By Carolyn Andreason

Now that we are (apparently) done and over with the Internet Neutrality debate, we can all go back to our fast-loading and speedy websites to run our online businesses like pros. But do we really have enough Internet speed to be truly competitive? Are we missing out on something while our providers boast about their broadband connections, optic fiber, and download speeds?

Recent studies talk about an average of 5 seconds page load time, while other studies show that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds. Moreover, 40% of consumers abandon a website if the page takes more than 3 seconds to load. But do 2-3 seconds really matter? Experts in the field found that even milliseconds matter when it comes to conversions and revenues, so we will take a closer look at how Internet speed is affecting your revenues and what you can do about it.

1. Slow Internet, Poor Rankings

This is one of the first and most important arguments one can make: Google has introduced web page speed into its ranking algorithm ages ago. It is not the only criterion that matters, but if your webpage isn’t fast enough, you may lose your sweet spot on Google’s first page listing. But besides the way you optimize your website, the Internet speed you benefit from may slow you down and pull you back – and unless you change your Internet provider, you can’t actually control this. In our day and time, it is useless to explain how poor Google ranking affects a company’s revenue.

2. Slow Internet, Annoyed Customers

This is the worst thing that can happen – have a lovely web page that loads annoyingly slow. As we said, almost 50% of loyal and potential customers abandon a website if they don’t get access to it quickly and uneventfully. Moreover, according to a recent KISSmetrics study, slow Internet can throw you into a world of pain, financial loss, and negative branding:

  • Almost 80% of customers who were annoyed by a website’s speed are less likely to come back to that site again and buy its products/services.
  • Almost 45% of customers who had a bad experience with a website’s performance, speed and loading times are more likely to negatively advertise the site’s poor performances among their friends and social media connections.
  • A 1-second delay in a page’s response time may result in a 7% decrease of conversions.

People have a reduced attention span and very short patience. In fact, they don’t have patience at all, so the slower your site processes their commands, the more likely your users are to abandon the website altogether.

3. Slow Internet, Slow Marketing

We live in the age of innovative, imaginative, and groundbreaking online marketing. We speak about viral content, high quality written blog posts, entire collections of images, video campaigns, explainer animations, live streaming, multi-platform promotion, and integrated multi-media. So, how are we going to explore and work with all these brilliant marketing solutions if our Internet moves with the speed of a hamster on a wheel?

Slower Internet means fewer people are accessing your video, audio, and written content, heavily impairing your promotion strategy and your chances to reach broader audiences and getting your message out there to become viral. In a world where explainer videos can increase a company’s ROI by 20%, slow Internet can kill such branding and marketing efforts before they are born.

4. Slow Internet, Slow Cloud

So far, we have talked about the slow Internet speeds’ impact on the end users. But now let’s talk about your internal affairs. Again, we live in a fast-paced world, and we rely on technology as we have never done before. Working with cloud computing and big data is not new anymore, but this means plenty of downloading, uploading and transferring at speeds that need to reach warp states to become efficient.

Slow cloud access and use mean wasted time for your employees and clients, impaired efficiency, delayed tasks, unmet deadlines, and slow responses to crises – which all lead to a company’s increasing chances of failure.

5. Slow Internet, Slow Communication

We put the cloud first, but we should have started with the basics: slow Internet for your company means increased incapacity to communicate with the outside world. If a business deal depends on how fast you can send an email, how long a potential partner has to wait to check out your online catalog, how much time you waste filling up an online form that can lend you a new customer, then your slow Internet connection is a true deal breaker.

We reached those levels of tech development when a simple email stands for a written contract, and a signed and sealed PDF document represents your presence at an auction, a fair or a call for project proposal. Being late – even by seconds – can break your knees as a company, pushing you at the back of the line.

In order to avoid all these negative effects of slow Internet for your business, do your homework: learn about the new FCC regulations, have your Internet provider offer you the broadband you need and get your webmasters and IT specialists to tweak and fine tune your website to get ahead and stay ahead.