Why you should focus on page speed & stop using pop-ups

man at desk waiting for computer to load

Have you ever wondered why your bounce rate is always over 70% and can never quite figure out why? Your content reads great, you’ve got top-notch videos of your products, and you’ve even got a testimonial from Microsoft saying how good your company is! Well, all of these things seem to have little impact on visitors to your website if you have a) constant pop-ups or b) slow page loading speed (and if you have both, I’d disable Google Analytics now…). 

As a website monitoring company, I was curious to know what exactly it was about a website that caused people to tick. I know what puts me off, bad grammar (or “grammer” as I keep reading on multiple websites – my heart breaks), but it seems that some people just aren’t fussed by the right form of “there” these days. Instead, after I put out a poll on our LinkedIn, it seems that constant pop-ups are the biggest pet peeve for website visitors. Slow page speed is a firm second, followed by unsecured websites and in last place, poor layout/structure. Each to their own, I guess.

Constant pop-ups

Pop-ups have been around since internet time began, especially when savvy marketers learned that they were a sure way of getting those trusty old email addresses for their sales teams. However, what marketers didn’t plan for was that the more this tactic was used, the wearier the visitors were getting until eventually, they started giving up on these websites completely. Long gone are the days where website owners can use old-school tactics and get away with it, website visitors are more on the ball than ever before about what they like and don’t like and ultimately, what they want from a site. 

Google Algorithm’s May update is set to tackle this constant pop-up pandemic after noticing how detrimental it can be to websites’ conversions and more so, the user experience. The new rules state that your pop-ups cannot take up the majority of your webpage, i.e. distort or cover any key content, and cannot be intrusive for users across your site. Again, we marketers considered ourselves clever by setting pop-ups based on set parameters of user behaviour but it seems even Google has clocked us on that one. User behaviour pop-ups are only one part of the bargain the search engine is willing to accept, and only if it’s one singular pop-up and basically, miniature. Grr. 

Poor page speed

There’s been a lot of talk about page speed, even more so when the drive for “mobile first” came around. But it seems that all the talk did little to encourage the majority of websites to focus on getting their page speed fast enough to keep users from bouncing off their pages. 

PageSpeed Insights shows your website’s loading speed based on Google’s Web Vitals, which will be used for their new ranking system when the Google Algorithm gets its update. Here’s an example of a standard report that it generates with the Wikipedia URL: 

It’s hard to keep track of page speed using Insights every minute of every day, however, especially if you have 500 pages on your website and each is slower than the next. That’s why using a solution like StatusCake can help manage your website load time without the need for constant manual evaluation. 

Take for example our page speed monitoring feature; it’ll track your page speed and alert you when your page is taking too long to load meaning you can do something about it before the likes of Google penalises you in the rankings and your website visitors bounce off. Winning.

Unsecured websites

Surprisingly, an unsecured website was the third most chosen option for website put-offs. The reason I find this surprising is I know a lot of people that don’t actively look for an SSL certificate on a website or check if it’s in any way secure (unfortunately, this is based on my friendship group). But here is the million-dollar question – do you know how to spot a fake website? It can be genuinely difficult, especially if you don’t really know what to look out for other than the obvious signpost of “I’M OPEN TO HACKERS”. 

One of the key ways to spot a secure website is to always look for the padlock next to the URL:

If you’re a website owner, make sure you’ve got an SSL certificate in place and know when it expires. If you need reminding or need insight into whether your SSL is set up correctly, StatusCake offers SSL monitoring so again, Google doesn’t swoop in and drop you from 1st place to the bottom of page 2 for your main keyword – nightmare. Pair that with the customer trust and satisfaction that it offers and your own peace of mind and it’s almost a no-brainer.

Ultimately, there are so many things that put people off of a website – even if they have a funky 404 page. There are always going to be events that make your website perform worse than it has before, regardless of whether you’ve condensed all your images correctly and replaced videos with GIFS, that’s why constant website monitoring is the key to a successful, working website. I know what you’re thinking, I would say that, but the votes above speak for themselves. 

Try StatusCake for your website for free today and see how it changes your website performance. 

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