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Why You Need To Think About Site Speed
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Why You Need To Think About Site Speed

By Admin 4 min read

Site speed is an incredibly important and often overlooked factor in eCommerce. Having a slow loading site can affect your Google Search rankings, bounce rates, customer satisfaction and conversions. There are plenty of ways you can get around this problem, from using a good eCommerce platform such as Pypa Commerce to focusing on mobile optimization.

Why Do You Need To Think About Site Speed?

Let’s look at some of the most important reasons why you need to think about site speed when running an eCommerce website:

Google Search Rankings

Because it affects User Experience (UX), site speed is a Google Search ranking factor, so the faster your site is, the higher it appears in the SERPs and vice versa. Google refined this ranking factor further in 2021, when it introduced Core Web Vitals, splitting it into three categories:

  • Loading: How long it takes a site’s main content to load.
  • Interactivity: How long it takes until visitors can interact with the site.
  • Visual stability: How much the layout moves unexpectedly.

This means that you need to think all the more carefully about site speed.

Mobile Shoppers

Site speed is a particular issue with mobile devices (pages take 87.84% longer to load on mobile). This is a big deal for eCommerce because most online shoppers are now using mobile devices.

Bounce Rates

Slow loading leads to increased bounce rates as shoppers get frustrated and search elsewhere. Not only does this prevent customers from buying anything, but high bounce rates also negatively affect your SERPs as they tell Google that searchers haven’t found what they were expecting on your site (fast loading pages).

UX And Customer Satisfaction

One of the biggest reasons for trying to improve your site speed is it’s terrible UX (which in the case of eCommerce means it affects customer satisfaction). There is proof that slow loading eCommerce sites affect customer satisfaction: apparently, a slow loading website causes as much stress as taking a math test!

Obviously, low customer satisfaction affects repeat visits, but it also affects something much bigger…

Conversions

Slow sites have a terrible effect on your conversion rate. Even a 1 second delay will decrease conversions by 7%. The effect is even more pronounced on mobile devices. In turn this means …

Losing money

Lack of conversions from slow loading means less money. While in the less extreme cases, it may not sound like much, this can make a big difference to your bottom line, whether you’re a small or large business.

It’s not just the direct loss: All of your hard work and money spent on advertising and lead generation will go down the drain, if customers immediately bounce from your slow loading site.

Losing Out to Competition

There’s a lot of competition in eCommerce; so if customers don’t like your slow site, they’ll go elsewhere.

However, the opposite also applies: A shocking number of eCommerce sites have bad loading rates, especially for mobile, so if you work hard at optimizing your site speed, you’ll come out ahead of your competition.

How To Optimize Your Site Speed

Fortunately, the problems that are causing your site to run slow are easily diagnosable and easily fixable:

Check Site Speed

First, find out if your site is actually too slow by checking your site speed (and the speed of individual pages). You can do this by using Google PageSpeed Insights. Then, you need to take steps to actually improve your site speed…

Use a Good Ecommerce Platform and Hosting Network

A good eCommerce platform, such as Pypa Commerce, will have the ability to automatically optimize your site speed. Using a reliable hosting service is important too (e.g. Pypa Commerce is hosted on Google Cloud) and some hosting providers like Kinsta and Cloudflare offer automatic page speed optimization. Of course, having a good hosting network is not enough, you still need to…

Fix Slow Loading Elements

In order to get your site’s speed up, you need to fix slow loading elements. Here are some of the worst offenders:

  • Pictures: Large pictures or lots of pictures will slow down your site. Consider using image sprites or simply decreasing the size of your images (but remember you will have to compromise on quality).
  • Themes: Like pictures, choosing the wrong theme can make your site lag. Fortunately, Pypa Commerce has plenty of fast-loading themes.
  • Scripts: Scripts like JavaScript for tracking pixels can slow your website down. Deal with these issues by using Google Tag Manager to install your pixels and programming your scripts to load after the rest of the page.
  • Bloated code: There are tools you can use to cut your code down to a reasonable size, which, again, will speed up your site.
  • Plugins and third party apps: Any good eCommerce platform (e.g. Pypa Commerce) comes with a powerful API and the capacity for third party app integration. But just because you have this power, doesn’t mean you should use it all the time—too many apps and plugins will slow your site down (so get rid of some).
  • Pop-ups: While pop-ups are undeniably useful in eCommerce, too many can slow your page loading speed (especially with mobile devices). Use them sparingly.
  • Broken links: Broken links in your JavaScript and CSS code and especially in image URLs can slow down your site by creating 404 errors. To resolve this issue, regularly check your code for broken links.

Optimize for Mobile

As one of the main issues is mobile site speed and most online shopping is now done on mobile devices, it makes sense to focus on mobile optimization. This could include implementing responsive design if your site doesn’t already have it, or improving existing responsive design.

Check Regularly

Checking your site speed regularly is a good idea as it means you can quickly pick up issues with your site’s quality before they start to impact your conversions.

Thinking about site speed can pay off, increasing your conversion rate and SERP ranking. Most of the problems with site speed are quickly fixable, making fine-tuning your site for speed a no-brainer. It’s easy to optimize your site speed with the help of a good eCommerce platform like Pypa Commerce–Register for the Beta today!

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By Admin 4 min read

Originally written 16 Feb, 2022 . Updated on 16 Feb, 2022

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