Don’t Let Your Clients Suffer from Website Security and Speed Issues
As a marketer, there’s already a lot for you to think about when it comes to your clients’ websites: copy, images, video, blogs, SEO—the list goes on and on. As you’re working your way through this very long list of elements to consider, it can sometimes be easy to take the most fundamental parts of a website for granted.
Your client needs a website that is fast and secure. They can have the most beautiful website, telling the greatest story, and with the most killer SEO strategy known to man, but if the site is slow to load and lacking in basic security measures, those two issues will undermine the mountains of other hard work you’ve put in.
Let me walk you through why speed and security are so important in designing a website, and what you can do to keep your clients’ sites from suffering from these problems.
Time is of the Essence
Research has shown that the human attention span is on the decline; as of 2015 we had less attention than your typical goldfish (people lose attention after eight seconds, while goldfish can stay focused for nine).
And we’ve all felt that short attention span come into play on the internet. We start to watch a video, but click away after only a handful of seconds. We open an article that piques our interest, scroll through to see how long it is, and then decide to pass. And I’m sure we’ve all clicked away from a slow-loading website.
While we’re sitting there watching the spinning cursor as a website loads, our attention span is even shorter than usual. Nearly half of all people expect a website to load within two seconds, and they’ll click away if it takes much longer than that.
When your client doesn’t have a site that loads nearly immediately, they’re putting themselves at risk for losing lots of prospects. Research has shown that a one second page delay can result in a seven percent drop in conversions.
If there’s one thing you should take away from all these stats and figures, it’s this: Your client needs a fast website.
Poor Security Erodes Trust
Consumers have been burned by security slip-ups on the internet before. Nearly half the country was affected by the Equifax breach, where 148 million people had their personal information compromised. Plus, countless major retailers like Amazon and Target have experienced breaches in recent years.
That can get people thinking: If a breach can happen with some of the biggest names (with the largest security budgets) in the game, what’s to stop it from happening at a small business?
As we all know, trust is an essential part of the early stages of relationship building. It’s the third phase within the marketing hourglass, after know and like, and winning trust is a necessary step to move prospects towards making their first purchase. No one is going to hand sensitive information, like their contact details—or worse, their credit card number!—over to a company they feel can’t or won’t keep it safe.
How to Boost Load Times
If you’re concerned your client’s site might be struggling with slow load times, check out Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. With it, you can enter any website’s URL and get a red, yellow, or green rating for how it loads on both mobile and desktop. If either of them fall below green, there’s room for improvement.
There are a number of factors that can be affecting page load times on your client’s site. Oftentimes the culprit is a bad web hosting service. These companies provide space on a server for your client’s website to live, and from there they provide connectivity to the internet. In the most basic, non-technical terms, it’s an online home for your client’s website.
Some web hosting companies have poor connectivity and slow load times. If your client is hosting their site with them, there’s nothing you can do on your end to fix the issue. For my part, I swear by Pressable for WordPress for my hosting needs. Unlike some other web hosting companies, which shall not be named, Pressable has a strong infrastructure that supports super fast load times.
How to Keep Their Site Safe
Businesses today need to have an HTTPS site. These sites are encrypted, unlike standard HTTP sites. An encrypted site not only protects your client’s information and keeps the site safe from hackers, it also encrypts any information their customers are entering into forms on the site (like, say, their email address or credit card information).
Not only that, but Google is letting people know when a site is lacking HTTPS certification. They’re putting “not secure” in big red letters in the address bar, right next to a site’s URL. Those unsecured sites are being branded with a literal scarlet letter!
Some web hosting companies, like Pressable or WP Engine, include an HTTPS certificate as part of their basic hosting service. If your client has an older site it might be a bit more difficult to migrate, but a web designer can help accomplish the task.
If your client’s website is failing to hit these basic speed and security marks, they’re missing out on big business opportunities. An unsecured site that’s slow to load can be undoing all of the work you’ve put in to create a great marketing website. Making sure that you have these basic elements sorted before you go into the checklist of content and SEO and metadata (oh my!) gives your clients’ sites the greatest shot at generating a positive response with visitors from the start.
If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to Website Design.