How To: Improve Your E-Commerce Website’s Loading Speed
By now, you probably already know the importance of a fast-loading website. But is it really such a huge priority? After all, you’re too busy getting your storefront set up, managing inventory, publishing content, and running ads to put any energy into optimizing your load time, right? The truth is, by ignoring website optimization, you could be hurting your bottom line.
A lot goes into website optimization. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a painful process. Remember that the work you put in will lead to big quality of life changes, a higher ranking on Google, and more traffic.
Here’s our reasons why you should care about your website’s load speed, and what you can do to improve it.
Why should I care?
Most people don’t care about waiting an extra second or two for a website to load, right? Well, the data says otherwise.
According to the Think With Google blog, “…as page load time goes from one second to 10 seconds, the probability of a mobile site visitor bouncing increases 123%.” This could be disastrous for any website, no matter the vertical. For e-commerce sites in particular, a bounce rate well below 40% should be the goal.
The Think With Google blog likewise mentions the impact of site elements on conversion rate: “Similarly, as the number of elements—text, titles, images—on a page goes from 400 to 6,000, the probability of conversion drops 95%.”
These numbers should be enough to give you pause. No matter if you’re operating a sales page, an e-commerce site or a news portal – high bounce rates and low conversion rates could be disastrous.
To check your website’s performance on desktop and mobile, click the link below:
How can I speed things up?
While there are myriad optimizations that you can make to improve your website’s load speed, most of them require consistent effort.
One of the easiest ways to speed things up is by minimizing the impact of your website’s elements. Images, video and audio are the main culprits here. Images in particular can have a surprisingly big impact on your site’s load speed – and thankfully, they’re one of the easiest things to optimize.
If you use a CMS like WordPress, there are many free plugins you can install to automatically compress your site’s images. Even if you have to manually compress your images, there are tools available to make the process quick and easy.
Regarding multimedia, the key takeaway is: the smaller, the fewer, the better. Be sparse and tactical when it comes to images, video and audio. Not only will this help your load speed and Google ranking, but it will also force you to think hard about which items to include on your website. You’ll likely end up with a handful of very well curated images that carry a greater impact.
Another way to speed things up is to streamline your HTML code. If your site happens to have unnecessary or superfluous code, then it will take longer to load. This will negatively impact both your bounce rate and your Google page rank.
If your site was custom written from the ground up, you might need to go through the code line by line to make optimizations. But if you use WordPress or another CMS, you’re in luck: there are plugins to automate the process.
If all else fails, check with your web host to make sure they aren’t experiencing any technical issues. It’s possible that your slow load speed is due to a server-side problem. If that’s the case, your host should resolve the problem quickly without you having to take any action on your end.
Remember that speeding up your website isn’t only about providing a good visitor experience. A streamlined, fast-loading site will help minimize your bounce rate, maximize your conversion rate, and rank higher on Google. Combine this with a solid SEO strategy – including content marketing and social media – and you’ll see more traffic, more conversions, and more sales.