank at the top of Google if desktop was fine.
The tables have completely turned on this; pages are ranked and indexed on Google based on how good the user experience is on mobile. If you want to rank well and therefore increase your site’s visibility, you’ll need to focus your efforts on reducing the loading time of your website on all devices.
A CDN like CloudFlare can deliver website content in a fast and secure manner to enhance your user’s experience, increasing site visibility, and improving your website’s conversions.
Use a CDN to Reduce Loading Time
Whilst there are multiple ways you can reduce your page loading times, a CDN is one of the easiest options to try first.
In most cases, individuals who host a website will do so on a shared server. Each website visitors you get will send a request to your webserver to obtain your website content. If you get a large amount of traffic to your site, each request increases and in-turn increase the load time for each of them.
High traffic certainly isn’t a bad thing; it indicates your website and business are doing well, but if your server is slowing down, that isn’t an ideal situation.
Even if your site isn’t experiencing high traffic, users who are further away from your server can be affected by slower load times due to their physical location.
A CDN is a solid tool to aid you in eliminating these issues. Your site will be cached on a large global network of servers, so when a user sends a request to visit your website, the request will get sent to the closest server and reduce page speed loading times.
The content that your users receive when a CDN is active on your website won’t differ. The only thing that changes is the amount of time it takes to receive content from your website. It’s a win-win situation for you and your potential customers.
A CDN Can Seriously Boost Your Website
There are free and paid versions of CDNs, all of which are incredibly easy to implement on your website. Regardless of whether you consider yourself an SEO expert or not, CDNs can offer a quick fix to your website load time issues and are incredibly effective.