You’ve heard it often: Slow websites or apps can cause a loss of credibility. This, in turn, negatively impacts employee productivity and revenues. But, what exactly does this mean in practical terms? For example, how is app loading speed related to productivity?
Let’s get down to specifics. The better you understand the relationship between app speed and analytics data, the better you can identify what needs improvement.
1. Visitor Count
The number of visitors your site gets is critical. If people aren’t visiting your site, it doesn’t matter how exciting your content is. If users predominantly visit your homepage and ignore other pages, your engagement rate will dip. In addition, if the page loading speed is too slow, many people will just give up and leave.
We aren’t just talking about page load times. How long pages take to be fully loaded is less important than how long it takes to reach a usable state and how responsive it is to user interaction. All things considered, loading images is less important than getting key features up quickly so visitors can begin accessing the content.
A site that’s speed-optimized gets repeat visitors. If download times are slow, your visitors may not return. Users expect a page to load in less than two seconds, three at the most. In fact, 40% of users will abandon a page if it takes more than three seconds to load. If your site has a fast reaction time, visitors will come back and recommend the site to others.
We recommend using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to evaluate your site speed and identify what steps you can take to improve.
If your visitor count is rising but your engagement rate remains static, that’s a likely sign your site is suffering from performance problems. It may be handling more traffic than it can adequately process.
2. Bounce Rate
The bounce rate is the percentage of users who visit just one page and then leave without taking further action. The typical cutoff is 30 seconds. Some are just visitors who realize that your site isn’t what they’re looking for. Visitors accustomed to instant gratification, however, won’t tolerate slow loading speeds.
A high bounce rate can have many causes, including unattractive page design and poor SEO. Slow load times are a leading cause of bounces, however. Home and gateway pages shouldn’t be overloaded with functional features that slow them down.
3. Exit Rate
The exit rate is a per-page measure and differs slightly from the bounce rate. It indicates how often visitors exit a particular page.
Every session eventually ends, of course. However, a page that’s intended to inspire further engagement should have a low exit rate. A high rate indicates that users are leaving without taking any tangible action.
If these pages take too long to load, they become lost opportunities. The problem, however, isn’t necessarily load time. If an icon that’s supposed to show product information has trouble loading, users may abandon the page altogether. A quick response will keep users browsing, accessing data, and performing expected actions.
4. Engagement Rate
The ultimate goal of any web app is to get users to take action. Every step along the way needs to be optimized to maximize the engagement rate. What counts as a good engagement rate depends on the site (and industry). For manufacturing apps, you want to provide users with real-time data about industry tips, news, and trends. A mechanical engineering app, for example, will make conversion formulas accessible to users.
Poor performance is a common reason for low app engagement.
These factors all overlap. A drop in visitors or rise in bounces will increase the exit rate from gateway pages. Either one will mean fewer visits to key pages, leading to disappointing results for app usage.
Undoubtedly, all parts of a web app need to perform well. Homepages can have great engagement, but if the other pages are sluggish, the outcome will be poor. Bottlenecks anywhere in the application must be addressed to get the best results.
The best way to avoid slow-loading web apps is to work with experienced developers. At Entrance, we excel in creating custom apps for the manufacturing, healthcare, oil & gas, engineering, and education industries. Get in touch with us to learn how we can create a custom app that will be a pleasure for visitors to use.