Why is eCommerce Website Speed so Important and How Do You Increase Yours?
In 2021, we expect the websites we visit to load quickly and run smoothly. Anything less is so 2005. Of course, even now, many websites move sluggishly. Some of them are just old and don’t use modern web-building techniques. Others were put together without speed in mind. No big deal, right? Unfortunately, if you run an ecommerce site, having slow speeds is a huge deal. The speed of your website can directly cause your business to succeed…or fail. Let’s take a look at why, along with four tips for increasing your ecommerce website speed:
- The importance of site speeds
- Build your site for mobile devices
- Avoid sliders
- Compress your images
- Cut out dead weight
The Importance of Site Speeds
While slow websites can be irksome, many people don’t realize their impact is greater than that of a mild inconvenience. This is especially true for ecommerce stores, where speeds can directly influence how well they perform with customers. Site speeds directly impact three main things:
- Conversions. When people visit your ecommerce site, your main goal is to encourage them to go from being a visitor to a purchaser. However, a slow site is more likely to chase people away. Even a one second speed improvement can increase conversions by 27 percent on mobile devices, according to a report by Google.
- Rankings. Speaking of Google, an increase to your ecommerce website speed can actually help your site rank higher on the search engine. This means more people can find you and become paying customers.
- Loyalty. A customer who is satisfied with your website is more likely to return to it than one who is frustrated with your site’s speed. By increasing your speeds, you can increase customer satisfaction, and thus customer loyalty.
Build Your Site for Mobile Devices
Most businesses start increasing their online presence by building a site for desktop computers. However, in this day and age, the majority of shoppers are using their mobile devices to buy. Unfortunately, converting a desktop site to a mobile one can slow speeds considerably. You can increase your ecommerce website speed by building your mobile site first. Once it’s up and running, you’ll have a useable platform for most consumers to use, then you can expand to a desktop presence for everyone else from there.
Sliders (or carousels, or slideshows) are an attractive, catchy way to share a lot of information in a small amount of screen space. Unfortunately, sliders are quite intensive to load and result in slower speeds. In addition, although they look pretty, they often don’t result in conversions as one would wish. Instead, increase your ecommerce website speed by ditching the sliders altogether and using an eye-catching banner image with a clear call-to-action.
Compress Your Images
Humans are naturally visual creatures. You can make your website more appealing by using lots of bright, well-shot photos. This is especially important for ecommerce websites, where a good product photo can mean the difference between a sale or a skip. Unfortunately, lots of images can also bog down your site’s speed. Fortunately, you can get around this by compressing your images. Often, the photos you upload to your site are large in size; this ensures their quality and clarity. By compressing them, you can make the file size smaller, without sacrificing the image quality. Many free image compressors can be found with the help of a quick Google search.
Cut Out Dead Weight to Increase eCommerce Website Speed
Everything you add to your website is another element that has to load on that website. This means, if you have anything unimportant or extraneous on your site, you keep it at the expense of your speed. Periodically go through your site and cut out anything you don’t need. This can include product pages for items you no longer sell, outdated blog posts, broken or old links, or anything else you can find. Trimming the excess can increase your ecommerce website speed easily.
Site speed can make or break your ecommerce website. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways any business owner can improve their speeds, and increase their success.
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