When you run a service business, you must keep a sharp eye on customer satisfaction. Even so, many businesses overlook website speed and they shouldn’t. Over half of people on a phone will abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load.
Imagine if half the people who walked into a business walked out immediately without talking to anyone. The owner would want answers about why. That’s a huge loss of potential business, after all.
Yet, many businesses accept that bounce rate without a second thought. While websites will always lose some visitors, your site’s loading speed should never factor into the decision.
So let’s jump in and look at some ways you can speed up your service business website.
Reduce Image Sizes
A service business often relies on pictures to show what it can do for potential customers.
Caterers use images of food spreads. Custom woodworkers show pictures of furniture. Contractors post images of homes they built or repairs they made.
It lets the service provider connect customer minds more firmly with the service offerings.
The trouble with the high-quality images you need is that the files can prove enormous. Blame it on the high-definition, high pixel count. While those images look great on a screen, they slow down the load time of your website.
If you post the images yourself, use a photo editing program to reduce their size. Let’s say you set your website width at 1366 pixels for desktop users. There’s limited value in a loading a 2000+ pixel width image.
A good rule of thumb is that the more pixels, the bigger the file.
Let’s say you use a content management system like WordPress for your site. You can use plugins for compression. Compression reduces file size by reducing resolution, but it doesn’t change image dimensions.
If you use compression plugins, check how the images look on both desktop and mobile devices. Sometimes, compression makes images look grainy or pixelated.
Make Your Site Mobile Ready
Before smartphones, websites got built around how desktop computers displayed websites. There were a few standard page widths and heights that web programmers used consistently.
Of course, those standard sizes don’t work on today’s mobile devices. Phone and tablet sizes change depending on the manufacturer and device model. Since you can’t predict what device any given visitor uses, your website needs a built-in method for adjusting.
That’s where responsive design comes into the picture. Responsive design is an approach that focuses on flexibility. A few common elements include:
- grid layouts
- image adjust based on percentages
- cascading style sheet media queries
Since the website is built with flexibility in mind, it improves load time on mobile devices. The real bonus is that your site still loads and displays well on a traditional desktop computer.
Simplify Your Service Business Site Design
A service business often offers several subspecialties. A contractor might offer landscaping, home building, and home repair. You don’t want all of the service information getting jumbled together.
Keeping those subspecialties separate on a website can end with a cluttered website. The more information and content you pack onto any given page, the slower it loads.
The answer is simplification.
You can see a great example of a simplified website design over at Olivier Pacific. Their website offers a lot of information about products and trends. Rather than try and get it all on the home page, they treat it as a glorified menu.
You can borrow from this example by using quality images as links for different areas of your services.
A baker, for example, might use images as links to a custom cake page, a bulk product page, and a cookies page.
That approach helps visitors navigate more easily. The reduced total content on a page also brings down your total load time.
HTML is the main programming language used for website creation. Of course, not every business owner can write in HTML. To get around this problem, a lot of web hosting services offer what-you-see-is-what-you-get website builders.
These website builders let you build a website by dragging and dropping elements into place. The upshot is that it lets you customize the site in line with your own preferences. The down is that it can also create bloated HTML code.
Every bit of HTML code slows down website load times. So, the more heavily you customize a WYSIWYG website, the more lag you see in load times.
The more unnecessary code you can take out, the faster your site loads. That’s what HTML minify programs, extensions, and plugins do for you. They take out things you don’t need, like spaces and line breaks in the code.
The end result is a leaner, faster-loading website.
Another killer for service business website loading is server response time. Server response time is how long it takes the server to respond to requests from a computer.
Think of it like calling someone on the phone. An attentive person might answer on the first ring. Someone on the far side of the house might answer on the fourth ring.
You want your server answering the phone on the first ring, but a lot of things can slow it down. A few culprits include:
- poorly optimized databases
- insufficient bandwidth
- high resource loads
Since tracking down problems with server response times is often difficult, your best bet is a website monitoring program. These programs can track which parts of your website slow down the service. Once you identify them, you can fix them.
A service business thrives on customer satisfaction, but a slow website can prevent you getting those customers.
You can improve website loading speed in several ways. You can reduce image file sizes or image dimensions. Building a mobile-ready website helps load times on phones and tablets.
You can minify the HTML for your site and simplify the design. You can also get website monitoring that helps you track down server response time problems.
SiteUptime specializes in website monitoring. For more information on our services, contact us today.