You may have an excellent website up and running: sharp graphics, an intuitive user interface, plenty of SEO’d content. But unless you had the website professionally developed, it may be running slower than you think. And the longer the loading time, the less traffic you recieve, the lower the user satisfaction and likelihood of return, and the lower your search engine ranking will be.

How can you know if your site’s loading time is driving traffic away? Here’s three warning signs that your site is too slow.

1. Your SEO tactics aren’t performing as expected

Depending on your priorities, there are many SEO tactics that can be utilized on your website. Often, they’re ranked by their expected ROI. If time and resources have been dedicated to SEO for your site and significant results haven’t been seen, it could be that bogged-down code or outdated Flash is dragging down any SEO benefits. Lower than expected SEO results may not be the primary sign that your site isn’t performing as well as it could, but it certainly be indicative of it.

2. You make a code change and see a decline in traffic

Although your site may look like it’s up and running, any new code changes could have affected its performance. This would be notable through traffic-tracking apps like Google Analytics. Make sure you tag and track within Analytics any variables that have changed so you can monitor the ongoing health of your site. If you notice traffic and visitors’ time spent decreasing (any trends of time under four seconds could be indicative of a problem), and bounce rates increasing, it could be an unwanted side effect of the code change.

3. Your tools tell you your performance is less than stellar

Alas, you aren’t shooting in the dark here. There are a myriad of tools at your disposal which can tip you off early to any warning signs before your clients notice. If your site is running without Google Analtyics and Google Webmaster Tools, it’s highly recommended that you have them installed and configured to your site. Likewise, there are less-detailed apps that can help you out as well, such as Stella. If anything seems amiss, consult your developer or another professional.

Don’t wait until the negative consequences of a slow site catch up to you. Many of the leading causes that result in slow sites are easily resolvable through proper optimization and clean code. Is your site working for you? Or have you experienced trouble with loading time?